Monday 31 October 2011

Ashworth, Andrea "Once in a House on Fire"

Ashworth, Andrea "Once in a House on Fire" - 1999

I absolutely loved this book. The writing is just wonderful. You can imagine being there which is the best praise I can give to an author.

Andrea Ashworth describes her youth in a penniless household full of violence and other problems. Her depressive mother sends the family through a series of stepfathers, none of whom can be describe as "normal" family members.

I just admire Andrea for what she achieved despite all the problems she had and could have used as an excuse to fall into the same pattern as her mother did. I felt sorry for the mother at times, angry at others but then sorry again because I can see how you end up like her. She just didn't have any hope that anything could get better if she changed.

In any case, I can highly recommend this book. And no, I don't want to hear anything that would spoil my admiration for the book and the author, either.

From the back cover:

"For Andrea Ashworth, home is not a place of comfort and solace, but of violence and fear. Her father died when she was five, leaving her close-knit, loving family to battle with poverty abuse and the long shadow of depression. But from the ashes of 1970s Manchester and the hardships of her coming-of-age in the late 1980s, Andrea finds the courage to rise...

Written with eye-opening honesty, rare beauty and intense power,
Once in a House on Fire is a ground-breaking memoir, endearing in its humour and compassion, and life-affirming in its portrait of terrible circumstances triumphantly overcome."

Stewart, Chris "Driving over Lemons"

Stewart, Chris "Driving over Lemons. An Optimist in Spain" - 1999

As a Genesis fan, I knew the name Chris Stewart, of course, but I didn't think the former drummer of this fabulous band was also a farmer in Spain and had written a book about it. And what an interesting one. I have read a few of these books about someone from a more Northern and/or richer country going to Southern Europe (Spain, France, Italy) to get away from it all, buy an old house, raise vegetables and some animals … I'm sure we all have.

This is a nice account of someone who changed his life at a young age and never looked back. We get to laugh with him about all the little problems that arise and rejoice about any little progress he makes.

From the back cover:

"When English sheep shearer Chris Stewart (once a drummer for Genesis) bought an isolated farmhouse in the mountains outside of Granada, Spain, he was fully aware that it didn't have electricity, running water, or access to roads. But he had little idea of the headaches and hilarity that would follow (including scorpions, runaway sheep, and the former owner who won't budge). He also had no idea that his memoir about southern Spain would set a standard for literary travel writing.

This rip-roaringly funny book about seeking a place in an earthy community of peasants and shepherds gives a realistic sense of the hassles and rewards of foreign relocation. Part of its allure stems from the absence of rose-colored glasses, mainly Stewart's refusal to merely coo about the piece of heaven he's found or to portray all residents as angels. Stewart's hilarious and beautifully written passages are deep in their honest perceptions of the place and the sometimes xenophobic natives, whose reception of the newcomers ranges from warm to gruff.

After reading about struggles with dialects, animal husbandry, droughts, flooding, and such local rituals as pig slaughters and the rebuilding of bridges, you may not wish to live Chris Stewart's life. But you can't help but admire him and his wife, Ana, for digging out a niche in these far-flung mountains, for successfully befriending the denizens, and for so eloquently and comically telling the truth. The rich, vibrant, and unromanticized candor
of Driving over Lemons makes it a laudable standout in a genre too often typified by laughable naiveté."

Chris Stewart also writes two blogs, one in English, one in Spanish , you can get a little glimpse of his life here, as well.

Driving over Lemons

Saturday 29 October 2011

Clarke, Marcus "For the Term of His Natural Life"

Clarke, Marcus "For the Term of His Natural Life" - 1870-72

This novel was recommended to me by one of my Australian friends, it describes the life of a convict from when he first gets condemned through the voyage to the new continent and the rest of his life. The story is very gripping and the author has a great way of describing the life of these poor creatures. I would have preferred it to be a "normal" convict, though, someone who has committed a petty theft but was too poor to defend himself, unless the average convict was of noble birth and had done nothing wrong in  his life. I also didn't like the way it all came together in the end, just a little too smooth for my liking.

However, having said that, the description of the lives of the prisoners was very interesting and I have certainly not read any book on this subject with so much detail. What a horrible life those poor people had to lead. No wonder that those who have made it through all those ordeals have the best descendants ever. I have met many Australians and they are all very warm-hearted and kind. That is one of the main reasons I want to read more about their history.

This is not my first book about Australian and its first settlers, Kate Grenville's "The Secret River" is also a brilliant one, then there's "English Passengers" by Matthew Kneale and "The Floating Brothel" by Siân Rees, both also very worth reading. I am still looking for a book I read ages ago about someone who belonged to the first convicts who were released and settled on the land while the aborigines were not in the area and then had to face them when they returned. If anyone has a suggestion as to the title of that one, I'd be very grateful.

From the back cover:

"Perhaps Australia's most significant and most famous 19th-century colonial novel, For the Term of His Natural Life is a narrative of great suffering-of whips, chains, and man's inhumanity. There is no attempt to soften the truth of the degradation and cruelty in convict Australia. Yet the novel is peopled with vivid characters - Rufus Dawes, condemned to transportation for a crime he did not commit, is one of the most unforgettable characters in Australian literature."

