Calderdale College Book Group
Calderdale College Book Group is open to students and staff.
Rather than holding meetings to share our likes and dislikes about books we share our reviews here on the Moodle Book Group page. Click on the Book Reviews below to read some of our reviews.
Books of the Month
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J. K. Rowling
It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn't much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children.
While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son, Albus, must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.
Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman
You know what it's like when your mum goes away on a business trip and Dad's in charge. She leaves a really, really long list of what he's got to do. And the most important thing is DON'T FORGET TO GET THE MILK. Unfortunately, Dad forgets. So the next morning, before breakfast, he has to go to the corner shop, and this is the story of why it takes him a very, very long time to get back.
Featuring: Professor Steg (a time-travelling dinosaur), some green globby things, the Queen of the Pirates, the famed jewel that is the Eye of Splod, some wumpires, and a perfectly normal but very important carton of milk.
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...
Lucie Manette has been separated from her father for eighteen years while he languished in Paris's most feared prison, the Bastille. Finally reunited, the Manettes' fortunes become inextricably intertwined with those of two men, the heroic aristocrat Darnay and the dissolute lawyer Carton. Their story, which encompasses violence, revenge, love and redemption, is grippingly played out against the backdrop of the terrifying brutality of the French Revolution.
Ulysses by James Joyce
Ulysses chronicles the passage of Leopold Bloom through Dublin during an ordinary day, 16 June 1904. Ulysses' stream-of-consciousness technique, careful structuring, and experimental prose—full of puns, parodies, and allusions, as well as its rich characterisations and broad humour, made the book a highly regarded novel in the Modernist pantheon. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked Ulysses first on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.
Room by Emma Donoghue
Jack is five. He lives with his Ma. They live in a single, locked room. They don't have the key.
Jack and Ma are prisoners.
Room by Emma Donoghue is an extraordinarily powerful story of a mother and child kept in isolation, and the desire for, and price of, freedom.
Our Zoo by June Mottershead
When George Mottershead moved to the village of Upton-by-Chester in 1930 to realise his dream of opening a zoo without bars, his four-year-old daughter June had no idea how extraordinary her life would become. Soon her best friend was a chimpanzee called Mary, lion cubs and parrots were vying for her attention in the kitchen, and finding a bear tucked up in bed was no more unusual than talking to a tapir about granny's lemon curd. Pelican, penguin or polar bear - for June, they were simply family.
The Rapture by Liz Jensen
In a merciless summer of biblical heat and destructive winds, Gabrielle Fox's main concern is a personal one: to rebuild her career as a psychologist after a shattering car accident. But when she is assigned Bethany Krall, one of the most dangerous teenagers in the country, she begins to fear she has made a terrible mistake. Raised on a diet of evangelistic hellfire, Bethany is violent, delusional, cruelly intuitive and insistent that she can foresee natural disasters - a claim which Gabrielle interprets as a symptom of doomsday delusion. But when catastrophes begin to occur on the very dates Bethany has predicted, and a brilliant, gentle physicist enters the equation, the apocalyptic puzzle intensifies and the stakes multiply. Is the self-proclaimed Nostradamus of the psych ward the ultimate manipulator, or could she be the harbinger of imminent global cataclysm on a scale never seen before? And what can love mean in 'interesting times'? A haunting story of human passion and burning faith set against an adventure of tectonic proportions, "The Rapture" is an electrifying psychological thriller that explores the dark extremes of mankind's self-destruction in a world on the brink.
**Don't forget to post your review on the Book Group Forum.**
To borrow a copy of this book, please pop along to LC 1 (B Floor) and ask a member of staff at the counter.
Coming Up Next
The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
From the Orange Prize-winning author of ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ come twelve dazzling stories that turn a penetrating eye on the ties that bind men and women, parents and children, Nigeria and the West.
In 'A Private Experience', a medical student hides from a violent riot with a poor Muslim woman whose dignity and faith force her to confront the realities and fears she's been pushing away.
In 'Tomorrow Is Too Far', a woman unlocks the devastating secret that surrounds her brother's death.
The young mother at the centre of 'Imitation' finds her comfortable life threatened when she learns that her husband back in Lagos has moved his mistress into their home.
And the title story depicts the choking loneliness of a Nigerian girl who moves to an America that turns out to be nothing like the country she expected; though falling in love brings her desires nearly within reach, a death in her homeland forces her to re-examine them.
Searing and profound, suffused with beauty, sorrow and longing, this collection is a resounding confirmation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's prodigious storytelling powers.
The Other queen by Philippa Gregory
A dramatic novel of passion, politics and betrayal from the author of The Other Boleyn Girl.
They can fear me, and they can hate me. They can even deny me. But they cannot kill me.
1568. The Virgin Queen Elizabeth I has ruled England for ten years, but refuses to name a successor, despite the rival claims that threaten her kingdom.
Bess of Hardwick, the new Countess of Shrewsbury, has secured her future with her fourth marriage to George Talbot. Ambitious and shrewd, Bess anticipates royal favour when she and the Earl are asked to give sanctuary to the fugitive Mary Queen of Scots.
But the Scottish queen rails against house arrest in a desolate castle and plots to regain her throne. The castle becomes the epicentre of intrigue against Elizabeth, the Earl blinded by admiration for the other queen. Even Bess’s own loyalty is thrown into question. If Elizabeth's spymaster William Cecil links the Talbots to the growing conspiracy to free Mary, they will all face the Tower…
Still Alice by Lisa Genova
A moving story of a woman with early onset Alzheimer's disease, now a major Academy Award-winning film starring Julianne Moore and Kristen Stewart.
Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At fifty, she's a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a renowned expert in linguistics, with a successful husband and three grown children. When she begins to grow forgetful and disoriented, she dismisses it for as long as she can until a tragic diagnosis changes her life - and her relationship with her family and the world around her - for ever.
Unable to care for herself, Alice struggles to find meaning and purpose as her concept of self gradually slips away. But Alice is a remarkable woman, and her family learn more about her and each other in their quest to hold on to the Alice they know. Her memory hanging by a frayed thread, she is living in the moment, living for each day. But she is still Alice.
The Missing by Jane Casey
Her teacher, Sarah Finch, knows better than most that the chances of finding her alive are diminishing with every day she is gone.
As a little girl her older brother had gone out to play one day and never returned. The strain of never knowing what happened to Charlie had ripped Sarah's family apart. Now in her early twenties, she is back living at home, trapped with a mother who drinks too much and keeps her brother's bedroom as a shrine to his memory.
Then, horrifically, it is Sarah who finds Jenny's body, beaten and abandoned in the woods near her home. As she's drawn into the police investigation and the heart of a media storm, Sarah's presence arouses suspicion too. But it not just the police who are watching her...
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