The Bone People – Keri Hulme

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READ FOR BOOKCLUB

Chosen by Suzy

A New Zealand book which won the Man Booker Prize in 1985. It is an unusual love story, depicting a utopian unity between Maori and Western culture.

“I felt uncomfortable for most of the time I was reading The Bone People.  A lot of the content is grim – chick-lit it ain’t.  A stunning read though.  And winning the 1985 Booker Prize is way more significant and exciting than the 1987 Rugby World Cup, okay?!” – Suzy

The Bone People really got under my skin. Although it was disturbing, I felt a strange connection to this book that just wouldn’t leave me.” – Nadine

“The beautiful NZ coastlines, Maori myth and legend and the startling storyline are captivating in The Bone People, and so well done it was as if I was standing on a desolate West Coast beach as I reading. Desperately moving story. I also enjoyed hearing about the author and the story behind the story, which made the final result more of a masterpiece in my eyes.” – Rachel

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Published 1985
Penguin Books
450 pages

Life of Pi – Yann Martel

LifeofPi

READ FOR BOOKCLUB

Chosen by Nadine

A Canadian fantasy adventure in which the protagonist, Pi, is shipwrecked and must endure life at sea with a Bengal Tiger.

“I really enjoyed Life of Pi, especially the twist at the end. Although, I still have some unanswered questions like who was the Frenchman?!” – Nadine

“I have solidly resisted watching the movie, despite it’s fantastic reviews.  Would much rather keep the story’s amazing imagery firmly slotted into my own imagination.  I found this book uncomfortable reading at the best of times, but overall I thoroughly enjoyed it.  A classic.” – Suzy

“Love a seemingly simple story with a twist. What’s more, love a book that makes me turn back to page one immediately upon completion for a re-read! Martel writes as if combining fact and fiction, with a narrator who is likeable and believable. The zoo animals and Pi’s ringmaster type control of them lends the book a fable type atmosphere that kept me spellbound. A clever and interesting story.” – Rachel

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Published 2003
Mariner Books
236 pages

The Catcher In The Rye – J D Salinger

catcher-in-the-rye-2READ FOR BOOKCLUB

Chosen by Suzy

Controversial when published in 1951, The Catcher In The Rye quickly achieved a cult following, and its protagonist Holden Caulfield became an icon for teenage rebellion.

“I have read this book every 2-3 years since I was a teenager and Holden Caulfield is still one of my all-time favourite anti-heroes.  Many of the book’s characters & their traits are so recognisable.  I heart you Holden, although it worries me that as I get closer to 40 years old I still find you so relatable xx.   ” – Suzy

“An advantage of reading a classic some decades after it’s been written is the ability to recognise the influence said work has had on many modern day novels. Felt like I had known this story all my life and absorbed it fully and willingly. A must read.” – Rachel

“A classic for good reason, loved it!” – Nadine

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Published 1951
Little Brown & Co
224 pages

Vernon God Little – DBC Pierre

VGLREAD FOR BOOKCLUB:

Chosen by Rachel

A 2003 novel that explores the world’s obsession with America. This black comedy details the aftermath of a school yard shooting and is written in a contemporary vernacular.

“Startling satirical comments regarding a school yard mass murder was initially a difficult concept to grasp. War satire has been done to death (pun intended) but school shootings, at a time when they were leading the news, was another story. But once Vernon sucked me in, there was no going back and I had to hear his story, prepared to be entertained but also shocked. A powerful book that has stayed with me.” – Rachel

“I remember this was the very first novel our bookclub looked at.  I still remember Nadine’s insights too, picking up so much that I had missed!  A sad, angry, entertaining read.  Interesting author information too for Dirty But Clean Pierre.” – Suzy

“I really liked this book. For me it sparked my love of reading again. Yay! I enjoyed the dark humour and found it very refreshing.” – Nadine

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Published 2003
Faber & Faber
288 pages

2007 – The First Draft

2007 listThe first draft, or when an idea grows out of the speculative stage and into implementation. The first draft, or when execution is in a formative state and those involved seem to tip toe around each other, around the idea, feeling their way, excited and energised about what could be.

This was us in 2007 when bookclub became more than a thought; more than a dream! The concept was thrown out there, I mean our love of literature was apparent but it was our desire to form a serious bookclub that propelled us. Less women’s group, more English Lit lecture.

So we threw it out there into the universe and the universe answered. Here’s what we achieved: three founding members, Suzy, Rachel and Nadine who alternated between one another’s book choices (which were picked  at random) and one another’s homes for nibbles, dessert and a glass of wine. 

Crazily, we met every two to three weeks at the start (first drafts are meant to be revised!), so we happily got through many books in that first year. But it was never a struggle, never a chore. We were three mothers with young children in bed early and minds that needed stimulation. Bookclub was the answer.

Here, we outline our thoughts on each book. This blog was not built at this time but at a later date, so we are trusting our fading memories for posts this far back, but then good books stay with you forever, don’t they?

2007 Reading Schedule

Vernon God Little – DBC Pierre
The Catcher In The Rye – J D Salinger
Life of Pi – Yann Martel
Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro
The Bone People – Keri Hulme
To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee
The Blind Assassin – Margaret Atwood
Everything Is Illuminated – Jonathan Safran Foer
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle – Haruki Murakami
The Accidental – Ali Smith
She’s Come Undone – Wally Lamb
Teh Red Tent – Anita Diamant
The People’s Act Of Love – James Meek
The Unconsoled – Kazuo Ishiguro
Atonement – Ian McEwan
The Metamorphosis – Franz Kafka