Future Books

Books to Read  
Jul-Dec 2013

Future Books

Our Next Books 
Jul-Dec 2013


Great Expectations
by
Charles Dickens

Read it on your e-reader, tablet or PC
Authors we have read
Chinua Achebe
Chimamanda Adichie
Kingsley Amis
Martin Amis
Paul Auster
Pat Barker
Julian Barnes
JG Ballard
Saul Bellow
Heinrich Boll
Peter Carey
Lewis Carroll
Angela Carter
Justin Cartwright
Colette
Joseph Conrad
Anita Desai
Kiran Desai
Charles Dickens
JP Donleavy
Ralph Ellison
F Scott Fitzgerald
E M Forster
Elizabeth Grant
Graham Greene
Kate Grenville
Thomas Hardy
Ernest Hemingway
Alan Hollinghurst
Khaled Hosseini
Kazuo Ishiguro
PD James
Franz Kafka
Yasmina Khadra
Barbara Kingsolver
Matthew Kneale
Hanif Kureishi
DH Lawrence
Stanislaw Lem
Doris Lessing
Marina Lewycka
Amin Malouf
Hilary Mantel
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Carson McCullers
Javier Marias
Ian McEwan
John McGahern
Charlotte Mendelson
Andrew Miller
David Mitchell
Vladimir Nabokov
Irène Némirovsky
Jeff Noon
Ben Okri
Orhan Pamuk
Annie Proulx
Philip Pullman         
Ian Rankin
Philip Reeve
Philip Roth
Salman Rushdie
Jean-Paul Sartre
Gillian Slovo
Wesley Stace
John Steinbeck
Neal Stephenson
Kurt Vonnegut
Paul Waters
Evelyn Waugh
Jeanette Winterson
Virginia Wolf
Richard Yates
Marguerite Yourcenar

Reviews - 2012

 
Dickens @ 200

click here



2012

the 200th anniversary of the birth of

Charles Dickens 

author of the very first book the group read together:

Great Expectations

- and that was in 2005 





If, as has been recommended, you eat violet creams whilst reading Daughters of Jerusalem by Charlotte Mendelson, you may be struck how like a violet cream the book itself is: dark, outer layer which is Mendelson’s withering view of Oxford  College life and the soft, melting centre which is the lesbian love-affair ...


 February Review

Daughters of Jerusalem
by
Charlotte Mendelson

 March Review

The Sense of an Ending
by
Julian Barnes



 
The 2011 Man Booker committee recommended a second or even third reading of Julian Barnes’ winning title The Sense of an Ending, describing it as “incredibly concentrated” and containing “a great deal of information which you don’t get out of a first read.”
Some may regard it as a weakness that Barnes expects his readers to share his appetite for forensic analysis, self-referential irony and even long algebra... 




So what makes this book still a relevant work of SF, twenty years after its publication?  A few great ideas which maybe have progressed the computing world, plus plenty of fizz and fun. I, for one, won’t be feeling the same about my PC again and I certainly won’t be looking at any bitmaps any time soon. 
 April Review

Snow Crash
by
Neal Stephenson

Click here
 May Review

A Pair of Blue Eyes
by
Thomas Hardy

Click here

 


Elfride Swancourt, sweet, virtuous and wronged heroine of Hardy’s novel A Pair of Blue Eyes (1873) was Hardy’s third published attempt to portray a female character before Bathsheba Everdene burst full-bloodedly on the world stage in the first of the Wessex novels Far From the Madding Crowd... In summer 1873 we have Hardy poised on the brink of creating one of his first memorable heroines, Bathsheba, after having written his least memorable one, Elfride. So what made Hardy miss the mark a third time with his heroine in A Pair of Blue Eyes? 


Wasn’t it Samuel Johnson who said of some hapless writer’s work “This is a good and original book. Unfortunately the parts that are good are not original and the parts that are original are not good”? 

