Book reviews – Memoir

Travelling with ghosts by Shannon Leonne Fowler.   

“Fowler has turned her devastating, beautiful, honest, and personal story into something universal. Akin to Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, her book will appeal to globetrotters and readers of hopeful stories chronicling grief and recovery.”
Booklist (starred review)
In the summer of 2002, Shannon Leone Fowler was backpacking with her fiancé Sean in Thailand. The couple were planning to return home after their excursion to the island of Koh Pha Ngan, but their plans were devastated when a box jellyfish – the most venomous animal in the world – wrapped itself around Sean’s legs, stinging and killing him in minutes. Rejecting the Thai authorities’ attempt to label Sean’s death as ‘drunk drowning’, Shannon accompanied his body home to his stunned family – a family to which she suddenly no longer belonged.

Shattered, untethered and alone, Shannon set out on a journey to make sense of her loss. From contemplating the silence of Auschwitz to learning the rules for sitting shiva amid daily bombings in Israel, to finding humour and creativity in Sarajevo, a city still scarred by the recent war, Shannon charts a path through sorrow towards recovery.

Traveling with Ghosts is a beautiful memorial to love and an intensely personal account of learning to live with grief. It is the story of a brave journey towards survival.

Review by Sepali de Silva

‘Travelling with Ghosts’ is a moving memoir cum travel journal by Shannon Leone Fowler. Shanon & Sean are literally in each other’s arms when Sean loses his life and what pursues are nightmarish days for any single traveller alone on a distant beach. She is offered unconditional support by two Israeli girls whose actions will leave you questioning your beliefs and practices.
As days go by her nightmare turns to profound grief which she documents with a mature understanding. Legally not a widow nor a mother who lost a child, her pain is no less, and she tries to find solace by travelling through Eastern Europe to dark places blanketed with sadness and struggle where she feels connected through sorrow at a time when there were no mobile phones or Google maps.

I needed a box of tissues with this book, but it is an excellent memoir. Not many can document their sadness as well as Shannon does. The juxtapositioning of the tenses where she places her present in the past and her past in the present paralleling her thought process gives this memoir a unique structure. The book is part narrative part travel journal by an incredibly brave person, and if you are a traveller or you are someone who has a love for marine life, or if you have lost someone you love and feel no one understands your grief you should get yourself a copy of this book. Shannon holds a PhD in Marine Biology.

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Book Reviews – Fiction

The Choice – Samantha King

Reviewed by Amber Vitharana

For fans of The Couple Next Door, I See You and He Said/She Said, The Choice is a hypnotic suspense debut from a remarkable new talent and explores the terrifying Sophie’s Choice scenario: What if you had to choose between your children?

‘Beautifully written, taut, tense and very clever.’ Claire Douglas, Sunday Times bestselling author of Last Seen Alive.

Then:  Madeleine lived for her children. She’d always believed she’d die for them too. But on the morning of her twins’ tenth birthday, her love was put to the test when a killer knocked on their door and forced her to make a devastating choice: which child should live, and which should die – her son, or her daughter?

Now:

Madeleine stands silently on the periphery of her fractured family, trying desperately to unravel why her world was so suddenly blown apart. But as memories of everything leading up to that tragic day return in agonising flashes, she begins to realise her family’s life still hangs terrifyingly in the balance…

Reviewed by Amber Vitharana

What a book!  The start was explosive – you want to know what happened to make Maddie choose between her kids and you only half believe it. But Maddie believes it, and so you have no choice but to follow her thoughts and ramblings, from happy beginnings to domestic abuse, from best friend to adultress.  When the truth is finally revealed or rather unravels,  you whoop with joy and relief and confusion. Then, of course, it’s a roller-coaster ride to the end –  you’re never quite sure what will come next, and at some point you start skipping descriptions, hurtling towards the end.

When you finish, you’re a little numb from the excess of emotions that you’ve been forced to endure.

A roller coaster of a book  – I loved it.

The only fault I feel is that she drags out the story a bit and at some point, the writing seems to get in the way of the storytelling.

Similar books –  Girl on the Train, Gone Girl

This is a top 10 Amazon bestseller.

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World-War Stories for kids, teens and young adults

In this list of well crafted and enduring stories of war, you will find age-appropriate recommendations that support school curriculum work. For the older readers, the books in this selection are a reminder to how war affects not only those on the battlefront and are relevant today considering the thousands of children and adults who have become refugees in recent years.

  • Hero on a Bicycle by Shirley Hughes – Age group 10-14 years.

A gripping and moving novel by one of the world’s best-loved writers for children. From much-loved author, Shirley Hughes comes a thrilling World War II novel for children aged 10 and up. It is 1944 and Florence, Italy, is occupied by Nazi German forces. The Italian resistance movement has not given up hope, though – and neither have Paolo and his sister, Constanza. Both are desperate to fight the occupation, but what can two siblings do against a whole army with only a bicycle to help them? In extraordinary circumstances, people are capable of extraordinary things.

 

 

 

  • Carrie’s War by Nina Bawden – Age group 9-11 years.

It is wartime and Carrie and her little brother Nick have been evacuated from their London home to the Welsh hills. In an unfamiliar place, among strangers, the children feel alone and find little comfort with the family they are billeted with: Mr Evans, a bullying shopkeeper and Auntie Lou, his kind but timid sister.

When Carrie and Nick visit Albert, another evacuee, they are welcomed into Hepzibah Green’s warm kitchen. Hepzibah is rumoured to be a witch, but her cooking is delicious, her stories are enthralling and the children cannot keep away. With Albert, Hepzibah and Mister Johnny, they begin to settle into their new surroundings. But before long, their loyalties are tested: will they be persuaded to betray their new friends?

  

  • Friend or Foe by Michael Morpurgo.  Age group 8-10 years.

Friend or Foe by [Morpurgo, Michael]Friend or Foe is a gripping World War 2 story from Britain’s best-loved children’s author, Michael Morpurgo.

Evacuated from London, David and Tucky feel like the war is a long way away from their new life in the countryside. Then one night the skyline of the moor is lit up with gun flashes, and the distant crump of bombing miles away brings the war back to them and shatters their new-found peace. When a German bomber crashes, the boys feel they should hate the airmen inside. But one of them saves David’s life.

  

  • Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian

Young Willie Beech is evacuated to the country as Britain stands on the brink of the Second World War. A sad, deprived child, he slowly begins to flourish under the care of old Tom Oakley – but his new-found happiness is shattered by a summons from his mother back in London.

