The best book club recommendations come from those that write and read, a lot. I asked the British Mummy Bloggers social network for their best reads … and they sent me more than 50 recommendations! This list has a summer slant, but all look like good picks. I’ve given credit to the contributor after each entry. Enjoy!
1. The Boy With the TopKnot: A Memoir of Love, Secrets and Lies in Wolverhampton by Sathnam Sanghera. Growing up as a punjabi in Wolverhampton in the eighties. (Living with Kids)
4. Like Bees to Honey by Caroline Smailes. A story of loss, redemption and ghosts. It is a magical tale that will live with you long after you finish reading. “I’m reading it now, and it’s excellent.” (notSupermum)
6. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. Nominated for the 1986 Booker Prize, The Handmaid’s Tale is a feminist novel and work of speculative fiction that explores the darker interconnections between politics and sex. (Babyrambles)
12. What Mothers Do Especially When It Looks Like Nothing by Naomi Stadlin. “I swear it should come in your Bounty pack and be prescribed by GPs – so not a novel or anything, but one of the best things I’ve ever spent my time on!” (Diary of a First Child)
13. The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson. “Romantic, weepy, moving, all about the power of faith and love to help people do amazing things. I am not generally soppy in the slightest, but this book made me long for my husband and boys when I was away for five days. For the first time EVER.” (My Shorter Stories)
15. ‘Millennium Trilogy’ by Stieg Larssen (aka The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series). Violent but good escapist stuff, and how many heroins with Asperger’s Syndrome are there out there? (My Shorter Stories)
20. Grace Paley for amazing short stories about the most ordinary of things: she writes about her ex and current husbands meeting over breakfast, and calls one Livid and one Pallid. (My Shorter Stories)
23. The Southern Vampire series by Charlaine Harris is a big hit (otherwise known as the True Blood novels and far better than the TV series). If you want to delve further into urban fantasy I’d thoroughly recommend Laurell K Hamilton’s Anita Blake series. I’ve just finished reading the latest, Bullet, and it packs the most amazing punch ever. (Glowstars)
26. ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’ by Mary Ann Schafer. “Brilliant, brilliant”. (Hot Cross Mum)
29. Dear Baby has a listed her favourite books here.
35. Of Bees and Mist by Erick Setiawan. “Unlike anything else I’ve read recently, this is a beautifully told adult fairytale, complete with dysfunctional families and the most appalling mother-in-law.” (Domesticalli)
36. I recommend the new novel by my friend Rebecca Frayn. It’s called Deceptions and is a quiet desperate thriller based on a newspaper clipping she once read, about a child that went missing. Kate Morris
37. I don’t usually get time to respond to these but thought I just had to for this one, because I have just finished an unputdownable book! The Hand That First Held Mine by Maggie OFarrell was a brilliant read with a fantastic story line, she also conveyed well, I thought, how it feels to be a first time mum with a new born. (Moments from Suburbia)
41. I’m currently reading ‘Her Fearful Symmetry’ by Audrey Niffenegger. So far so good. It’s not another ‘Time Travellers Wife’, but it’s beautifully written and eery. By total contrast, but still another ghost story, the last book I read was ‘Twenties Girl’ by Sophie Kinsella. Kinsella is the queen of chick-lit and I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Next on my list is Barbara Kingsolver’s ‘Lacuna‘. The best book I’ve read recently is ‘A Kind of Intimacy ‘by my friend, Jenn Ashworth. (Sandy Calico)
46. The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb. From Barnes & Noble: “Lamb travels well beyond his earlier work and embodies in his fiction myth, psychology, family history stretching back many generations, and the questions of faith that lie at the heart of everyday life. The result is an extraordinary tour de force, at once a meditation on the human condition and an unflinching yet compassionate evocation of character.” (Miss Behaving)
47. I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb. Oprah Book Club® Selection, June 1998: What if you were a 40-year-old house painter, horrifically abused, emotionally unavailable, and your identical twin was a paranoid schizophrenic who believed in public self-mutilation? (Miss Behaving)
50. And I just read American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld. A fascinating tale of a woman who eventually becomes a first lady. Based loosely on the life of Laura Bush. (A Modern Mother)
Please leave your reading recommendations below.