Lady Chatterley’s Lover – D H Lawrence

lady cahtterley's loverREAD FOR BOOKCLUB

Chosen by Suzy

Lady Chatterley’s Lover was published in 1928 and became notorious for its story of a relationship between a working-class man and an upper-class woman, its explicit descriptions of sex, and its use of then-unprintable words.

♥ “Thoughts” – Suzy

♥ “The shock factor of this book is obviously no longer so relevant but bearing the age of the book in mind as I read made it more fascinating.” – Rachel

♥ “Thoughts” – Nadine

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Published 1928
Tipografia Giuntina
352 pages

The Child In Time – Ian McEwan

child in timeREAD FOR BOOKCLUB

Chosen by Nadine

The Child In Time is set in a dystopian future and details the consequences for a couple whose child is snatched during a routine supermarket visit.

♥ “Thoughts” – Nadine

♥ “Thoughts” – Suzy

♥ “A very difficult book to read for the searing possibilities of ‘what if’. But it is the haunting nature of it which makes it outstanding. I will never forget that line ‘she was a lovely daughter’ … This book made me cry, and though I loath being traumatised, I love being so emotionally affected by a novel. The dystopian future is constructed well, London is a city of unemotional, faceless crowds, and various wars are underway, but it is not too far-fetched so as to distract you from the real story, which is Stephen’s anguish over the abduction.” – Rachel

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Published 1987
250 pages

Back Booker 2001

2001Bookerthons are proving so much fun we’ve decided to back track, and maybe one day be able to say we’ve completed a Bookerthon for every year it’s been awarded.

We begin with 2001 – perhaps only for the opportunity to read Atonement again! But there were another five thought-provoking books to add to our has-been-read list and that’s always a bonus.

While we can’t predict the winner, we’ll outline our thoughts and pick our favourites instead, all done in the beautiful Marlborough Sounds on a girls’ weekend.

We are both biased in an Ian McEwan kind of way and therefore are surprised he didn’t win in 2001. Wouldn’t it be nice to know the workings of the judges’ minds. All of the other shortlisters are varied and interesting but Atonement does shine above the rest.

Without this taking top place, it is good to see an Australian story take out the prize. It’s an entertaining and educational book and deserves recognition, even if it is bizarre how Australians revere their most famous criminal!

The Dark Room, a war story through a child’s eyes, is moody and full of imagery and quite affecting. Hotel World is a postmodern work of art that details the passing of time like checking out of a hotel, and Oxygen lingers on the failings of its protagonist with in a peculiarly beautiful way.

Number9dream in itself is an enjoyable book, albeit plot heavy, and Suzy viewed it favourably, but Rachel couldn’t help but make many comparisons to Haruki Murakami’s work and as a result couldn’t take this book seriously.

Best book 1-6: Suzy:
Atonement
Hotel World
True History of the Kelly Gang
Number9dream
The Dark Room
Oxygen

Best book 1-6: Rachel:
Atonement
The Dark Room
True History of the Kelly Gang
Hotel World
Oxygen
Number9dream

Disgrace – J M Coetzee

READ FOR BOOKCLUB

Chosen by Rachel

David Lurie is a South African professor of English who loses everything and takes refuge on his daughter’s farm on the Eastern Cape as he seeks redemption. Disgrace won the Booker Prize and the Nobel Prize.

♥ “Let’s be honest here, Disgrace is somber, haunting and a little disturbing. But there’s something highly rewarding about it, too. I may have been reading between my fingers in some cases but I could not put the book down.  The characters are, for better or worse, alluring, and the theme of redemption is an emotional pull, especially with the realisation that David Lurie’s story is a small scale reflection of South Africa’s political and discriminatory problems. I will never forget this book. The movie does it justice too, John Malkovich as David Lurie – wow.” – Rachel

♥ “And from me …..” – Suzy

♥ “I thought …” – Nadine

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Published 1999
Secker & Warburg
218 pages

The Whale Rider – Witi Ihimaera

whale riderREAD FOR BOOKCLUB

Chosen by Suzy

Paikea Apirana is a 12-year-old Maori girl who wants to become the chief of her tribe, but must battle her grandfather Koro to make herself heard.

♥ “If you are a New Zealander and you haven’t read this book then for the love of God at least go and see the bloody movie!  But preferably read the book.  Yes it’s essentially a children’s book but I was as happily enthralled in this as I have been in any novel written for adults.  HURRY UP! READ IT!!” – Suzy

♥ “Usually I read the book and don’t even watch the movie!, but did enjoy them in reverse in this instance. And I think it ruined the book for me a little as I couldn’t help but picture the movie as I read. Nonetheless, this is an excellent book that every New Zealander and every child trying to find their place in the world should read.” – Rachel

♥ “I thought …” – Nadine

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Published

Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides

MiddlesexREAD FOR BOOKCLUB

Chosen by Nadine

Middlesex is a Pulitzer Prize winning novel which chronicles the impact of an intersex gene on three generations of a Greek family.

♥ “Middlesex takes you on a sweeping journey and was quite different to what you might expect from a book about a hermaphrodite. I liked  it, but upon reflection think something didn’t quite gel for me.” – Nadine

♥ “Carefully handled story of a hermaphrodite who struggles with identity issues. Tracing the gene through generations of family provided many interesting stories and gave the story more of an epic feel. An intriguing book that covers a unique topic, with charming characters to lead you through the story.” – Rachel

♥ “Thoughts” – Suzy

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Published 2002
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
544 pages

2008 – The First Rule of Bookclub

2008Actually there is no first rule of bookclub, that’s the fabulous thing about it. The phrase, obviously borrowed from Chuck Palahniuk’s The Fight Club, was actually initiated by the husbands, perhaps mockingly, though I’d hope in a jealous of-our-bond kind of way. (I’m sure it’s not because they don’t want to hear about it … ?!) Whatever the case, the phrase appears to have stuck and has come to mean everything and also nothing, for there are no rules in bookclub but it is everything to us. 🙂

In 2008 all three bookclubbers remain. Fully engaged and into the swing of things we are eager to explore more authors and genres and share our past literary loves.

We have chosen four books each over the year and plan to meet every three weeks. Many of our choices are classics though we’ve thrown in a couple of modern New Zealand novels and a fictionalised non-fiction, too.

Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides
The Whale Rider – Witi Ihimaera
Disgrace – J M Coetzee
The Child In Time – Ian McEwan
Lady Chatterley’s Lover – D H Lawrence
Accordion Crimes – Annie Proulx
The God Of Small Things – Arundhati Roy
In Cold Blood – Truman Capote
The Sound of Butterflies – Rachael King
Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
And Then There Were None – Agatha Christie
The Plague – Albert Camus