Ahlan! Qatar Book Club

Ahlan! Qatar Book Club

14 Mar 2014

Book clubs are all the rage these days so join our lit-fest with Doha-based author Kate Lord Brown

Recommended Read of the Week

The Girl With a Clock for A Heart by Peter Swanson

This is a suspenseful thriller from debut novelist Peter Swanson. George’s routine life in Boston turns upside down when ex-girlfriend Liana shows up twenty years after she disappeared, and he is thrust into a world of betrayal and murder. With a plot tighter than an overwound watch, and characters straight out of a film noir, this is one for fans of Hitchcock – it’s little surprise that the movie rights have been snapped up by Oscar-winning director James Marsh. The question is, which actress will they choose for what’s sure to become the iconic role of Liana Decter?

Nigella Lawson’s private life is creating plenty of headlines, but if you’re more interested in what she gets up to in the kitchen you’ll be pleased to hear that her nine cookbooks are being reissued by her publishers in covetable new editions and ebooks this year, starting with How to be a Domestic Goddess. Go Team Nigella!

Bloomsbury’s Top 3

The Following Girls by Louise Levene

When Amanda Baker was 14, she found a letter written by her runaway mother to her unborn child: ‘Dear Jeremy’ it began ‘or Amanda...’ Mrs Baker still sends Christmas presents – Meccano, a fishing rod, a Spare Rib subscription – but her daughter is now in the coolly capable hands of Mr Baker’s second wife, Pam, who trots home from work on her stacked heels to her Formica ‘dream kitchen.’ The Following Girls weaves the minutiae of Seventies girlhood into an unsparing tragi-comedy of shrinking horizons, dangerous alliances and not-so-happy families.

Music Night at the Apollo by Lilian Pizzichini

In 2006, Lilian Pizzichini swapped life on dry land for a more exciting existence on a narrowboat moored on the Grand Union Canal, Britain’s longest canal system. The Adam Bonny is the place where she learns more about her extensive working-class London family – and the place where she becomes drawn into a strange underbelly of vagrant neighbours and criminals. But Lilian soon realises that, just like the Adam Bonny, she is sinking and must, with her help of her ancestors, try to pull herself back.

Terms & Conditions by Robert Glancy

Frank has been in a car accident. The doctor tells him he lost his spleen, but Frank believes he has lost more. He is missing memories – of those around him and of how he came to be in the crash. All he remembers is that he is a lawyer working with small print. In the wake of the accident, Frank begins to piece together his former life. However, could it be that the terms and conditions by which Frank has been living were not entirely in his favour?

  • WIN! All 3 Bloomsbury books of the fortnight - go to the competition section of this website to enter!

Literary Crush: Lesley Pearse

Fans of the bestselling author will be delighted to learn that her latest work, Survivor, has just been published. Mariette escapes small-town New Zealand and heads for London on the brink of World War Two, where she learns that the only way to survive and find happiness is to fight for it. Pearse’s own story is also a lesson in survival and determination, from the early sadness of life in an orphanage to multi-million sales and success as one of the UK’s best loved authors. Now, after twenty books, she says: “I do believe that persistence is the key. The more you write, the better you get at it.”

If You Like... Anita Shreve
You’ll Love... Hannah Richell

The Shadow Year is one of those books I keep on hearing other writers recommending after its publication last year, and I now see why. If you enjoy Shreve, Du Maurier or Picoult, do check Richell’s work out. This novel draws you in with its heady, atmospheric prose – the detailed descriptions of the countryside are incredibly evocative. Set between the 1980s and the present day, it’s the story of five friends who stumble across a lakeside cabin, and a young woman who is bequeathed its key 30 years later.