Hornby, Nick "About a boy"

Hornby, Nick "About a boy" - 1998

A funny yet thoughtful and touching novel. Will, the "teenager forever" meets Marcus, the strange child. They meet and grow together, both see family life with different eyes before and after. And the single's life, as well. I liked this book, a lot. And, even though they changed the end, I also liked the movie.

Book Description:

"Will Freeman may have discovered the key to dating success: If the simple fact that they were single mothers meant that gorgeous women - women who would not ordinarily look twice at Will - might not only be willing, but enthusiastic about dating him, then he was really onto something. Single mothers - bright, attractive, available women - thousands of them, were all over London. He just had to find them.

SPAT: Single Parents
- Alone Together. It was a brilliant plan. And Will wasn't going to let the fact that he didn't have a child himself hold him back. A fictional two-year-old named Ned wouldn't be the first thing he'd invented. And it seems to go quite well at first, until he meets an actual twelve-year-old named Marcus, who is more than Will bargained for..."

Friday 28 October 2011

Hegi, Ursula "Stones from the River"

Hegi, Ursula "Stones from the River" - 1994

Quite a different war story, Trudi is a dwarf and grows up in war-torn Germany, not a good time for anyone who is not what the Nazis expect a "normal" person to be.

A very interesting read about how life was at that time, how the Nazis gained more and more ground, how people got more and more suspicious.

I think this is a very important account not just of German history but also of human behaviour.

Book Description:
"Stones from the River is a daring, dramatic and complex novel of life in Germany. It is set in Burgdorf, a small fictional German town, between 1915 and 1951. The protagonist is Trudi Montag, a Zwerg -- the German word for dwarf woman. As a dwarf she is set apart, the outsider whose physical "otherness" has a corollary in her refusal to be a part of Burgdorf's silent complicity during and after World War II. Trudi establishes her status and power, not through beauty, marriage, or motherhood, but rather as the town's librarian and relentless collector of stories.

Through Trudi's unblinking eyes, we witness the growing impact of Nazism on the ordinary townsfolk of Burgdorf as they are thrust on to a larger moral stage and forced to make choices that will forever mark their lives.
Stones from the River is a story of secrets, parceled out masterfully by Trudi -- and by Ursula Hegi -- as they reveal the truth about living through unspeakable times."

Balliett, Blue "Chasing Vermeer"

Balliett, Blue "Chasing Vermeer" - 2003 

A nice book about art for children, a mixture between fiction and non-fiction. Well, there's more fiction but it teaches a little about paintings and connections etc. Also, it contains a type of a treasure hunt for the children to follow, a code to decipher, lots of fun things to do.

From the back cover:
"A stolen painting. A series of unexpected events. Two smart children. Petra and Calder live in a neighbourhood where strange things have started to happen. Seemingly unrelated events connect, a sharp old woman seeks their company - and a priceless Vermeer painting disappears. Before they know it, the two children are caught up in an international art sensation where no one is above suspicion. As puzzling clues draw Petra and Calder deeper into the mystery, they mustely on their intelligence, their powers of deduction, and a newly acquired knowledge of the artist Vermeer, to crack an art crim that has left everyone baffled."

Thursday 27 October 2011

Chevalier, Tracy "The Virgin Blue"

Chevalier, Tracy "The Virgin Blue" - 1997

I liked "Girl with a Pearl Earring" but this one is even better, I loved it. If you are interested in reading about people in former time, especially how women used to live, this is the book for you. I was reminded of this one when reading "Labyrinth" because both novels are situated in France (well, partly) and both novels occur over different centuries.

An American woman moves to France with her husband and starts having strange dreams about the colour blue. Well, blue is one of my favourite colours (the other one would be green). At the same time we learn about a woman from the 16th century. Both their lives have similarities … Read it, it's gripping.

From the back cover:

"The compelling story of two women, born four centuries apart, and the ancestral legacy that binds them.

Ella Turner does her best to fit in to the small, close-knit community of Lisle-sur-Tarn. She even changes her name back to Tournier, and knocks the rust off her high school French. But it is all in vain. Isolated and lonely, she is drawn to investigate her Tournier ancestry, which leads to her encounter with the town’s wolfish librarian.

Isabelle du Moulin, known as Le Rousse due to her fiery red hair, is tormented and shunned in the village – suspected of witchcraft and reviled for her association with the Virgin Mary. Falling pregnant, she is forced to marry into the ruling family: the Tourniers. Tormentor becomes husband, and a shocking fate awaits her.

Plagued by the colour blue, Ella is haunted by parallels with the past, and by her recurring dream. Then one morning she wakes up to discover that her hair is turning inexplicably red…

Find here the other books I read by this author.

Deforges, Régine "The Blue Bicycle"

Deforges, Régine "The Blue Bicycle" (French: La Bicyclette Bleue) - 1981

I thought this might be an interesting book, the description sounded good, a young French woman working for the Résistance during WWII with her blue bicyle.