Winner of the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award.

“An engrossing and poignant story, with much sunlight to balance the darkness.” — “The New Yorker.

  

  • The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne. Age group 12+.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (Vintage Children's Classics) by [Boyne, John]‘Some things are just sitting there, minding their own business, waiting to be discovered. Like America. And other things are probably better off left alone’

Nine-year-old Bruno has a lot of things on his mind. Who is the ‘Fury’? Why did he make them leave their nice home in Berlin to go to ‘Out-With’ ? And who are all the sad people in striped pyjamas on the other side of the fence? The grown-ups won’t explain so Bruno decides there is only one thing for it – he will have to explore this place alone. What he discovers is a new friend. A boy with the very same birthday. A boy in striped pyjamas. But why can’t they ever play together?

  

  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Age group 13+

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier and will become busier still.

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meagre existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbours during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.

  


Get your hands on these unforgettable stories by much-loved authors. Books available now.               See you soon at Chapters!


If you like this list you might also like the following books which can be purchased on Amazon.  Thank you for shopping by clicking our Amazon links because it helps us to earn a commission from Amazon. It is only a small reward for the time we spent compiling this list and will cost you nothing extra.  

  • A Little Love Song by Michelle Magorian – Age group – Older Teens

A classic young love story set in the middle of World War II

It is the summer of 1943, and war continues to rage. For Rose and her sister Diana, it’s a time of independence and self-discovery as they find first loves.  But when Rose uncovers an extraordinary love story from another war, she is forced to question that love.  Rose is about to discover a secret that will change everything. Michelle Magorian combines her rich style with a refreshing take on wartime women in this classic coming of age story.

True Stories of war

  • Voices from the second world war – Witnesses share their stories with the children of today.  Publishes in association with the award-winning children’s newspaper First News and The Silver Line. 

A powerful, moving collection of first-person accounts of the Second World War. Contributors include a rear gunner who took part in sixty bombing raids, a Jewish woman who played in the orchestra at Auschwitz, a Japanese man who survived Hiroshima and Sir Nicholas Winton, who saved 669 children by setting up the Kindertransport program from Czechoslovakia. Many of the interviews were conducted by children, and the book is being published in association with award-winning children’s newspaper First News.

Categories: Non-Fiction          For readers aged: 9+

The Diary of a young girl – Anne Frank

First published over sixty years ago, Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl has reached millions of young people throughout the world.

In July 1942, thirteen-year-old Anne Frank and her family, fleeing the occupation, went into hiding in an Amsterdam warehouse. Over the next two years Anne vividly describes in her diary the frustrations of living in such close quarters, and her thoughts, feelings and longings as she grows up. Her diary ends abruptly when, in August 1944, they were all betrayed.

  

Stories of animals in war

In the deadly chaos of the First World War, one horse witnesses the reality of battle from both sides of the trenches. Bombarded by artillery, with bullets knocking riders from his back, Joey tells a powerful story of the truest friendships surviving in terrible times. One horse has the seen the best and the worst of humanity. The power of war and the beauty of peace. This is his story.

War Horse was adapted by Steven Spielberg as a major motion picture with Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, and Benedict Cumberbatch. The National Theatre production opened in 2007 and has enjoyed successful runs in the West End and on Broadway.

A great way of introducing young readers to the realities of WWI. Look out for Morpurgo’s other war fiction including Friend or FoeWaiting for AnyaKing of the Cloud and An Eagle in the Snow.

War Horse is a story of universal suffering for a universal audience by a writer who ‘has the happy knack of speaking to both child and adult readers’ (The Guardian).

   

You might be interested in this current bestseller.

Seven self-help books to read when you desire happiness and a new approach to your life.

  1. The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich– Timothy Ferriss
  2. This is a new, updated and expanded edition of this New York Times bestseller on how to reconstruct your life so it’s not all about work. Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred – life plan – there is no need to wait and every reason not to, especially in unpredictable economic times. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, or just living more and working less, this book is the blueprint. This step-by step guide to luxury lifestyle design teaches: how Tim went from $40,000 dollars per year and 80 hours per week to $40,000 per month and 4 hours per week; how to outsource your life to overseas virtual assistants for $5 per hour and do whatever you want; how blue-chip escape artists travel the world without quitting their jobs; how to eliminate 50 per cent of your work in 48 hours using the principles of a forgotten Italian economist; and how to trade a long-haul career for short work bursts and frequent ‘mini-retirements’.

This new updated and expanded edition includes: more than 50 practical tips and case studies from readers (including families) who have doubled their income, overcome common sticking points, and reinvented themselves using the original book as a starting point; real-world templates you can copy for eliminating email, negotiating with bosses and clients, or getting a private chef for less than GBP5 a meal; how lifestyle design principles can be suited to unpredictable economic times; and the latest tools and tricks, as well as high-tech shortcuts, for living like a diplomat or millionaire without being either.

buy now

2. The Power of Soft: How to get what you want without being a ****- Hilary Gallo

How to get what you want, whether you are closing million dollar deals, arguing over the washing up with your partner or trying to get your kids to go to bed. Pilates for the mind from the Malcolm Gladwell of negotiation.

Having spent decades negotiating deals worth hundreds of millions of pounds, Hilary Gallo realised that bullying behaviour rarely got him or his clients the outcomes they were looking for. Over the years he began to develop a new way of approaching negotiations — the power of soft — and soon found his work and home life getting richer. The power of soft started as a negotiation tactic and soon became a philosophy for life.

In life and in business we often mask our inner vulnerability by adopting a hard, unwavering and ultimately ineffective approach. In The Power of Soft, Hilary Gallo proposes drawing our strength from our mental core, improving our power relative to any situation. He teaches us to see reality by looking past our judgements and preconceptions without letting go of what we’re trying to achieve. Gallo pulls examples from the archives of human history — referencing everyone from Machiavelli to Butch Cassidy, F. Scott Fitzgerald to 007 — and draws on his own experience to show how we can all make use of the power of soft.

The Power of Soft perfects the art of balancing inner strength with a softer front, offering us an elegantly written and holistic piece of business literature in the style of Les McKeown and Malcolm Gladwell.

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3. Lean In– Sheryl Sandberg

Expanded and updated exclusively for graduates just entering the workforce, this extraordinary edition of Lean In includes a letter to graduates from Sheryl Sandberg and six additional chapters from experts offering advice on finding and getting the most out of a first job; résumé writing; best interviewing practices; negotiating your salary; listening to your inner voice; owning who you are; and leaning in for millennial men.