This would seem a helpful critical measure for any hard-pressed editor. All Souls, by Javier Marias (written in 1989 and first published in Britain by Harvill, an imprint of Harper Collins in 1992) must not have had Dr. Johnson’s handy formula applied to it, for then someone in the editing team might have spotted that there are really no good parts in this book at all, let alone original ones. 
June Review

All Souls
by
Javier Marias

Click here 
 
July Review

Pure
by
Andrew Miller

Click here


 
The question was, what would a writer like Miller, well-known for his unsqueamish, even morbid preoccupation with death in his other writings, do with the run-up to a revolution so utterly given over to violence, the rule of disorder and the industrial mechanization of killing?  The answer is, he largely avoids it, opting rather for a much smaller story, one which runs parallel to the main narrative of history and shares with it similar themes of upheaval and change, life and death.
 


Colette was a ground-breaker as regards society’s view of women and through a period of over thirty years of journalism, it was her objective to present L’opinion d’une femme in a men’s world. 
Claudine is none other than Colette at the beginning of her education in the survival game of sexual politics...
 August Review

Claudine at School
by
Colette

Click here
 September Review

The Lost Honour of Katarina Blum

by Heinrich Böll

Click here

 
I can’t help drawing some parallels between Rushdie’s struggle for freedom and that of Heinrich Böll a generation before him. In some essential ways the world doesn’t seem to have moved on:  both writers were forced into exile - for Böll it was being torn from his studies and conscripted into the Wehrmacht at the beginning of the Second World War, for Rushdie it was being told he couldn’t go home because the whole Muslim world was out to kill him. Both writers have had their understanding of justice, human rights and the freedom of speech sharpened via a harsh first-hand encounter with totalitarianism.

 
This week’s news heaps further iniquity on inequity as we learn that the large corporations such as Amazon, Google, Facebook and Starbucks are avoiding tax in excess of amounts which could easily pay off the deficit under which we are all groaning.
 October Review

Other People's Money

by Justin Cartwright

Click here
 November Review

Half of a Yellow Sun
&
Purple Hibiscus

by Chimamanda Adichie

Click here





Chimamanda Adichie, born in 1977 in Abba, Anambra State, Nigeria, of middle-class academic parents, is fiercely proud of her Igbo culture and language. After her strong debut novel Purple Hibiscus, what we have in Half of a Yellow Sun is undesirably backward-looking for a young writer who needs to find (and sustain) a new vision. 
 

What links Sherlock Holmes’ sleuthing genius and the hyper-brain of a 21st century London cabbie apart from Holmes’ “extraordinary knowledge of the byways of London”, is his lightning ability to identify ... the small detail, insignificant to ordinary folk, but which can point in a deadly direction. It is this preparation of detail where a practiced crime writer like James excels ...
December Review
Death Comes to Pemberley
by P.D. James


Future Books

Our Next Books 
Jul-Dec 2013


Authors we have read
Chinua Achebe
Chimamanda Adichie
Kingsley Amis
Martin Amis
Paul Auster
Pat Barker
Julian Barnes
JG Ballard
Saul Bellow
Heinrich Boll
Peter Carey
Lewis Carroll
Angela Carter
Justin Cartwright
Colette
Joseph Conrad
Anita Desai
Kiran Desai
Charles Dickens
JP Donleavy
Ralph Ellison
F Scott Fitzgerald
E M Forster
Elizabeth Grant
Graham Greene
Kate Grenville
Thomas Hardy
Ernest Hemingway
Alan Hollinghurst
Khaled Hosseini
Kazuo Ishiguro
PD James
Franz Kafka
Yasmina Khadra
Barbara Kingsolver
Matthew Kneale
Hanif Kureishi
DH Lawrence
Stanislaw Lem
Doris Lessing
Marina Lewycka
Amin Malouf
Hilary Mantel
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Carson McCullers
Javier Marias
Ian McEwan
John McGahern
Charlotte Mendelson
Andrew Miller
David Mitchell
Vladimir Nabokov
Irène Némirovsky
Jeff Noon
Ben Okri
Orhan Pamuk
Annie Proulx
Philip Pullman         
Ian Rankin
Philip Reeve
Philip Roth
Salman Rushdie
Jean-Paul Sartre
Gillian Slovo
Wesley Stace
John Steinbeck
Neal Stephenson
Kurt Vonnegut
Paul Waters
Evelyn Waugh
Jeanette Winterson
Virginia Wolf
Richard Yates
Marguerite Yourcenar

Future Books

Our Chosen Books 
Jul-Dec 2013