However, I was shocked, the further I got into the book, the more I was convinced that I knew the book. It's practically the French "Gone with the Wind", the same story, the same scenes, just different names. Apparently there are now 10 parts, so maybe they also copied "Scarlett".

I wanted to know more about this and googled it. I found out that Margaret Mitchell's heirs had sued Ms. Deforges for plagiarism. Why they lost? It's beyond me, I suppose the judge has never read "Gone with the Wind".

From the back cover:From the back cover:
"'The little savage from Montillac' is what her suave lover Francois calls Lea, passionate heroine of this frankly lush, romantic novel of France during the war years 1939-1942. Daughter of a rich wine grower in Bordeaux, Lea sees her adored childhood sweetheart, Laurent, married to his cousin, namby-pamby Camille. Lea has lovers but never stops carrying the torch for Laurent, while tending pregnant Camille during Laurent's service at the front, holding down the family estate of Montillac, where Germans are billeted, and cycling through occupied checkpoints with messages for the Resistance. Deforges, a bestselling writer in France, gives us moving scenes of civilian panic and carnage and glimpses of Paris high life enjoyed by collaborators and black-marketeers. Radio broadcasts by the still unknown de Gaulle, and defeatist Petainhead of the Vichy puppet regimefire French patriotism and keep the underground going. Plenty of entertainment here, and echoes of Gone with the Wind, though it's hard to tell what lusty Lea sees in Laurent."

Monday 24 October 2011

Chevalier, Tracy "Remarkable Creatures"

Chevalier, Tracy "Remarkable Creatures" - 2009

I had originally suggested the book because I liked "The Girl with the Pearl Earring" and "The Virgin Blue" (apparently "The Lady and the Unicorn" is supposed to be even better). After reading it, I would have preferred it to be a non-fiction book. Most of our readers agreed. One of us googled the two women afterwards and found it a lot more interesting than the book. I couldn't agree more.

We did think it very compelling that she used body parts, we never thought about people in those terms, like someone “leading with his nose”.

The book generated a good discussion on serious topics, though. We talked about the time period (Age of Enlightenment and then French Revolution), the chances women had back then, how science was regarded, what people thought when they found the first dinosaur fossils.

We did like a few things, the topic most of all, that the author raised issues without batting on them. We also liked the different words Mary Anning had for the fossils, like "verteberries".

However, we found the characters two-dimensional, didn't like the fact that we were told instead of shown, the romance was so cliché and overdone.

Oh, and one last thing: Why do they always have to change the titles when translating them? Granted, "Zwei bemerkenswerte Frauen" (Two remarkable women) in German isn't far off but they leave out the dinosaurs completely. What is wrong with "Bemerkenswerte Kreaturen"?? Some other languages are even worse, the Spanish title is "Las huellas de la vida" (The traces of life). And in the Netherlands, you can even buy the English book with a different English title: "Spare Bones".

All in all, we would have expected more of the book but liked being introduced to Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot.

We discussed this in our book club in October 2011.

From the back cover: "A stunning novel of female friendship, forbidden love and evolution from the bestselling author of Girl with a Pearl Earring.

In the early nineteenth century, a windswept beach along the English coast brims with fossils for those with the eye…

From the moment she’s struck by lightning as a baby, it is clear Mary Anning is different. Her discovery of strange fossilized creatures in the cliffs of Lyme Regis sets the world alight. But Mary must face powerful prejudice from a male scientific establishment, not to mention vicious gossip and the heartbreak of forbidden love.

Then – in prickly, clever Elizabeth Philpot, a fossil-obsessed middle-class spinster – she finds a champion, and a rival. Despite their differences in class and age, Mary and Elizabeth’s loyalty and passion for the truth must win out.

Remarkable Creatures is a stunning novel of how one woman’s gift transcends class and gender to lead to some of the most important discoveries of the nineteenth century. Above all, it is a revealing portrait of the intricate and resilient nature of female friendship.

Find here the other books I read by this author.

Coetzee, J.M. "Disgrace"

Coetzee, J.M. "Disgrace" - 1999

I have read the book quite a while ago and really liked it. I was going to read more by this author but with my long TBR pile ...

Anyway, I liked the description of the people, the professor who, after having lost his job, goes to live with his daughter, Lucy, in a remote area in South Africa. I really liked Lucy, too, the description of South Africa, both the landscape and the life/political situation. I could imagine being there, that's always a good book for me. And it's quite different from my life, so it's definitely interesting. 

From the back cover:

"After years teaching Romantic poetry at the Technical University of Cape Town, David Lurie, middle-aged and twice divorced, has an impulsive affair with a student. The affair sours; he is denounced and summoned before a committee of inquiry. Willing to admit his guilt, but refusing to yield to pressure to repent publicly, he resigns and retreats to his daughter Lucy's isolated smallholding.

For a time, his daughter's influence and the natural rhythms of the farm promise to harmonise his discordant life. But the balance of power in the country is shifting. He and Lucy become victims of a savage and disturbing attack which brings into relief all the faultlines in their relationship.

