Reading Group Collection List Updated May 2016


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Phantom Prey

A wealthy widow returns to her large home in an exclusive Minneapolis suburb to find blood everywhere, no body - and her student daughter missing. Instantly, she suspects the involvement of the weird Goth crowd her daughter had been hanging around with.



Spring, 1543. King Henry VIII is wooing Lady Catherine Parr, whom he wants for his sixth wife. But this time the object of his affections is resisting. Archbishop Cranmer and the embattled Protestant faction at court are watching keenly, for Lady Catherine is known to have reformist sympathies.  


Winter in Madrid

Part thriller, part love story, this tale follows the fortunes of three young men, navigating the tumultous world of 1940s Spain. But, as the Second World war draws near, one is sent to spy on another and the ramifications of a tragic love story will haunt them all.  


The Thirteenth Tale

'The Thirteenth Tale' is a compelling and emotional mystery in the timeless vein of Daphne du Maurier's 'Rebecca', about family secrets and the magic of books and storytelling.  


Ice Trap

A Welsh surgeon's life is turned upside down by a letter from teenage twins in the Canadian Arctic who claim to be his children. With his marriage now in ruins, he ventures to the remote, ice-bound town, intending to solve the mystery of the children he cannot remember fathering. 


The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

It's January, 1946, and writer Juliet Ashton sits at her desk, vainly seeking a subject for her next book. Out of the blue, she receives a letter from one Dawsey Adams of Guernsey - by chance, he's acquired a secondhand book that once belonged to Juliet - and, spurred on by their mutual love of Charles Lamb, they begin a correspondence.

SHEERS, Owen Sets 1 & 2


1944. Sarah Lewis wakes to find her husband has disappeared. She is not alone, as all the women in the isolated Welsh border valley of Olchon wake to find their husbands gone. With this sudden and unexplained absence they regroup as an all-female community and wait, hoping for news.

*NEW* Sets 1 & 2

The Rosie Project

Meet Don Tillman. Don is getting married. He just doesn't know who to yet. But he has designed a very detailed questionnaire to help him find the perfect woman. One thing he already knows, though, is that it's not Rosie. Absolutely, completely, definitely not.


A Ship Made of Paper

Daniel Paris has returned to the Hudson River town where he grew up. Living with Kate and her daughter Ruby he settles into the kind of secure family life he missed as a child. Falling in love with Iris, a black woman whose son is a friend of Ruby's, Daniel realises too late the consequences of his action.


The Light Between Oceans

Would you accept a chance for happiness even if it wasn't yours to have? This is a story about a lighthouse keeper and his wife, who live on a lonely island with just seagulls, stars and buffeting winds for company. It's a story about right and wrong, and how sometimes they look the same.


The Help

Aibileen is a black maid, raising her 17th white child, but with a bitter heart after the death of her son. Minny is the sassiest woman in Mississippi. Skeeter is a white woman with a degree but no ring on her finger. Seemingly as different as can be, these women will come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk.


The Earth hums in B flat

When a neighbour mysteriously vanishes, young Gwenni Morgan resolves to uncover the secret of his disappearance and return him to his children. She truthfully records what she sees and hears, but are her deductions correct? What will be the consequences - for Gwenni, her family and her community - of finding out?  

SYSON, Lydia

A World Between Us

As Spain fights for its freedom against tyranny, Felix, a young nurse, battles a conflict of the heart. As war rages around her, Felix must make choices that will change her life forever.

TAYLOR, Andrew

The American Boy

Edgar Allan Poe is the American boy, a child standing on the edge of mysteries. In 1819 two Americans arrive in London, and soon afterwards a bank collapses, a man is found dead and mutilated, an heiress flirts with her inferiors, and a schoolmaster struggles to understand what is happening.

THOMAS, Gareth

A Welsh Dawn

A novel set in rural Wales explores the tensions within Welsh society in the 1950s: tensions between Welsh- and English-speaking Wales, between North and South, between those who wanted to preserve their heritage and those who wanted prosperity at any cost, between the generation who had experienced the war and the young people who see Wales within a wider European context.


Iris and Ruby

A story of love, loss and the distance between three generations of one family, this novel centres on Iris and Ruby - a grandmother and her granddaughter - as they try and make sense of their respective lives.


If My Father Loved Me

Sadie can't cope with the fact that her father is dying and she begins to look back over the childhood that she's tried to forget. Soon, the arrival of one of the women from her father's past starts a train of events which she cannot control.  



In a small town in the south-east of Ireland in the 1950s, Eilis Lacey is among many of her generation who cannot find work at home. So when she is offered a job in America, she leaves her family to start a new life in Brooklyn, New York.



Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina is one of the loved and memorable heroines of literature. Her overwhelming charm dominates a novel of unparalleled richness and density. This book addresses the very nature of society at various levels - of destiny, death, human relationships and the irreconcilable contradictions of existence.

TRAPIDO, Barbara

Brother of the more famous Jack

When Katherine has the chance to go to university, little does she expect to find herself in love with the son of the famous Jacob Goldman. When things go wrong she flees to Rome, and 10 years later she discovers that time does heal old wounds.  

TRAPIDO, Barbara

Sex and Stravinsky

From far and wide, the different characters are all drawn together; drawn to Jack's place. In its mix of people from different spheres, the story throws up the complexity, cruelty and richness of the global world while, as a sequence of personal stories, it is a masquerade in which things are not always what they seem.


The Road Home

Lev is on his way to Britain to seek work, so that he can send money back to eastern Europe to support his mother and little daughter. He struggles with the mysterious rituals of 'Englishness', and the fashions and fads of the London scene. We see the road Lev travels through his eyes, and we share his dilemmas.



Set among the hills and gorges of the Cevennes, the dark and beautiful heartland of southern France, 'Trespass' is a novel about disputed territory, sibling love and devastating revenge.


Back When We Were Grownups

After losing her husband in a car accident, Rebecca asks herself whether she is an imposter in her own life. Is she really the joyous and outgoing celebrator that her family think she is?


Digging to America

Dealing with themes such as belonging, pride, prejudice and love, this is the story of two extended families who are brought together thanks to the birth of two tiny Korean babies on the same night.



A Spool of Blue Thread

'It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon'. This is the way Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she and Red fell in love that day in July 1959. The whole family on the porch, relaxed, half-listening as their mother tells the same tale they have heard so many times before. And yet this gathering is different. Abby and Red are getting older, and decisions must be made about how best to look after them and their beloved family home. From that porch we spool back through three generations of the Whitshanks, witnessing the events, secrets and unguarded moments that have come to define who and what they are. And while all families like to believe they are special, round that kitchen table over all those years we see played out the hopes and fears, the rivalries and tensions of families everywhere - the essential nature of family life.

WARK, Kirsty

The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle

Seemingly on a whim, 95-year-old Elizabeth Pringle bequeaths Homelea, her beloved house on Arran, to a woman she has never met. As a young woman comes to take up residence in Homelea she slowly unlocks the mysteries and heartbreaking secrets of Elizabeth Pringle's true legacy, in a multi-generational story of love and belonging.


Before I Go To Sleep

Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love - all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story. Welcome to Christine's life.




The Age of Innocence

Countess Olenska, separated from her European husband, returns to old New York society. She bears with her an independence and an awareness of life which stirs the educated sensitivity of Newland Archer, engaged to be married to May Welland.


Border Country

When railway signalman Harry Price suddenly suffers a stroke, his son Matthew, a lecturer in London, makes a return to the border village of Glynmawr. As they struggle with their memories of social and personal change, a moving portrait of the love between a father and son emerges.



Cloudstreet is a broken-down house of former glories that becomes the divided home of two rural families who have moved to the city. The house that begins as a roof over their heads becomes a home for their hearts.  

WOOLF, Virginia


Mrs Dalloway

Society hostess, Clarissa Dalloway is giving a party. Her thoughts and sensations on that one day, and the interior monologues of others whose lives are interwoven with hers gradually reveal the characters of the central protagonists. Clarissa's life is touched by tragedy as the events in her day run parallel to those of Septimus Warren Smith.

YATES, Richard

Revolutionary Road

Frank and April Wheeler, a bright, beautiful and talented couple, are desperate to maintain their dreams of greatness and distinction against the inexorable pressure of their suburban life.

ZAFRON, Carlos Ruiz

The Shadow Of The Wind

Hidden in the heart of the old city of Barcelona is a labyrinthine library of obscure & forgotten titles that have long gone out of print. A man brings his 10-year-old son to the library & allows him to choose one book to keep. But as he grows up, several people seem inordinately interested in his find.

ZUSAK, Markus

The Book Thief

Narrated in the all-knowing matter-of-fact voice of Death, witnessing the story of the citizens of Molching. By 1943, the Allied bombs are falling, and the sirens begin to wail. Liesel shares out her books in the air-raid shelters. But one day, the wail of the sirens comes too late.  

BOYCE, Frank Cottrell



Super-sized Liam is the only 12 year old to ever ride the G-force defying Cosmic rollercoaster - or be offered the chance to ride a Porsche. Long-legged Liam makes a giant leap for boy-kind by competing with a group of adults for the chance to go into space




Stanley Yelnat's family has a history of bad luck, so he is not too surprised when a miscarriage of justice sends him to a detention centre. Nor is he surprised when he is told that his daily labour is to dig a hole and report anything he finds in it.

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