Reading Group Collection List Updated May 2016


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LEVY, Andrea

The Long Song

Set in Jamaica during the last turbulent years of slavery and the early years of freedom that followed, this novel follows the life of July, a slave girl, who lives upon a sugar plantation named Amity.

LEWIS, Caryl

Martha, Jack and Shanco

The coldness of the climate, the dark, the harshness of country life: all are woven into the fabric of a raw and timeless story where the portrayal of the animal world is unflinching, and the human beast plods on relentlessly toward what seems the inevitability of the tragic end.


A Short History of Tractors in Ukranian

For years, Nadezhda and Vera have had as little as possible to do with each other. But now they find they'd better learn how to get along, because since their mother's death their ageing father has been sliding into his second childhood, and an alarming new woman has just entered his life.

LIVELY, Penelope

How It All Began

When Charlotte is mugged and breaks her hip, her daughter Rose cannot accompany her employer, Lord Peters, to Manchester, which means his niece, Marion, has to go instead, which means she sends a text to her lover, which is intercepted by his wife, which is just the beginning in the ensuing chain of life-altering events.

LODGE, David

Deaf Sentence

Professor Desmond Bates is not enjoying his early retirement. Worst of all is his hearing loss, a constant source of domestic friction and social embarrassment. Through his deafness he meets a young woman whose wayward behaviour threatens to destabilize his life completely.

McCARTHY, Cormac

The Road

A father and his young son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. Their destination is the coast, although they don't know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing but a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road.



Traumatised by an accident which 'involved something falling from the sky' and leaves him eight and a half million pounds richer but hopelessly estranged from the world around him, the hero of this novel spends his time and money obsessively reconstructing and re-enacting vaguely remembered scenes and situations from his past.



'Saturday' is a novel set within a day in February 2003. Henry is a contented man, but what troubles him is the state of the world. Following a minor car accident, he meets a small-time thug called Miller. This meeting has savage consequences.



The Children Act

Fiona Maye is a leading High Court judge, presiding over cases in the family court. She is renowned for her fierce intelligence, exactitude and sensitivity. But her professional success belies private sorrow and domestic strife. There is the lingering regret of her childlessness, and now, her marriage of thirty years is in crisis. Fiona Maye is a leading High Court judge, presiding over cases in the family court. She is renowned for her fierce intelligence, exactitude and sensitivity. But her professional success belies private sorrow and domestic strife. There is the lingering regret of her childlessness, and now, her marriage of thirty years is in crisis. At the same time, she is called on to try an urgent case: for religious reasons, a beautiful seventeen-year-old boy, Adam, is refusing the medical treatment that could save his life, and his devout parents share his wishes. Time is running out. Should the secular court overrule sincerely held faith? In the course of reaching a decision Fiona visits Adam in hospital - an encounter which stirs long-buried feelings in her and powerful new emotions in the boy. Her judgment has momentous consequences for them both.

McLAIN, Paula

The Paris Wife

Chicago, 1920: Hadley Richardson is a quiet 28-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness, until she meets Ernest Hemingway. After a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for Paris, where they soon fall in with a circle of lively and volatile expatriates, including F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald and Ezra Pound.

MADELEY, Richard

The Way You Look Tonight

From the author of the bestselling 'Some Day I'll Find You' comes a mesmerising story of deadly obsession, taking us deep into the mind of a killer and of the young woman sent by the White House to help track him down.

MANTEL, Hilary

Bring Up The Bodies

The sequel to 'Wolf Hall', 'Bring up the Bodies' explores one of the most mystifying and frightening episodes in English history: the destruction of Anne Boleyn.

MANTEL, Hilary

Wolf Hall

England, the 1520s. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is his chief advisor, charged with securing the divorce the pope refuses to grant. Into this atmosphere of distrust and need comes Thomas Cromwell, first as Wolsey's clerk, and later his successor.  

MARQUEZ, Gabriel Garcia

Love In The Time Of Cholera

An old man and his childhood sweetheart are united for the first time resulting in the consummation of an amor interruptus that spans half a century. This uplifting love story is set on the Colombian coast in the early 20th century.  

MARQUEZ, Gabriel Garcia

One Hundred Years Of Solitude

In the book which put South America on the literary map, Marquez tells the haunting story of a community in which the political, the personal and the spiritual worlds intertwine.


Life of Pi

Pi lives in Pondicherry, India, where his father owns the city's zoo. The family decides to immigrate to Canada, but tragedy strikes at sea. In the lifeboat are five survivors: Pi, a hyena, a zebra, a female orang-utan & a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger.  

MILLER, Andrew


In the heart of Paris, its oldest cemetery is, by 1785, overflowing. Jean-Baptiste Baratte is a young engineer charged by the king with demolishing it. But he begins to suspect that the destruction of the cemetery might be a prelude to his own.