In 2013, Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In became a massive cultural phenomenon, and its title became an instant catchphrase for empowering women. The book soared to the top of best-seller lists both nationally and internationally, igniting global conversations about women and ambition. Sandberg packed theatres, dominated op-ed pages, appeared on every major television show and on the cover of Time magazine, and sparked fierce debate about women and leadership. Now, this enhanced edition provides the entire text of the original book updated with more recent statistics and features a passionate letter from Sandberg encouraging graduates to find and commit to work they love. A combination of inspiration and practical advice, this new edition will speak directly to graduates and, like the original, will change lives.

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4. What Are You Hungry For?: The Chopra Solution to Permanent Weight Loss, Well-Being, and Lightness of Soul– Deepak Chopra

The basis for the PBS Special, What Are You Hungry For? is the breakthrough book that can bring weight under effortless control by linking it to personal fulfilment in every area of a reader’s life.

After promoting this message worldwide for thirty years, bestselling author Deepak Chopra focuses on the huge problem of weight control in America with exciting new concepts. What are you hungry for? Food? Love? Self-esteem?  Peace? In this manual for “higher health,” based on the latest findings in both mainstream and alternative medicine, Deepak Chopra creates a vision of weight loss based on a deeper awareness of why people overeat – because they are trying to find satisfaction and wind up using food as a substitute for real fulfilment.  Repudiating the failed approaches of crash dieting and all forms of deprivation, Chopra’s new book aims directly at the problem of finding fulfilment.  When that problem is solved, he argues, normal eating falls into place automatically, and the entire system of mind and body achieves what it desires.

“Everyone’s life story is complicated, and the best intentions go astray because people find it hard to change,” writes Chopra. “Bad habits, like bad memories, stick around stubbornly when we wish they’d go away. But you have a great motivation working for you, which is your desire for happiness. I define happiness as the state of fulfilment, and everyone wants to be fulfilled. If you keep your eye on this, your most basic motivation, then the choices you make come down to a single question: “What am I hungry for?” Your true desire will lead you in the right direction. False desires lead in the wrong direction.”

Wherever you are in life, this book will help point you in that right direction.

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5. Outliers: The Story of Success– Malcolm Gladwell

In this stunning new book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of “outliers”–the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different?

His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. Along the way, he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band.

Brilliant and entertaining, Outliers is a landmark work that will simultaneously delight and illuminate.

 

6. Taming the Tiger Parent: How to Put Your Child’s Well-Being First in a Competitive World- Tanith Carey

Practical, realistic solutions that give parents permission to take their foot off the gas and reclaim a more relaxed family life

Mozart in the womb, Baby Einstein DVDs for newborns, and ipad learning apps for toddlers—from the moment the umbilical cord is cut, today’s parents feel trapped in a never-ending race to ensure their child is the brightest and the best. But while it’s completely natural for us to want our kids to reach their potential, at what point does too much competition become damaging? With constant testing in schools also raising the stakes, how can we tell when hot-housing children is actually doing more harm than good? In this ground-breaking and provocative book, Tanith Carey presents the latest research on what this contest is doing to the next generation. She explains why, far from making our children more go-getting and successful, it can back-fire with life-long repercussions, damage their emotional well-being, and fracture their relationships with the very people who love them most: their parents. Packed with insights, experts’ tips, real experiences, and resources, this book is a timely guide to safeguarding your child’s well-being in a competitive world, so they can grow into the happy, emotionally balanced people they really need to be.

 

7. Mere Christianity- C. S. Lewis

In the classic Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis, the most important writer of the 20th century, explores the common ground upon which all of those of Christian faith stand together. Bringing together Lewis’ legendary broadcast talks during World War Two from his three previous books The Case for Christianity, Christian Behavior, and Beyond Personality, Mere Christianity provides an unequalled opportunity for believers and nonbelievers alike to hear this powerful apologetic for the Christian faith.

New books in-store!

A heads-up for you that lead titles of 2016 are available now at Chapters…

If you are in the mood for an exquisite book, do visit and browse our new collection. Books make great gifts, and if you have a bibliophile in your life, then you will certainly like what’s on our shelves right now.

Happy shopping!


1. The book of Hygge: The Danish art of living well– Louisa Thomsen Brits

The most beautiful guide to the Danish custom of hygge, the everyday life philosophy for better living.

Hygge is a feeling of belonging and warmth, a moment of comfort and contentment. This beautiful little book will help you to find hygge and embrace it every day. Make a pot of coffee, relax in your favourite chair and discover for yourself how life is better with hygge.

 

‘Best [book] for the philosophy of hygge’ You Magazine

‘…a philosophy for mindful living’ The Guardian

‘Her book is a thing of beauty’Irish Examiner


2. The Can’t Sleep Colouring Journal- Dr Sarah Jane Arnold

When your mind just won’t switch off and you’re fed up of tossing and turning in your bed, pick up this unique book and discover a new and creative way of getting a good night’s sleep.

Along with gorgeous patterns to colour you’ll also find:

· Simple tailored exercises designed to calm the mind, promote well-being and help you relax, ready for sleep

· Expert hints and tips on developing a good bedtime routine

· Inspirational quotes and plenty of room for your own thoughts and musings


3. Elizabeth is Missing– Emma Healey

Sunday Times Top Five Bestseller Elizabeth is Missing is the stunning, smash-hit debut novel from new author Emma Healey

Winner of the Costa First Novel Award 2014
Shortlisted for National Book Awards Popular Fiction Book 2014
Shortlisted for National Book Awards New Writer of the Year 2014
Longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize 2014
Longlisted for the Baileys Prize for Women’s Fiction 2015

Meet Maud.

Maud is forgetful. She makes a cup of tea and doesn’t remember to drink it. She goes to the shops and forgets why she went. Sometimes her home is unrecognizable – or her daughter Helen seems a total stranger.

But there’s one thing Maud is sure of: her friend Elizabeth is missing. The note in her pocket tells her so. And no matter who tells her to stop going on about it, to leave it alone, to shut up, Maud will get to the bottom of it.

Because somewhere in Maud’s damaged mind lies the answer to an unsolved seventy-year-old mystery. One everyone has forgotten about.

Everyone, except Maud . . .


4. William Shakespeare: Notes & Quotes

One of history’s most influential and renowned playwrights, Shakespeare was able to manipulate language in a way that still resonates to this day. This elegant notebook, featuring some of the best-known quotations from his works, will inspire writers as they pen their own jottings and thoughts.