J.M. Coetzee "who in innumerable guises portrays the surprising involvement of the outsider" received the Nobel Prize in 2003 and the Booker Prize for this novel in 1999.

I contribute to this page: Read the Nobels and you can find all my blogs about Nobel Prize winning authors and their books here.

Johnson, Dr. Spencer "Who moved my cheese?"

Johnson, Dr. Spencer "Who moved my cheese?" - 1998

I read this book ages ago, really liked it. It's a parable about two mice and two men who live in a maze. They all want the cheese but they all tackle the task differently. We can learn from their mistakes, see that it is important to stay alert. And to be flexible, very important!

I wouldn't say it helped me get organized but I thought a lot about who I would be, who other people would be, etc. There is also a children's version. My son (who was a lot younger at the time)  borrowed it from the library, it's easier and with pictures, but the same concept and quite nicely done for children.

From the back cover:

"Written by Spencer Johnson, coauthor of The One Minute Manager, this enlightening and amusing story illustrates the vital importance of being able to deal with unexpected change. Who Moved My Cheese? is often distributed by managers to employees as a motivational tool, but the lessons it teaches can benefit literally anyone, young or old, rich or poor, looking for less stress and more success in every aspect of work and life."

Saturday 22 October 2011

Skibsrud, Johanna "The Sentimentalists"

Skibsrud, Johanna "The Sentimentalists" - 2010

A story of a father who wants to forget the Vietnam war and is slowly losing all his memories to Alzheimer's. A story of a daughter who would like to learn more about her father and his life. A story of a father and a daughter trying to find a way together at a late stage of their lives.

An interesting perspective, yet, quite a normal story, I think. How many children wonder about the ghosts that haunt their fathers who went to war? I know I did/do. Most of them don't want to talk about it, no matter which side they were on, whether they wanted to go or not, they just want the one thing they cannot have: forgetting. And anything that happened in the war, affects the whole family and friends forever. Because the guy who returns is not the boy who left.

Johanna Skibsrud describes this very well. And even though the daughter never finds out what really happened, she does manage to get a little closer to him in the end.

A very interesting story, simply told, yet with a lot of "texture".

From the back cover:
"Haunted by the vivid horrors of the Vietnam War, exhausted from years spent battling his memories, Napoleon Haskell leaves his North Dakota trailer and moves to Canada.

He retreats to a small Ontario town where Henry, the father of his fallen Vietnam comrade, has a home on the shore of a man-made lake. Under the water is the wreckage of what was once the town -- and the home where Henry was raised.

When Napoleon's daughter arrives, fleeing troubles of her own, she finds her father in the dark twilight of his life, and rapidly slipping into senility. With love and insatiable curiosity, she devotes herself to learning the truth about his life; and through the fog, Napoleon's past begins to emerge.

Lyrical and riveting,
The Sentimentalists is a story of what lies beneath the surface of everyday life, and of the commanding power of the past. Johanna Skibsrud's first novel marks the debut of a powerful new voice in Canadian fiction. "

Brontë, Anne "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall"

Brontë, Anne "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" - 1848

I love classics. I think of all the Brontë novels, this is my favourite. It reminds me of Jane Austen, though in a different direction.

The novel is exciting from the beginning. The description of the mysterious woman moving into Wildfell Hall, the suspicious neighbours, the generous landlord ... everything is quite interesting already. Then she disappears and the mystery gets even bigger.

The style of the novel is extraordinary. Various authors of that time have used this way, describing the story through various narrators and therefore having the reader always know more than the protagonists.

I like that style. It must be hard for the author to change the writing style throughout the novel and not lose track of the story. But it's great for the reader. The suspension gets even higher. You feel for Gilbert but you feel even more for Helen and her little boy.

What a life those women had to lead. Am I glad I live in this time and age.

Even though she is less famous than her sister Charlotte and Emily, I still prefer this novel to "Jane Eyre" and definitely to "Wuthering Heights".

From the back cover:
"The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is a powerful and sometimes violent novel of expectation, love, oppression, sin, religion and betrayal. It portrays the disintegration of the marriage of Helen Huntingdon, the mysterious ‘tenant’ of the title, and her dissolute, alcoholic husband. Defying convention, Helen leaves her husband to protect their young son from his father’s influence, and earns her own living as an artist. Whilst in hiding at Wildfell Hall, she encounters Gilbert Markham, who falls in love with her.

On its first publication in 1848, Anne Brontë’s second novel was criticised for being ‘coarse’ and ‘brutal’.
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall challenges the social conventions of the early nineteenth century in a strong defence of women’s rights in the face of psychological abuse from their husbands."

Cristofano, David "The Girl She Used to Be"

Cristofano, David "The Girl She Used to Be" - 2009

The story about a young girl who lived under a wrong name most of her life because her parents had to enter the witness protection program.

I loved this book. The style of the author's writing kept me interested all the time. I don't know much about the witness protection program, I always thought it must be difficult to leave your whole life behind in order not to get killed. But this woman didn't even have the chance to get a life. And then there's a twist at the end .... Fascinating.