MIN, Anchee

Empress Orchid

In the final days of the Chinese empire, Orchid, a beautiful 17-year-old from an aristocratic but impoverished family, is pushed into the maelstrom of politics when she is chosen to be a lower-ranking concubine of the emperor.

MISTRY, Rohinton

Family Matters

This story centres on a 79-year-old Parsi widower named Nariman who lives with his step-son and step-daughter. Nariman's wife died many years before, leaving behind the two children from her first marriage and the daughter, Roxanna, they had together



Cloud Atlas

A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850, and a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilization - these and the other narrators of 'Cloud Atlas' hear each other's echoes down the corridor of history, and their destinies are changed in ways great and small.


The Night Circus

In 1886 a mysterious travelling circus becomes an international sensation. Open only at night, constructed entirely in black & white, Le Cirque des Reves delights all who wander its circular paths. But behind the scenes a dangerous game is being played out by two young magicians, who are forced to test the limits of the imagination & love.


The Last Anniversary

Sophie Honeywell always wondered if Thomas Gordon was the one who got away. He was the perfect boyfriend, but on the day he was going to propose, she broke his heart. A year later he married his travel agent, while Sophie has been mortifyingly single ever since. Now Thomas is back in her life because Sophie has unexpectedly inherited his aunt Connie's house on Scribbly Gum Island—home of the famously unsolved Munro Baby mystery.



An evocation of Venice by travel writer Jan Morris. It is divided into three sections exploring the Venetian people, the city itself and the lagoon on which it stands.


The House at Riverton

Summer 1924. On the eve of a party, by the lake of a grand English country house, a young poet takes his life. The witnesses, sisters Hannah and Emmeline, will never speak to each other again. Winter 1999, Grace Bradley, 98, one time maid of Riverton Manor, is visited by a director making a film about the poet's suicide.


The One Plus One

Suppose your life sucks. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your stepson is being bullied and your daughter has a once in a lifetime opportunity - that you can't afford to pay for. So imagine you found and kept some money that didn't belong to you, knowing it would pay for your daughter's happiness. But how do you cope with the shame? Especially when the man you've lied to decides to help you out in your hour of need. Jo is in hell - Ed has saved her family - but is their happiness worth a lifetime's soul-searching?


Suite Francaise

'Suite Francaise' is a lost masterpiece written in World War II France, telling the spellbinding story of a group of characters living under Nazi occupation.



One Day

5th July 1988. Emma and Dexter meet for the first time on the night of their graduation. Tomorrow they must go their separate ways. So where will they be on this one day next year? And the year after that? And every year that follows?




David Nicholls brings to bear all the wit and intelligence that graced 'One Day' in this bittersweet book, which will delight his fans and bring him many new readers. It is a novel about love and family, husbands and wives, and parents and children.


The Man Who Forgot His Wife

When forty-something Vaughan suffers total memory loss, he is told that his breakdown has probably been triggered by his marital problems. But then he comes face to face with the stranger he's supposed to be divorcing - and promptly falls head over heels in love with her.


Yours Faithfully

Two different women. Two perfect husbands. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time means Iona and Sally's lives are about to collide with an almighty bang, and shockingly, they've got a lot more in common than they realised.  


Stone’s Fall

Iain Pears tells the story of John Stone, financier and armaments manufacturer, a man so wealthy that in the years before World War I he was able to manipulate markets, industries and indeed whole countries and continents.  

PEARSE, Lesley


She witnessed a murder - and now her life is in danger . . . Fifteen year-old Belle, though raised in a London brothel, is an innocent. But when she witnesses one of the girls brutally strangled by a client, she is cast into a cruel, heartless world. Snatched from the streets and sold into prostitution, she is made a courtesan in New Orleans. At the mercy of desperate men who crave her beauty and will do anything to keep her, Belle's dreams of home, family and freedom appear futile. Are Belle's courage and spirit strong enough to help her escape? And what will await her at the end of the long, dangerous journey home?


The Tenderness Of Wolves

As winter tightens its grip on the isolated settlement of Dove River, a woman steers herself for the journey of a lifetime. A man has been brutally murdered and her 17-year old son has disappeared. To clear her son's name, she has no choice but to follow the tracks leaving the dead man's cabin.


Leaving Time

Jenna Metcalf was with her mother the night she disappeared in tragic and mysterious circumstances, but she remembers nothing. Over ten years have passed, and still Jenna reads and rereads her mother's journals, hoping to find some clue hidden there, in the meticulous recording of her scientific research with elephants. Desperate for answers, Jenna uses all her savings to recruit the aid of a private detective - and a psychic. Jenna knows her mother loved her. She knows she would not leave her. And she will not rest until she finds out what happened that night

PILCHER, Rosamund

The Shell Seekers

Artist's daughter Penelope Keeling can look back on a full and varied life, yet she is far too energetic and independent to settle sweetly into pensioned-off old age. Now she is faced with a decision which could tear her family apart.  

