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Book Club Recommendations for January

Book Club Recommendations for January

We are very excited to welcome you to the New Year with our book club recommendations for January! This will be a monthly feature where we highlight popular books perfect for your next book club meeting.

Rachel's Holiday - Marian Keyes - R165

9780241958438 - Rachel's Holiday - Marian Keyes This is a slightly older one, and if your book club has had a rich, long history, you may even have read it together back in the 90s! But if you haven't met Rachel Walsh (or you need a refresher on her story) it's the perfect time to introduce yourself, with the sequel coming in March!

The fast lane is much too slow for Rachel Walsh. And Manhattan seems like the perfect place for a young Irish woman to lavish in excess. But when Rachel's love of a good time lands her in the emergency room, it also costs her a job and the boyfriend she adores.

When her loving family intervenes to bring her back home, and checks her into Ireland's answer to the Betty Ford Clinic, Rachel is hopeful. Perhaps it will be lovely - spa treatments, celebrities, that kind of thing. Instead, she finds a lot of group therapy, which leads her, against her will, to some important self-knowledge. She will also find something that all women like herself fear: a man who might actually be good for her.

Pre-order Again, Rachel here.

Midnight in Everwood - M. A. Kuzniar - R330

9780008450670 - midnight in everwood - ma kuzniar

If your book club loves a dash of magic in your historical fiction, this beautifully written Nutcracker retelling is for you. I was sold as soon as it was compared to Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus and Stephanie Garber's Caraval!


'It was a rainy day that the magic came, and once magic has entered your life, you stay in its glittering clutch forever'


Nottingham, 1906

Marietta Stelle longs to be a ballerina but as Christmas draws nearer, her dancing days are numbered. At the wishes of her family, she will be obligated to marry and take up her place in society in the New Year. But when a mysterious toymaker, Dr Drosselmeier, purchases a neighbouring townhouse, it heralds the arrival of magic and wonder in her life. Although Drosselmeier's magic is darker than Marietta could have imagined...

When he constructs an elaborate theatrical set for her final ballet performance, Marietta discovers it carries a magic all of its own. As the clock chimes midnight, Marietta finds herself walking through a land of snow-topped fir trees leading to a frozen sugar palace silent with secrets... Will she find a way to return home?

The City of Mist - Carlos Ruiz Zafón - R355

9781474623124 - city of mist - carlos ruiz zafon Carlos Ruiz Zafón's most notable series, The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, has enthralled readers around the world for two decades. His final book, The City of Mist, gathers a collection of stories that will resonate with existing fans and serve as a perfect introduction to new readers.

A boy decides to become a writer when he discovers that his creative gifts capture the attentions of an aloof young beauty who has stolen his heart.

A labyrinth maker flees Constantinople to a plague ridden Barcelona, with plans for building a library impervious to the destruction of time.

A strange gentleman tempts Cervantes to write a book like no other, each page of which could prolong the life of the woman he loves.

And a brilliant Catalan architect named Antoni Gaudi reluctantly agrees to cross the ocean to New York, a voyage that will determine the fate of an unfinished masterpiece.

The Last Beekeeper - Siya Turabi - R330

9780008509552 last beekeeper siya turabi
This lyrical debut explores family, friendship, self-discovery, the power of choice in a changing world, and love in communion with nature. It is perfect for fans of Christy Lefteri, Yann Martel, and Khaled Hosseini.

Pakistan, 1974

The secret-wreathed trees of Harikaya have always called to Hassan. He must find the last beekeeper and salvage a precious jar of his mythical black honey before the floods come, or his mother will lose her sight.

But then he wins a scholarship to study with the state governor in Karachi amidst a brewing storm of political turmoil and simmering espionage, and his world is turned upside down when he meets Maryam, the governor’s niece visiting from London.

All the while the fate of his mother and his promise to the bees calls him back to the forest, leaving him to decide: Maryam or the beekeeper, England or Pakistan, his head or his heart.

Sequels to popular book club books:

*The below synopses contain spoilers for earlier books in the series.

Oh William! (My Name is Lucy Barton 2) - Elizabeth Strout - R330

9780241508176 oh william elizabeth strout Fans of My Name is Lucy Barton, rejoice as she returns - decades older but perhaps not wiser - in Oh William!

'This is the way of life,' Lucy says. 'The many things we do not know until it is too late.'