Practical and stylishly designed, these pages contain soft lines and decorative illustrations throughout, so writers will enjoy getting organized and jotting down their notes wherever they are.


5. The Wicked Wit of Winston Churchill– Dominique Enright

The Wicked Wit of Winston Churchill by [Enright, Dominique]Sir Winston Churchill remains a British hero, lauded for his oratorical skill. He wrote histories, biographies, memoirs, and even a novel, while his journalism, speeches and broadcasts run to millions of words. From 1940 he inspired and united the British people and guided their war effort. Behind the public figure, however, was a man of vast humanity and enormous wit. His most famous speeches and sayings have passed into history but many of his aphorisms, puns and jokes are less well-known.

This enchanting collection brings together hundreds of his wittiest remarks as a record of all that was best about this endearing, conceited, talented and wildly funny Englishman.


6. The New Odyssey: The Story of Europe’s Refugee Crisis– Patrick Kingsley

Europe is facing a wave of migration unmatched since the end of World War II – and no one has reported on this crisis in more depth or breadth than the Guardian‘s migration correspondent, Patrick Kingsley. Throughout 2015, Kingsley travelled to 17 countries along the migrant trail, meeting hundreds of refugees making epic odysseys across deserts, seas and mountains to reach the holy grail of Europe.

This is Kingsley’s unparalleled account of who these voyagers are. It’s about why they keep coming, and how they do it. It’s about the smugglers who help them on their way, and the coastguards who rescue them at the other end. The volunteers that feed them, the hoteliers that house them, and the border guards trying to keep them out. And the politicians looking the other way.

The New Odyssey is a work of original, bold reporting written with a perfect mix of compassion and authority by the journalist who knows the subject better than any other.


7. The Girl on the Train– Paula Hawkins

23364977The debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people’s lives.

EVERY DAY THE SAME
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

UNTIL TODAY
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

“Nothing is more addicting than The Girl on the Train.”—Vanity Fair

The Girl on the Train has more fun with unreliable narration than any chiller since Gone Girl. . . . [It] is liable to draw a large, bedazzled readership.”—The New York Times

“Marries movie noir with novelistic trickery. . . hang on tight. You’ll be surprised by what horrors lurk around the bend.”—USA Today

“Like its train, the story blasts through the stagnation of these lives in suburban London and the reader cannot help but turn pages.”—The Boston Globe


⋅ See you soon at Chapters ⋅

 

 

Snippets of Wisdom from Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild”

This #1 New York Times bestseller received so much praise from readers all over the world.

Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, ‘Wild’ powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.

A true story that portrays Cheryl Strayed’s quest to make peace with herself and her daring adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail is guaranteed to change your life. Take a look at some of these beautiful quotes from the book.


“The universe, I’d learned, was never, ever kidding. It would take whatever it wanted and it would never give it back.”


“The father’s job is to teach his children how to be warriors, to give them the confidence to get on the horse to ride into battle when it’s necessary to do so. If you don’t get that from your father, you have to teach yourself.”


“I was a terrible believer in things,but I was also a terrible nonbeliever in things. I was as searching as I was skeptical. I didn’t know where to put my faith, or if there was such a place, or even what the word faith meant, in all of it’s complexity. Everything seemed to be possibly potent and possibly fake.”


“[Books] were the world I could lose myself in when the one I was actually living in became too lonely or harsh or difficult to bear.”

― Cheryl Strayed, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

“But I wasn’t out here to keep myself from having to say I am not afraid. I’d come, I realized, to stare that fear down, to stare everything down, really—all that I’d done to myself and all that had been done to me.”

 

There is no doubting the fact that this wonderful memoir will be loved and treasured for generations to come. We hope you are as convinced as we are!

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail- Cheryl StrayedClick here to browse “Wild” on our Web store.                                                                                                              Get your copy while stocks last!

From Paperback to the Big Screen: Top 6 Movie Books!

We know only too well, the excitement that brews around books being adapted to movies, be it children’s bestsellers or swoon-worthy romance.
This is our roundup of the best movie tie-in editions at Chapters that received critical acclaim among book lovers and film enthusiasts alike.

1. The Martian by Andy Weir

18007564A mission to Mars.
A freak accident.
One man’s struggle to survive.

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.
Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate the planet while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded on Mars’ surface, completely alone, with no way to signal Earth that he’s alive.
But Mark’s not ready to quit. Armed with nothing but his ingenuity and his engineering skills—and a gallows sense of humor that proves to be his greatest source of strength–he embarks on a dogged quest to stay alive, using his botany expertise to grow food and even hatching a mad plan to contact NASA back on Earth.
Grounded in real, present-day science from the first page to the last, yet propelled by a brilliantly ingenious plot that surprises the reader again and again, The Martian is a truly remarkable thriller: an impossible-to-put-down suspense novel that manages to read like a real-life survival tale.

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2. trumbo by bruce cook

Dalton Trumbo was the central figure in the “Hollywood Ten,” the blacklisted and jailed screenwriters. One of several hundred writers, directors, producers, and actors who were deprived of the opportunity to work in the motion picture industry from 1947 to 1960, he was the first to see his name on the screen again. When that happened, it was Exodus, one of the year’s biggest movies.

“Trumbo was that, certainly: a prodigy of the will. He hung in there—survived, prevailed, even triumphed on a couple of occasions. Ultimately, that is why he is worth our attention.”

This intriguing biography shows that all his life Trumbo was a radical of the homegrown, independent variety. From his early days in Colorado, where his grandfather was a county sheriff, to Los Angeles, where he organized a bakery strike, to bootlegging, to Hollywood, where he was the highest-paid screenwriter when he was blacklisted (and a man with constant money problems), his life rivaled anything he had written.

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3. Wild by cheryl strayed

At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trailwake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State — and she would do it alone.

Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.

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4. in the heart of the sea by nathaniel philbrick

In the Heart of the Sea brings to new life the incredible story of the wreck of the whaleship Essex—an event as mythic in its own century as the Titanic disaster in ours, and the inspiration for the climax of Moby-Dick. In a harrowing page-turner, Nathaniel Philbrick restores this epic story to its rightful place in American history.

Impeccably researched and beautifully told, the book delivers the ultimate portrait of man against nature, drawing on a remarkable range of archival and modern sources, including a long-lost account by the ship’s cabin boy. At once a literary companion and a page-turner that speaks to the same issues of class, race, and man’s relationship to nature that permeate the works of Melville, In the Heart of the Sea will endure as a vital work of American history.