PLATH, Sylvia

The Bell Jar

'The Bell Jar' is Sylvia Plath's account of a young woman's breakdown. Renowned for its intensity and its vivid prose, the novel follows her attempted suicide, hospitalisation and recovery.


Wyrd Sisters

Three Discworld witches strive against all odds to put the rightful king on the throne. With problems like in-flight broomstick refuelling and dirty cauldrons it will be a miracle if they succeed.

PRYCE, Malcolm

Aberystwyth Mon Amour

Schoolboys are being murdered all over Aberystwyth and nobody knows why. Louie Knight, the town's private investigator, soon realises that finding out what is happening to the boys is not going to be easy.  



Trying to escape her unhappy past, Billie Breslin leaves her home in California for New York to take a job at the premier food magazine Delicious! Everyone there cooks but Billie refuses to, despite her perfect palate; she prefers to write about recipes rather than revisit a past she would rather forget. At Delicious!, Billie discovers a treasure: the magazine's hidden library. There she finds the letters of Lulu Swan, a young girl who wrote to the magazine in 1941. As Billie reads Lulu's vivid evocations of wartime life, she finds that she is able to make peace with her own grief and sets on a journey to meet her in person.


The Testament of Gideon Mack

Mack is a minister who doesn't believe in God, the Devil or an afterlife. Then one day he falls into a gorge and is rescued by someone who might just be Satan himself.

ROGAN, Charlotte

The Lifeboat

Charlotte Rogan uses a simple narrative of shipwreck and survival to explore our all-too-human capacity for self-deception.

ROS, Manon Steffan
( Welsh Language Fiction )


Whilst looking back on her life and the family and friends who accompanied her along the way, memories resurface for Pegi. But not every memory is sweet, and some secrets leave a bitter taste.

ROS, Manon Steffan
( Welsh Language Fiction )

Fel Aderyn

Hanes teuluol chwe chenhedlaeth o ferched a'u perthynas a'i gilydd ac a'r dynionyn eu bywydau a gawn yn y nofel rymus, on annwyl hon. Mae cwlwm cymhleth mam, merch a nain yn dynn, ond rhaid i'r cwlwm hwnnw gael ei ddatod weithiau a gadael i'r ferch hedfan yn rhydd a darganfod ei ffordd yn y byd, fel aderyn. Ond mae cadw cyfrinachau carwriaethol a theuluol yn anodd yng nghymdeithas glos Tywyn... 'Rydan ni yn dal llygaid ein gilydd am ychydig eiliadau, cyn codi, am ennyd, o gwlwm cymhleth mam a merch, i fod yn ffrindiau. Yn gyfoedion. Yn adar o'r unlliw.' Y Lolfa A historical novel set in the twentieth century, about Mina and her family. It concentrates on the story of her mother, and the loss of her husband in World War II. We also hear about Sybil, who became pregnant following an affair with a teacher. And Leusa, a fisherman's daughter who was abused by her father

ROS, Manon Steffan

( Welsh Language Fiction)


Llanw, a young girl lives with Gorwel, her twin, and their grandmother in a cottage in a small coastal village in mid-Wales. The Second World War throws its shadow on the family, as Gorwel's decision has a detrimental effect on Llanw's life. Another exceptional novel by the author of Blasu . Mae Llanw yn byw mewn t ar y traeth gyda Gorwel, ei hefaill, a'u nain. Mae chwedlau yn ffordd o fyw i'r ferch freuddwydiol hon. Ond mae'r Ail Ryfel Byd yn taflu ei gysgodion, ac mae penderfyniad Gorwel yn cael effaith andwyol ar fywyd Llanw. Nofel arall eithriadol gan awdures Blasu .


Midnight’s Children`

This is a many-layered narrative in which the complexities of the Indian sub-continent are projected through the minds of many characters. Comic, tragic and fantastic by turns, this is the novel which revolutionised English fiction.

SAMUEL, Marlyn


( Welsh Language Fiction)


Wow! Winning the Lottery is something we'd all love to experience. When a busy wife, mum and grandmother wins 9.1million she expects it will solve all her problems. But life isn't quite so simple. We'll laugh and cry with Wendi as she takes on the challenges of her new life, which include exotic holidays, a large house, fast cars, and a night at the Ritz. Waw! Ennill y Loteri. Dyna i chi brofiad fasa pob un ohonon ni'n dymuno ei gael. Pan mae gwraig, mam a nain brysur yn ennill 9.1 miliwn, mae'n ymddangos fod ei phroblemau ar ben. Cawn chwerthin a chrio gyda Wendi wrth iddi ddod i delerau a bywyd ar ol cyffro'r digwyddiad mawr - bywyd sy'n llawn o brofiadau newydd gan gynnwys gwyliau egsotig, t enfawr, ceir pwerus, a noson yn y Ritz.

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