From the back cover:
"When Melody Grace McCartney was six years old, she and her parents witnessed an act of violence so brutal that it changed their lives forever. The federal government lured them into the Witness Protection Program with the promise of safety, and they went gratefully. But the program took Melody's name, her home, her innocence, and, ultimately, her family. She's been May Adams, Karen Smith, Anne Johnson, and countless others - everyone but the one person she longs to be: herself. So when the feds spirit her off to begin yet another new life in another town, she's stunned when a man confronts her and calls her by her real name. Jonathan Bovaro, the mafioso sent to hunt her down, knows her, the real her, and it's a dangerous thrill that Melody can't resist. He's insistent that she's just a pawn in the government's war against the Bovaro family. But can she trust her life and her identity to this vicious stranger whose acts of violence are legendary?"

Thursday 20 October 2011

Saint-Exupéry, Antoine "The Little Prince"

Saint-Exupéry, Antoine "The Little Prince" (French: Le Petit Prince) - 1943

"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."

One of my favourite quotes ever. A wonderful novella about love and how we look at things.

The narrator is a pilot who crashes over the Sahara. He meets the little prince there, a visitor from an asteroid. While he tells him about his travels, he also talks about his planet and the rose he left behind.

I don't know anyone who hasn't read this. If you haven't, you should definitely start. Also a great piece if you want to practise your French.

From the back cover:
"'Six years ago,' writes Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, 'I made a forced landing in the Sahara, alone, a thousand miles from help, and faced the necessity of repairing my motor by myself within the number of days my supply of drinking water would last. The first morning I was awakened by a gentle but determined voice which said 'If you please, draw me a sheep'.' Thus it was that he met the Little Prince, whose strange history he learned, bit by bit, in the days that followed.
The Little Prince lived alone on a tiny planet no larger than a house. He possessed three volcanoes, two active and one extinct, although on never knows about volcanoes. He also owned a flower, unlike any flower in all the galaxy, of great beauty and of inordinate pride. It was this pride that ruined the serenity of the Little Prince's world and started him on the travels that brought him at last to the Earth where he learned finally, from a fox, the secret of what is really important in life.

To preserve his memory of the
Little Prince, Saint-Exupéry has made some forty watercolors, whimsical, gravely meticulous in detail. Each is an almost essential part of the story.

There are a few stories which in some way, in some degree, change the world forever for their readers. This is one.
This was our international online book club read in January 2021.

There were several members in our club who don't care too much for the book. It's not one of my favourite since it tends to go into the fantasy category. But, as I said earlier, it's worth reading it in French.

McCourt, Frank "Angela's Ashes"

McCourt, Frank "Angela's Ashes" - 1996

I read this book ages ago, with my first book club in the UK. A wonderful autobiography, so vivid. And miserable. What a miserable life. Tolstoy starts "Anna Karenina" with: "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." Frank McCourt even adds to this: "Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood." Now, this family has a very miserable childhood and Frank McCourt has a talent describing it, unbelievable. You ask yourself how people can live like that. An alcoholic father, sick children, no job, no money, no food.

But there is also hope in this book, and Frank McCourt is the best proof to that. Despite his miserable childhood, he managed to become a teacher and then a Pulitzer Price winning author.

We discussed this in our British Book Club in June 1999.

From the back cover:

"Stunning reissue of the phenomenal worldwide bestseller: Frank McCourt's sad, funny, bittersweet memoir of growing up in New York in the 30s and in Ireland in the 40s.

It is a story of extreme hardship and suffering, in Brooklyn tenements and Limerick slums – too many children, too little money, his mother Angela barely coping as his father Malachy's drinking bouts constantly brings the family to the brink of disaster. It is a story of courage and survival against apparently overwhelming odds.

Written with the vitality and resonance of a work of fiction, and with a remarkable absence of sentimentality, ‘
Angela’s Ashes’ is imbued on every page with Frank McCourt's distinctive humour and compassion. Out of terrible circumstances, he has created a glorious book in the tradition of Ireland's literary masters, which bears all the marks of a great classic."

His second book  "'Tis" tells us about his life in the US and his third "Teacher Man" about his life as a teacher..

Frank McCourt received a Pulitzer Prize for his autobiography in 1997.

Walls, Jeannette "The Glass Castle"

Walls, Jeannette "The Glass Castle: A Memoir" - 2005

What would you do if your childhood was more than extraordinary, when you tried everything to escape it and finally manage to get out? Jeannette Walls tells us her story, the story of her parents, her siblings and herself. From growing up on the street, never knowing whether they had anything to eat the next day, let alone finding a place to sleep to becoming a top journalist. That is an extremely long way and Jeanette Walls is able to describe this as if you'd been there. The account of a life both devastating, as well as encouraging.