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5. alice through the looking glass by lewis carroll

In 1865, English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832-1898), aka Lewis Carroll, wrote a fantastical adventure story for the young daughters of a friend. The adventures of Alice—named for one of the little girls to whom the book was dedicated—who journeys down a rabbit hole and into a whimsical underworld realm instantly struck a chord with the British public, and then with readers around the world. In 1872, in reaction to the universal acclaim *Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland* received, Dodgson published this sequel.

Nothing is quite what it seems once Alice journeys through the looking-glass, and Dodgson’s wit is infectious as he explores concepts of mirror imagery, time running backward, and strategies of chess-all wrapped up in the exploits of a spirited young girl who parries with the Red Queen, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, and other unlikely characters. In many ways, this sequel has had an even greater impact on today’s pop culture than the first book.

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6. the choice by nicholas sparks

#1 New York Times bestseller Nicholas Sparks turns his unrivaled talents 25402194to a new tale about love found and lost, and the choices we hope we’ll never have to make.

Travis Parker has everything a man could want: a good job, loyal friends, even a waterfront home in small-town North Carolina. In full pursuit of the good life – boating, swimming , and regular barbecues with his good-natured buddies — he holds the vague conviction that a serious relationship with a woman would only cramp his style. That is, until Gabby Holland moves in next door. Spanning the eventful years of young love, marriage and family, THE CHOICE ultimately confronts us with the most heartwrenching question of all: how far would you go to keep the hope of love alive?

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What books do you look forward to reading? Let us know!

June Picks: Best of Crime Fiction

 

Detectives, homicides and mysterious disappearances- such are the stories that attract countless readers into the genre of crime fiction and mystery.

Here is our roundup of the the most gripping, fast-paced crime/mystery/thrillers, that are sure to keep you at the edge of your seat!



  1. 1. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

    A debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at
    other people’s lives.
    Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

    And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

    Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

Tip: Perfect fit for fans of “Gone Girl” and “Pretty is”

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2. After Anna by Alex Lake

The real nightmare starts when her daughter is returned…

“The worst injuries are always self-inflicted, even if you do them for the best of reasons.”

A bone-chilling psychological thriller that will suit fans of Gone Girl by 25801299Gillian Flynn, Daughter by Jane Shemilt, and The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.

A girl is missing. Five years old, taken from outside her school. She has vanished, traceless. The police are at a loss; her parents are beyond grief. Their daughter is lost forever, perhaps dead, perhaps enslaved. But the biggest mystery is yet to come: one week after she was abducted, their daughter is returned. She has no memory of where she has been. And this, for her mother, is just the beginning of the nightmare.

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3. The Shut Eye by Belinda Bauer

27245646

Five footprints are the only sign that Daniel Buck was ever here.

And now they are all his mother has left.

Every day, Anna Buck guards the little prints in the cement. Polishing them to a shine. Keeping them safe. Spiralling towards insanity.
When a psychic offers hope, Anna grasps it. Who wouldn’t? Maybe he can tell her what happened to her son…
But is this man what he claims to be? Is he a visionary? A shut eye? Or a cruel fake, preying on the vulnerable?

Or is he something far, far worse?

‘The most polished crime writer on the murder beat . . . Exhausting, exhilarating and damn scary, another 24-carat creation from the Queen of Thrills’

-Daily Express

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4. The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton

On 24 November Yasmin and her ten-year-old daughter Ruby set off on a29979730 journey across Northern Alaska. They’re searching for Ruby’s father, missing in the artic wilderness.

More isolated with each frozen miles they cover, they travel deeper into an endless night. And Ruby, deaf since birth, must brave the darkness where sight cannot guide her.

She won’t abandon her father. But winter has tightened its grip, and there is somebody out there who wants to stop them.

Somebody tracking them through the dark.

Tip: We got a lot of praise from our customers on this one! Rosamund Lupton is also the author of Sister, a book crime fiction fans may be all too familar with.

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5. The Life and Death of Sophie Stark by Anna North

Gripping and provocative, The Life and Death of Sophie Stark tells a story of fame, love, and legacy through the propulsive rise of an iconoclastic artist.

23281949“It’s hard for me to talk about love. I think movies are the way I do that,” says Sophie Stark, a visionary and unapologetic filmmaker. She uses stories from the lives of those around her—her obsession, her girlfriend, and her husband—to create movies that bring her critical recognition and acclaim. But as her career explodes, Sophie’s unwavering dedication to her art leads to the shattering betrayal of the people she loves most.


Told in a chorus of voices belonging to those who knew her best, The Life and Death of Sophie Stark is an intimate portrait of an elusive woman whose monumental talent and relentless pursuit of truth reveal the cost of producing great art, both for the artist and for the people around her.

“It’s hard for me to talk about love,’ she said. ‘I think movies are the way I do that.”

Tip: If you loved reading “The Girl on the Train”, this is a book you cannot miss!

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6. In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

In a dark, dark wood
Nora hasn’t seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school 23346377one day and never went back.
There was a dark, dark house
Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen do arrives. Is this a chance for Nora to finally put her past behind her?
And in the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark room

But something goes wrong. Very wrong.
And in the dark, dark room….
Some things can’t stay secret for ever.

“The best thing about In A Dark, Dark Wood is the eerie atmosphere it creates for this ill-fated weekend, never overwrought, just ominous enough, the glass house where the guests are trapped ‘dark and silent, blending into the trees, almost invisible.’”

-USAToday.com
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7. Agatha Raisin books by M.C Beaton

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Agatha Raisin is a frustrated, yet endearing, PR agent who retires from London to Carsley village in the Cotswolds, English Midlands and solves murders. In the first book, Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death (1992), Agatha is 53, and ages slowly, setting up her own detective agency in Agatha Raisin and the Deadly Dance (2004). Police, even her friend Bill Wong, see more bumbling luck than skill.

She lives in the village of Carsely, but her detective agency Raisin Investigations and the police headquarters where Bill Wong is based are in the nearby town of Mircester. Even though Carsely and Mircester are fictional, they are based on true places; she does, however frequent Evesham, Moreton-in-Marsh, Stow-on-the-Wold, Chipping Campden and other nearby villages quite often. Agatha’s first case came when she first moved to Carsely and heard about a quiche competition. She promptly bought a spinach quiche in London from a famous quiche shop and entered it as her own. She was outraged she did not win but later the judge, Reg Cummings-Browne, took another slice and died from cowbane poisoning. Frustrated, Agatha set out to find the poisoner and clear her own name.