Lucy Barton is a successful writer living in New York, navigating the second half of her life as a recent widow and parent to two adult daughters. A surprise encounter leads her to reconnect with William, her first husband - and longtime, on-again-off-again friend and confidante.

Recalling their college years, the birth of their daughters, the painful dissolution of their marriage, and the lives they built with other people, Elizabeth Strout weaves a stunningly subtle portrait of a decades-long partnership.

This luminous novel uncovers the myriad mysteries that make up a marriage. It explores how discovering family secrets late in life rearranges everything we think we know about those closest to us. And mostly, it is a testament to the way people continue to live and love, against all odds.

The Becoming (The Dragon Heart Legacy 2) - Nora Roberts - R310

9780349426402 the becoming - dragon heart legacy 2 - nora roberts Book 1 in The Dragon Heart Legacy - The Awakening - saw Breen Kelly making a leap into the unknown with a summer trip to Ireland in search of her father. That fateful trip led to her finding a portal into another world - Talamh - where she will find magic, family and a destiny beyond her wildest dreams.
They waited, knowing the god threatened all worlds. He would again seek the blood of his blood, and the wheel would turn so the time would come when the Talamhish could no longer stop him. She, the bridge between worlds, must return and awaken, must become and must choose to risk all to destroy the god.

Breen is welcomed by most of her family and friends but there is one who is far from welcoming. Her grandfather - the outcast god, Odran - plots to destroy Talamh and now all must unite to defeat his dark forces.

There will be losses and sorrows, betrayal and bloodshed. But through it, Breen Siobhan Kelly will take the next step on the journey to becoming all that she was born to be.

Go Tell the Bees that I am Gone (Outlander 9) - Diana Gabaldon - R355

9781780894140 go tell the bees that i am outlander 9 diana gabaldon Fans of Jamie and Claire will rejoice as the duo return in their first full-length novel since 2014!

Jamie Fraser and Claire Randall were torn apart by the Jacobite Rising of 1745, and it took them twenty years to find each other again. Now the American Revolution threatens to do the same.

It is 1779 and Claire and Jamie are at last reunited with their daughter, Brianna, her husband, Roger, and their children on Fraser's Ridge. Having the family together is a dream the Frasers had thought impossible.

Yet even in the North Carolina backcountry, the effects of war are being felt. Tensions in the Colonies are great and local feelings run hot. Jamie knows loyalties among his own tenants are split and the war is on his doorstep.

Not so far away, young William Ransom is still coming to terms with the discovery of his true father's identity - and thus his own. Lord John Grey also has reconciliations to make and dangers to meet. On his son's behalf...and his own.

Meanwhile, the Southern Colonies blaze, and the Revolution creeps ever closer to Fraser's Ridge. And Claire is left to wonder how much of the blood to be spilt will belong to those she loves.

For many of us readers, our New Year's Resolutions will reflect our love of literature. Do you want to read more books? Read more diversely? Engage with the books you read on a deeper level?

Book clubs can help with all of that!

Need some convincing on why book clubs are important? Apart from the social aspect (who doesn't love sharing a book they loved with a captive audience over a glass of wine?), there are numerous reasons book clubs will deepen your love affair with reading even further!

Book clubs often encourage you to read outside your comfort zone, opening your mind to the perspectives of different people and cultures, and allowing you to grow as a person. You may discover new favourite books and authors you would never have tried otherwise!

Hearing different points of view on the same book can also deepen your understanding of it. Someone who is traditionally a thriller reader might have unique insight into a romance novel, because of - not in spite of - the fact that they are not as versed in the patterns and motifs of the genre.

Sometimes even just sharing your own thoughts out loud can trigger additional realisations!

Are you thinking of joining a book club in 2022? Are you already part of one? Let us know in the comments!
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Wordsworth - February 18, 2022

This sounds wonderful, Sandra! I’m part of an online book club and often find I think a lot more seriously about the books I read for that. Knowing I’ll need to discuss them after definitely encourages me to retain the information better and take better notice of the themes and motifs.

I hope your leeskring continues to thrive!

Sandra Louw - February 18, 2022

I joined a “leeskring” in my town a number of years ago, and what an enriching experience it has been. Our focus is the books, not totally the social, and as an ex-English teacher, who is bilingual anyway, I have found it good for my retired brain to think seriously about a book. We all read the same book before the time, and then discuss it after a member has presented her take on the book. We read both English and Afrikaans, and sometimes have a speaker. Last Friday of the month is everyone’s favourite day!

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