From the back cover:

"This is a startling memoir of a successful journalist's journey from the deserted and dusty mining towns of the American Southwest, to an antique filled apartment on Park Avenue. Jeanette Walls narrates her nomadic and adventurous childhood with her dreaming, 'brilliant' but alcoholic parents. At the age of seventeen she escapes on a Greyhound bus to New York with her older sister; her younger siblings follow later. After pursuing the education and civilisation her parents sought to escape, Jeanette eventually succeeds in her quest for the 'mundane, middle class existence' she had always craved. In her apartment, overlooked by 'a portrait of someone else's ancestor' she recounts poignant remembered images of star watching with her father, juxtaposed with recollections of irregular meals, accidents and police-car chases and reveals her complex feelings of shame, guilt, pity and pride toward her parents."

Wednesday 12 October 2011

Kostova, Elizabeth "The Historian"

Kostova, Elizabeth "The Historian" - 2005

I really like this book. I'm not into fantasy and this is a little borderline but there is also quite some history involved, some travelling and the story itself is quite interesting. Okay, some things were predictable and might have been either left out or been disguised a little better. But it didn't matter.

Overall, this is a very nice novel.

From the back cover:

"Late one night, exploring her father's library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters addressed ominously to 'My dear and unfortunate successor'. Her discovery plunges her into a world she never dreamed of - a labyrinth where the secrets of her father's past and her mother's mysterious fate connect to an evil hidden in the depths of history.

In those few quiet moments, she unwittingly assumes a quest she will discover is her birthright - a hunt for the truth about Vlad the Impaler, the medieval ruler whose barbarous reign formed the basis of the Dracula myth. Deciphering obscure signs and hidden texts, reading codes worked into the fabric of medieval monastic traditions, and evading terrifying adversaries, one woman comes ever closer to the secret of her own past and a confrontation with the very definition of evil.

Elizabeth Kostova's debut novel is an adventure of monumental proportions - a captivating tale that blends fact and fantasy, history and the present with an assurance that is almost unbearably suspenseful - and utterly unforgettable.
I read The Swan Thieves and enjoyed it just as much as her first novel.

Fox, Kate "Watching the English: the hidden rules of English behaviour"

Fox, Kate "Watching the English: the hidden rules of English behaviour" - 2004

An anthropology about a nation dear to my heart - the English. This book is quite funny at times and I am sure all the English people will love it and just nod their heads all the time - well, most of the others will do the same. And I did it, too, at least most of the time. However, I think the author's conclusions are a little too negative. I never experienced the English not talking to strangers. When I moved to England, I met such a lovely set of people and made many, many friends. I still have, after eleven years in the Netherlands, more friends back in the UK than over here. So, maybe I see the English through too rose-tinted glasses, but that's the way I experienced them.

From the back cover:
"In WATCHING THE ENGLISH anthropologist Kate Fox takes a revealing look at the quirks, habits and foibles of the English people. She puts the English national character under her anthropological microscope, and finds a strange and fascinating culture, governed by complex sets of unspoken rules and byzantine codes of behaviour. The rules of weather-speak. The ironic-gnome rule. The reflex apology rule. The paranoid-pantomime rule. Class indicators and class anxiety tests. The money-talk taboo and many more ...Through a mixture of anthropological analysis and her own unorthodox experiments (using herself as a reluctant guinea-pig), Kate Fox discovers what these unwritten behaviour codes tell us about Englishness."

Monday 10 October 2011

Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim "Nathan the Wise"

Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim "Nathan the Wise" (German: Nathan der Weise) - 1779

If you are looking for a non-English classic, this is one that has survived all changes of time and is as actual today as it was in the past. A masterpiece about philosophy, about Jews, Christians, Muslims, and that they are all equal, apparently it was revolutionary in 1779, well, I think it still is revolutionary today.

The way the three monotheistic religions are depicted and the problems between their followers shown is precise and still as true as ever, sadly.

A great, important  part of literature. Read it, you will enjoy it.

From the back cover:

"One of the most frequently performed and widely read comedies of the eighteenth century, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing's 'Nathan the Wise' (1779) combines rich characterization with an engaging plot. Set in Muslim-ruled Jerusalem at the time of the Crusades, it deals with universal themes -- including the nature of God, antisemitism, wealth and poverty, and the conflict between love and duty. Today the play is as timely as ever.

White, E.B. "Charlotte's Web"

White, E.B.  "Charlotte's Web" - 1952

A lovely memory of the times I used to read books with my children. A great story about friendship (between a pig and a spider) and how someone is willing to do something for the good of the other even though they won't get anything back in return. Charlotte, the spider, tries to save Wilbur, the pig, from being slaughtered by weaving messages into her web, like "Some Pig". However, as someone a lot wiser once pointed out, shouldn't it have said "Some Spider"?

Anyway, a nice story for children that can also be enjoyed by adults.

From the back cover:
"'Charlotte's Web' is the classic children's story by E B White.

The tale of how a little girl named Fern, with the help of a friendly spider, saved her pig Wilbur from the usual fate of nice fat little pigs.

E. B. White was born in New York in 1899 and died in 1985. He kept animals on his farm in Maine and some of these creatures crept into his books, such as
STUART LITTLE which was recently made into a blockbusting film. He received many awards including the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal in 1970, an award given every five years to authors who have 'made a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children'.
E.B. White received the Pulitzer Prize for all his works in 1978.