8. Tell No Tales by Eva Dolan

Detectives Zigic and Ferreira must investigate a hit-and-run that leaves two migrant workers dead and a series of horrific killings, seemingly with a Neo-Nazi motivation, captured on CCTVTell No Tales- Eva Dolan

The car that plows into the bus stop early one morning leaves a trail of
death and destruction behind it. DS Ferreira and DI Zigic are called in from the Peterborough Hate Crimes Unit to handle the hit-and-run, but with another major case on their hands, one with disturbing Neo-Nazi overtones, they are relieved when there seems to be an obvious suspect. But the case isn’t that simple and with tensions erupting in the town leading to more violence, the media are soon hounding them for answers.

Ferreira believes that local politician Richard Shotton, head of a recently established right-wing party, must be involved somehow. Journalists have been quick to acclaim Shotton, with his Brazilian wife and RAF career, as a serious contender for a major political career, despite his extremist views, but is his party a cover for something far more dangerous?

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9. The Stranger You Know by Jane Casey

16187115He meets women. He gains their trust. He kills them.

That’s all Maeve Kerrigan knows about the man she is hunting. Two women were strangled in their homes, and with no sign of a break-in, there’s no clue as to who might be responsible. Until there’s a third murder, and the finger is pointed at DCI Josh Derwent, Maeve’s colleague.

It isn’t the first time Derwent has been a suspect in a murder case, and these deaths bear an unsettling similarity to the last one he was accused of. Maeve refuses to believe he could be involved, but the secrets of his past begin to unravel. How well does she really know him?

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10. Hide and Seek by Jane Casey

‘If I hadn’t walked into the room at that moment, maybe everything would have 26006121worked out differently. Maybe everything would have been all right after all . . .’

Port Sentinel may be a beautiful seaside tourist trap, but in the short time Jess Tennant has lived there, it has seen its fair share of tragedy. Tragedy that somehow Jess keeps getting caught up in.

A schoolgirl from the town goes missing, leaving her diary behind and a lot of unanswered questions. Has she run away from her unhappy home or is there something much more sinister going on? And can Jess find her before it’s too late?

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11. The Missing by Jane Casey

7619060Jenny Shepherd is twelve years old and missing…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 has 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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12. After the Fire by Jane Casey

Arson, accident or murder?

After a fire rips through a North London tower block, two bodies are found24909778 locked in an 11th floor flat. But is the third victim that ensures the presence of detective Maeve Kerrigan and the murder squad. It appears that controversial MP Geoff Armstrong, trapped by the fire, chose to jump to his death rather than wait for rescue. But what was such a right wing politician doing in the deprived, culturally diverse Maudling Estate?

As Maeve and her senior colleague, Derwent, pick through the wreckage, they uncover the secret world of the 11th floor, where everyone seems to have something to hide…

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Disclaimer: The book descriptions are extracts taken from the publishers of the respective books.

A Literary Bouquet for Mothers!

mom

Mother’s Day is coming up fast on 8th May and if you’re looking for a perfect gift here are our picks for this special lady.

Show her how much you love her with these thoughtful gifts we’ve picked for her that are guaranteed to bring on a smile. Indulge mom further by bringing her to the Chapters Book Club meet up where we will be discussing work of the famous Bard “Shakespeare for grown-ups: Everything you need to know about the bard (Coats & Foley)” with Dr Devika Brendon.  Take a seat with mom and enjoy a pleasant evening at Chapters – coffee, books and great conversation is guaranteed to make a perfect evening.

  •  Listen to Your Mother: What She Said Then, What We’re Saying Now by Ann Imig

We all need a pick-me-up sometimes and this hardcover hilarious book of essays does just the job. The book is a compilation of personal thought-provoking essays on motherhood and maternal love.

“Listen to Your Mother is a fantastic awakening of why our mothers are important, taking readers on a journey through motherhood in all of its complexity, diversity, and humour.”

The stories in the book cover such different aspects of motherhood- from special needs parenting, LGBT, step-parenting, surrogacy, foster parenting and the list goes on. Notable bestselling authors Jenny Lawson and Jennifer Weiner are also among the contributors of this enthralling compilation.

“Brimming with essays from quick-witted, unique writers—ranging from new voices to established ones like Jenny Lawson and Jennifer Weiner—this book covers all parenting territory. Part of it is funny and a lot of it is tear-jerking… You may find yourself staying up way past your bedtime because this one is so hard to put down.”

Parents magazine

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  • Sleeping on Jupiter by Anuradha Roy

This amazing storyteller of an author may sound familiar for those who attended the Fairway Galle Literary Festival earlier this year. Anuradha25448677 Roy was the winner of the 2015 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature for Sleeping on Jupiter. The book is bound to suit reading enthusiasts of 21st century Asian literature and cultural fiction, among other genres. Sleeping on Jupiter received rave reviews from readers across the globe and has received critical acclaim from other contemporaries.

Readers can get an abundant view of modern day India and the relationships as well as religion and love that bind them together. The book is also highly recommended for those who are open to any genre, which in this case, is the ideal pick, owing to the authors fresh narrative and unique talent.

Read the original book description here.

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  • The Beekeeper’s Daughter by Santa Montefiore

19876015This book beautifully portrays the peerless relation between mothers and daughters. Brimming with emotion, The Beekeeper’s Daughter shifts between two time zones, that of 1932 England and 1973 Massachusetts.

This simple women’s fiction novel, being devoid of complicated details and numerous characters, is the ideal gift for mother’s who deserve some time apart from everyday stress. Santa Montefiore excels in creating a  rather impressive plot line that shows how far we’d go to find true love and the relationships that bind us, regardless of time and place.

“because in spite of the most terrible suffering, the heart goes on loving; that is the beauty of love.”

Tip: The ending will leave you with a good deal of emotion. Highly recommended for readers of contemporary and romantic fiction.

For full book description, click here.

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  • This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

(Featuring cover artwork from the major motion picture starring Jason Bateman, Tina Fey and Adam Driver)

20821338This book made us laugh out loud! The author of Everything Changes made headlines with this high spirited and entertaining novel of family, love marriage and divorce.

“The death of Judd Foxman’s father marks the first time that the entire Foxman clan has congregated in years. There is, however, one conspicuous absence: Judd’s wife, Jen, whose affair with his radio-shock-jock boss has recently become painfully public. Simultaneously mourning the demise of his father and his marriage, Judd joins his dysfunctional family as they reluctantly sit Shiva-and spend seven days and nights under the same roof. The week quickly spins out of control as longstanding grudges resurface, secrets are revealed and old passions are reawakened. Then Jen delivers the clincher: she’s pregnant.”

