For our January meeting the group shared what they have been reading over the holidays. Here are some of their suggestions  for books you might like to consider reading.  All were rated highly by group members.

We had two boooks by Alexander McCall Smith.  One is a stand alone book called La’s orchestra saves the world.  La escapes World War 11 London and a shattered marriage and relocates to a small English village where she sets up an orchestra to boost the morale of  local people and give her life a purpose.  A book which celebrates the healing powers of music and friendship.

The other book by Alexander Mc Call Smith is titled Miracle at Speedy Motors. It tells of another of the adventures of Mma Ramotswe of Number 1 detective agency fame and  features an adopted child’s search for her true family,  and Mr Matekoni’s pursuit of an expensive miracle for a foster daughter Motholeli.

Another group member read The shadow of the wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.  She enjoyed it but found it an involved read.  It is set in post Civil War Barcelona and tells of Daniel, whose father takes him to the Secret Cemetery of Forgotten Books. He is allowed to take one book and must protect it for life.  He selects a book called Shadow of the wind by Julian Carax and is completely engrossed, but when he attempts to find other books by that author he can find none.  All he comes across are stories of a strange man, who calls himself Lain Coubert, and he has been seeking out Carax’s books,  and burning them.

Shantaram was read and greatly enjoyed by another group member.  This is a novel influenced by real events in the life of Australian Gregory David Roberts, who was sentenced to prison in 1978 for a series of armed robberies but escaped and became one of Australia’s most wanted men for ten years.  He ended up in India and the book tells of his adventures there, and his later travels.

The Chapel at the end of the world is the first book by Kirsten McKenzie. This book was inspired by true events in the Orkney Islands during World War 11.  A young Italian couple are separated.  He becomes a prisoner of war on Orkney where he and other POWs build a chapel  from salvaged materials and paint while his fiancee remains on the shores of Lake Como working in her mother’s hotel and later becoming involved in the resistance movement.  Our member enjoyed this book very much.

Diane Group Coordinator