Lette, Kathy "How to Kill your Husband"

Lette, Kathy "How to Kill your Husband" - 2006

"It is scientifically proven that no woman has ever shot her husband whilst he was vacuuming." and "A good marriage lasts forever while a bad one just seems to."

The funny title and these remarks on the back cover made me look at this book. It seemed like just a nice book to read, nothing less, nothing more.

Unfortunately, I should have known, it was a lot less than what even I had expected, Women who have nothing else to do than complain about their husbands, their children, other women, colleagues. A few jokes, not very witty, though, and that's it. I should have known better, I know I don't like these kind of books.

From the back cover:
"All women want to kill their husbands some of the time "Where there's a will, I intend to be in it,' wives half-joke to each other. Marriage, it would appear, is a fun-packed frivolous hobby, only occasionally resulting in death. ut when Jazz Jardine is arrested for her husband's murder, the joke falls flat. Life should begin at 40 - not with life imprisonment for killing your spouse. Jazz, stay-at-home mum and domestic goddess; Hannah, childless career woman; and Cassie, demented working mother of two are three ordinary women. Their record collections are classical, not criminal. Cassie and Hannah set out immediately to prove their best friend's innocence, uncovering betrayal, adultery, plot twists, thinner thighs and toy boys aplenty en route but will their friendship survive these ever darker revelations? Sexy, funny and wise, Kathy Lette's irresistible new novel is about women not Having It All But Doing It All. It's about how today's mother is often a married lone parent. It's about the fact that no woman has ever shot her husband while he was vacuuming. This is Kathy Lette at her brilliant best, casting her trade mark caustic eye on what goes on in the bedrooms and kitchens of ordinary married couples. A novel which will strike a cord with married women everywhere and ensure that, from now on, they all read the small print on their marriage licenses."

Saturday 8 October 2011

Bragg, Melvyn "A Son of War"

Bragg, Melvyn "A Son of War" - 2001

A continuation of "The Soldier's Return". Whereas the first story was all about the soldier Sam, this one tells us more about the rest of the family. As mentioned in my other review, it is hard for a family to get back to normal if one of the members has been away for a long time. In this case it is even more difficult, as the father has been away to war. Here, the author describes the changes for the wife and son and how their life changes with the husband and father being back in their lives.

Again, this is totally worth reading, a timeless story that could take place anywhere and anytime when people have been separated against their own will and then have to get back to their routines together. Great novel, I really would recommend it to anyone.

From the back cover:
"This novel takes up where The Soldier's Return left off, following the lives of the Richardson family from 1947 to the mid-1950s. The terrible upheavals of the Second World War reverberated in the peace that followed, and many found a return to the old life far more difficult than they had anticipated. If the earlier novel focused on the father, Sam, the sequel gives equal emphasis to the son, Joe, who is eight as the novel opens and an adolescent as it closes. The Richardsons, emblematic of a whole generation, are depicted with the same attention to detail, the same affection and compassion, the same lack of sentimentality, as in The Soldier's Return. They are a family forever altered by an experience later generations can scarcely imagine, yet whose hopes, compromises, and quiet triumphs form the fabric of everyday, universal life.

A SON OF WAR was a huge bestseller in the U.K.

The major, stunning reviews of
The Soldier's Return - comparing Bragg to Hardy and D. H. Lawrence - -set the stage for even greater success for the sequel.

As most British reviewers noted, these two novels are the crowning achievement of Bragg's career, 'the novels he was born to write.'

Melvyn Bragg is a major television personality both in the U.K. and here in the States.

Bragg, Melvyn "The Soldier's Return"

Bragg, Melvyn "The Soldier's Return" - 1999

This is the story of an ex-corporal returning home from Burma in the spring of 1946. His wife is anxiously awaiting his return and his son who was a baby when he left and is now six years old cannot really remember him. Sam has changed a lot and it is hard to readjust back to normal family life. A good narrative about the change in people when one person has been away for a while. The trouble is, the family has moved on, the husband has moved on, but they haven't necessarily moved into the same direction. The author has managed to describe this dilemma very well.

Very interesting story, great description of the characters and the troubles they face. Even though this happened more than half a century ago, this is a timeless account of people's characters. There is a sequel to this novel "A Son of War".

From the back cover:
"When Sam Richardson returns in 1946 from the 'Forgotten War' in Burma to his hometown in northern England, he finds little changed. The war has changed him, however, broadening his horizons but also leaving him deeply scarred with traumatic, often hellish, memories. In addition, his six-year-old son Joe barely remembers him, and his wife has gained a new sense of independence from her wartime job. As all three strive to adjust, the bonds of love and loyalty are stretched to the breaking point in this taut and profoundly moving novel that captures what millions of families experienced in the aftermath of World War II."