“It would be a terrible mistake to go through life thinking that people are the sum total of what you see.”


“Often sidesplitting, mostly heartbreaking…[Tropper is] a more sincere, insightful version of Nick Hornby, that other master of male psyche.” USA Today


This is Where I Leave You is a must read for anyone looking for a laugh!

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  • My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

    This powerful novel by award winning author Elizabeth Strout is one of those novels every book lover must own! My Name is Lucy Barton received much praise, being the April pick for our book club launch on April 3rd. This moving story between Lucy and her mother will make you question the unimaginable. Strout’s insight and powerful writing form the backbone of this literary masterpiece.

“It interests me how we find ways to feel superior to another person, another group of people. It happens everywhere, and all the time. Whatever we call it, I think it’s the lowest part of who we are, this need to find someone else to put down.”


Dr. Devika Brendon who leads our book club had this to say:

“Reading the book is like listening to Lucy Barton speak to you, like watching a person put a puzzle together, seeing how the pieces fit and arranging them in a way that makes sense to her at last. A tough, moving & realistic story told in the first person, about the need to survive when love is not there to rescue you.”


“A short novel about love, particularly the complicated love between mothers and daughters, but also simpler, more sudden bonds . . . It evokes these connections in a style so spare, so pure and so profound the book almost seems to be a kind of scripture or sutra, if a very down-to-earth and unpretentious one.”—Marion Winik, Newsday


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  • Rosa’s Thai Café- The Cookbook

Rosa's Thai Cafe: The CookbookBook Synopsis- In keeping with the contemporary twist on authentic Thai cuisine “Rosa’s Thai Café The Cookbook” celebrates traditional Thai cooking techniques. The book features over 100 recipes, including dishes from the menu at Rosa’s as well as family favourites and regional dishes from founder Saiphin Moore’s regular trips back home. Recipes range from the aromatic Beef Massaman Curry to the Soft Shell Crab Salad, Larb Spring Rolls, homemade Sriracha Sauce and Mangoes with Sticky Rice.

 

 Non book gifts

  • Bookend Singles

Made from just a single piece of thin, durable polypropylene, these inventive bookends use a novel ‘living hinge’ tosolve a usually bulky bookend problem. They fold flat (great for retailers), they stand up straight (great for books) and, ifwe do say so ourselves, they look pretty fab anywhere around the home – which is great for everyone else.

On the base, each has complimentary coloured grippy feet to keep them rock steady, the bookends can be easily wiped clean and, most importantly, they’re very, very strong!

Sold as singles, if you only want one, or why not mingle, mix and match your perfect bookend partner from a choice of 7punchy colours in our singles dating lounge (or display box!). Perfectly at home in the lounge, kitchen, study or children’s bedrooms and absolutely ideal everywhere in the office.

  • alphabooks

Notebook shaped in the letter A, filled with quality cream plain paper, over 100 sheets.
Alphabet Letter Notebook from the new Alphabooks range.

This particular Alphabook is a gorgeous notebook in the shape of the letters with a clever book spine so it would blend in on a bookshelf! It is a unique personal gift for a stationary fan or a nice accessory for someone that loves their home! A fantastic product!

Measurements Approximately 13 x 19 x 3cm

  • the brilliant reading rest

The Brilliant Reading Rest comes in glorious technicolor – in fact, seven rather dashing technicolors that are right on-trend.

This one is durable and wipe-cleanable making it particularly suitable for the kitchen or workshop. It can be easily adjusted to three angle settings and conveniently folds down flat when not in use. But when wouldn’t it be!??

We think it’s very much brilliant by name, brilliant by colour and all round brilliant by design. This one is certainly ready to stand up and be counted!

 

 

Chapters Book Club

Get booked at Chapters!

Up your reading game.  We have made it easy for you to commit to read this year. Join us at our Book Club to read an author you probably never heard of, brush up on Shakespeare as this is a year when the bard’s work will be performed in plenty around the world, read a very moving non-fiction memoir and take delight in a few blockbuster fiction titles that everyone will be talking about throughout the year. Save the dates.

The newly formed Chapters Book Club will meet throughout the year to discuss 6 interesting books which showcase survival, fulfillment and the importance of positively facing life’s challenges. Each book shows characters who develop confidence, strength and self-awareness and come to vital realizations about their lives. A variety of genres and styles will be covered.

Join us for 6 Book Club meetings this year. *Seats by reservation only

Minimum requirement: Purchase of Book Club books

The Book Club is especially suited for those with a passion for reading, writing and socializing. This is an ideal opportunity to meet like-minded people who will encourage you to make the commitment to keep reading this year. Those with an interest in joining the Chapters Associate Programme will find the Book Club especially advantageous. 

Notice – Date Changed from 27th March to 3rd April due to requests. 


The Chapters Book Club will launch on the 3rd of April 2016: 4.00 pm at Chapters


‘My name is Lucy Barton’ & ‘Shakespeare for Grown Ups’:   Led by Dr. Devika Brendon

Devika is an academic, teacher and writer of English literature. She loves reading so much that she reads about reading, reads about writing, writes about reading and dreams about what she reads.

 


Read on for the Book Club dates and reading lists:

Book Club Launch Pick

 3rd April 2016:   My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

*Leading up to National Mother’s Day – 8th May 2016

#1 NEW YORK TIMES   BESTSELLER • 

Literary Fiction ♦ Women’s Fiction

A new book by Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout is cause for celebration. Her bestselling novels, including Olive Kitteridge and The Burgess Boys, have illuminated our most tender relationships. Now, in My Name   Is Lucy Barton, this extraordinary writer shows how a simple hospital visit becomes a portal to the most tender relationship of all—the one between mother and daughter.

“Reading the book is like listening to Lucy Barton speak to you, like watching a person put a puzzle together, seeing how the pieces fit and arranging them in a way that makes sense to her at last. A tough, moving & realistic story told in the first person, about the need to survive when love is not there to rescue you.” Dr.  Devika Brendon.

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Themes> Maternal Love ♦ Trauma ♦ Family Life ♦ Contemporary Women


Lucy Barton is recovering slowly from what should have been a simple operation. Her mother, to whom she hasn’t spoken for many years, comes to see her. Gentle gossip about people from Lucy’s childhood in Amgash, Illinois, seems to reconnect them, but just below the surface lie the tension and longing that have informed every aspect of Lucy’s life: her escape from her troubled family, her desire to become a writer, her marriage, her love for her two daughters. Knitting this powerful narrative together is the brilliant storytelling voice of Lucy herself: keenly observant, deeply human, and truly unforgettable.

Praise for My Name Is Lucy Barton

“There is not a scintilla of sentimentality in this exquisite novel. Instead, in its careful words and vibrating silences, My Name Is Lucy Barton offers us a rare wealth of emotion, from darkest suffering to—‘I was so happy. Oh, I was happy’—simple joy.”—Claire Messud, The New York Times Book Review

“Spectacular . . . Smart and cagey in every way. It is both a book of withholdings and a book of great openness and wisdom. . . . [Strout] is in supreme and magnificent command of this novel at all times.”—Lily King, The Washington Post
 
“A short novel about love, particularly the complicated love between mothers and daughters, but also simpler, more sudden bonds . . . It evokes these connections in a style so spare, so pure and so profound the book almost seems to be a kind of scripture or sutra, if a very down-to-earth and unpretentious one.”—Marion Winik, Newsday
 
“Sensitive, deceptively simple . . . It is Lucy’s gentle honesty, complex relationship with her husband, and nuanced response to her mother’s shortcomings that make this novel so subtly powerful. . . . [It’s] more complex than it first appears, and all the more emotionally persuasive for it.”San Francisco Chronicle

“Strout maps the complex terrain of human relationships by focusing on that which is often unspoken and only implied. . . . A powerful addition to Strout’s body of work.”The Seattle Times

“Writing of this quality comes from a commitment to listening, from a perfect attunement to the human condition, from an attention to reality so exact that it goes beyond a skill and becomes a virtue.”—Hilary Mantel


8th May 2016: Shakespeare for Grown Ups by Elizabeth Foley, Beth Coates

*Celebrating the bard’s 400th birth anniversary

Drama ♦ Non-Fiction

Shakespeare for grown-ups

Need to swot up on your Shakespeare? If you’ve always felt a bit embarrassed at your precarious grasp on the plot of Othello, or you haven’t a clue what a petard – as in ‘hoist with his own petard’ – actually is, then fear not, because this, at last, is the perfect guide to bring you up to speed.

From the authors of the number-one bestselling Homework for Grown-ups, Shakespeare for Grown-ups is the essential book for anyone keen to deepen their knowledge of the Bard’s key plays and sonnets. For parents keen to help with their children’s homework, casual theatre-goers who want to enhance their enjoyment and understanding of the most-performed plays and the general reader who feels they should probably know more about Britain’s most splendid scribe, Shakespeare for Grown-ups covers the historical context of his writing; his personal life, contemporaries and influences; his language and poetic skill; the key themes of his oeuvre; his less familiar works and characters; modern-day adaptations and productions; theories about the authorship of his plays; his most famous speeches and quotations; phrases and words that have entered general usage, and much more.

With lively in-depth chapters on all the key works including Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing, Antony and Cleopatra, Richard II, Henry V, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice and Macbeth, Shakespeare for Grown-ups is the only guide to the Scribe you’ll ever need.

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Classic Novel Movie Night> To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

 This event has been cancelled as it coincides with Vesak celebrations.

*In celebration of Harper Lee’s life. 

Dramatic Fiction ♦ American Southern, Gothic ♦ Racial

The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the 8045416crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.

Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior—to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.

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24th July 2016: ‘Me Before You’ by Jojo Moyes

*Coincides with the movie release of the book in Summer 2016

Romantic Fiction ♦ Contemporary Fiction


Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.

“You only get one life. It’s actually your duty to live it as fully as possible”

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.

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4th September 2016: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K Rowling

*Coinciding with its expected publication in July 2016

Dramatic Fiction ♦ Fantasy

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, 29056083Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a new play by Jack Thorne, is the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. It will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on 30th July 2016

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.


16th October 2016: The Girl in the Spider’s Web by  David Lagercrantz

Thriller ♦ The Craft of a Sequel to a Trilogy ♦ Mystery/Crime

24789156She is the girl with the dragon tattoo—a genius hacker and uncompromising misfit. He is a crusading journalist whose championing of the truth often brings him to the brink of prosecution.

Late one night, Blomkvist receives a phone call from a source claiming to have information vital to the United States. The source has been in contact with a young female super hacker—a hacker resembling someone Blomkvist knows all too well. The implications are staggering. Blomkvist, in desperate need of a scoop for Millennium, turns to Salander for help. She, as usual, has her own agenda. The secret they are both chasing is at the center of a tangled web of spies, cyber criminals, and governments around the world, and someone is prepared to kill to protect it . . .

The duo who captivated millions of readers in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest join forces again in this adrenaline-charged, uniquely of-the-moment thriller.


20th November 2016: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Non-Fiction ♦ Memoir ♦ Cancer

At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality.

Paul Kalanithi died in March 2015, while working on this book, yet his words live on as a guide and a gift to us all. “I began to realize that coming face to face with my own mortality, in a sense, had changed nothing and everything,” he wrote. “Seven words from Samuel Beckett began to repeat in my head: ‘I can’t go on. I’ll go on.’” When Breath Becomes Air is an unforgettable, life-affirming reflection on the challenge of facing death and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a brilliant writer who became both.

Praise for When Breath Becomes Air:

“I guarantee that finishing this book and then forgetting about it is simply not an option. . . . Part of this book’s tremendous impact comes from the obvious fact that its author was such a brilliant polymath. And part comes from the way he conveys what happened to him—passionately working and striving, deferring gratification, waiting to live, learning to die—so well. None of it is maudlin. Nothing is exaggerated. As he wrote to a friend: ‘It’s just tragic enough and just imaginable enough.’ And just important enough to be unmissable.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times

“An emotional investment well worth making: a moving and thoughtful memoir of family, medicine and literature. It is, despite its grim undertone, accidentally inspiring.”The Washington Post

“Possesses the gravity and wisdom of an ancient Greek tragedy . . . [Kalanithi] delivers his chronicle in austere, beautiful prose. The book brims with insightful reflections on mortality that are especially poignant coming from a trained physician familiar with what lies ahead.”The Boston Globe

“Devastating and spectacular . . . [Kalanithi] is so likeable, so relatable, and so humble, that you become immersed in his world and forget where it’s all heading.”USA Today


We hope to see you there. Do not miss out on this unique opportunity!

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