Thursday 6 October 2011

All the Books ever Suggested in our Book Club (since 2001)

Books Suggested During the Year 2017/18

Ananthamurthy, U. R. "Samskara" (ಸಂಸ್ಕಾರ - Rites) - 1965 (India)
Atwood, Margaret "The Handmaid's Tale" @BC 01/18
Bollen, Christopher "The Destroyers" @BC 04/18
Brooks, Max "World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War"
Brzezinski, Matthew "Isaac's Army: A Story of Courage and Survival in Nazi-Occupied Poland"
Buddha "The Dhammapada. Verses on the Way" (धम्मपद)
Devi, Phoolan "I, Phoolan Devi"
Dimkovska, Lidija "A Spare Life"
Fanon, Frantz "The Wretched of the Earth" (Les damnés de la terre) - 1961 (Colonialism)
Flanagan, Richard "The Narrow Road to the Deep North" (Thailand/Burma)

Forman Jr., James "Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America" 
Glasfurd, Guinevere "The Words in my Hand" @BC 02/18
Gyatso, Palden "Fire under the Snow"
Hertmans, Stefan "War and Turpentine" (Oorlog en terpentijn

Hillenbrand, Laura "Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption" (non-ficition)
James, Marlon "A Brief History of Seven Killings" (Jamaica)
Jian, Ma "The Dark Road" (阴之道) (China)
Kennedy, Emma "Shoes for Anthony" @BC 03/18 

- "The Tent, the Bucket and me"
Kershaw, Alex "The Envoy: The Epic Rescue of the Last Jews of Europe in the Desperate Closing Months of World War II"
Khedairi, Betool "Absent" (غايب Gabe) (Iraq)

Koch, Herman "The Dinner" (Het Diner) @BC 11/17 ~~
Lenz, Siegfried "The German Lesson" (Deutschstunde 
Mahfouz, Naguib "Palace Walk" (بين القصرين/Bayn al-qasrayn) (Egypt) (Nobel Prize 1988)
Modiano, Patrick "So You Don't Get Lost In The Neighbourhood" (Pour que tu ne te perdes pas dans le quartier) (France, Nobel Prize 2014)
Nadj Abonji, Melinda "Fly Away, Pigeon" (Tauben fliegen auf) (Yugoslavia/Switzerland)
Nafisi, Azar "Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books"
Narayan, R. K. "Malgudi Omnibus" (Trilogy: Swami and Friends; The Bachelor of Arts; The English Teacher) (India)
Noah, Trevor "Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood"Obioma, Chigozie "The Fischermen" (Nigeria)
Obreht, Téa "The Tiger's Wife"
Parker, Bruce "The Power of the Sea: Tsunamis, Storm Surges, Rogue Waves, and Our Quest to Predict Disasters"
Pollard, Helen "The Little French Guesthouse" @BC 05/18

Ruzhen, Li "Flowers in the Mirror" (Jing Hua Yuan - 鏡花緣) (China)
Shetterly, Margaret Lee "Hidden Figures"

Seierstad, Åsne "A Hundred and one Days. A Baghdad Journal"
Unigwe, Chika "On Black Sisters’ Street" (Fata Morgana) (Nigeria/Belgium)
Vargas, Fred "Quand sort la recluse"

Books Suggested During the Year 2016/17
Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi "Half of a Yellow Sun
Alexander, Brian "Glass House: The 1% Economy and the Shattering of the All-American Town"
Ananthamurthy, U. R. "Samskara" (ಸಂಸ್ಕಾರ - Rites)   , Mariama "So Long a Letter" (Une si longue lettre) @ BC 01/17 
Buddha "The Dhammapada. Verses on the Way" (धम्मपद)
Davis, Fiona "Doll House"
Benedict, Marie "The Other Einstein"
Correa, Armando Lucas "The German Girl"
Davis, Fiona "The Dollhouse"
Doerr, Anthony "All the Light We Cannot See"
Fanon, Frantz "The Wretched of the Earth" (Les damnés de la terre)

Glasfurd, Guinevere "The Words in my Hand" @BC 02/18
Goodwin, Daisy "Victoria"

Hannah, Kristin "The Nightingale"
Hansen, Dörte "This House is Mine" (Altes Land) @ BC 02/17  
Hawkins, Paula "The Girl on the Train" ***  
Hochschild, Arlie Russell "Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right"
Holleeder, Astrid "Judas. Een Familiechronik" (not yet translated)
Idliby, Ranya Tabari; Warner; Oliver, Suzanne "The Faith Club: A Muslim, A Christian, A Jew--Three Women Search for Understanding"
Ilibagiza, Immaculée with Erwin, Steve "Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust" *** 
Kiernan, Denise "The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II" 
Khedairi, Betool "Absent" (غايب Gabe)  
Kostova, Elizabeth "The Swan Thieves"  ***
Laker, Rosalind "The Golden Tulip" @ BC 03/17
Lee, Harper "To Kill a Mockingbird" @ BC 11/10 
Lenz, Siegfried "The German Lesson" (Deutschstunde) @BC 04/18
Lovett, Charlie "First Impressions: A Novel of Old Books, Unexpected Love, and Jane Austen" 
Mahfouz, Naguib "Palace Walk" (بين القصرين/Bayn al-qasrayn) (Nobel Prize 1988)
Meissner, Susan "A Fall of Marigolds" 
Narayan, R. K. "Malgudi Omnibus" (Trilogy: Swami and Friends, The Bachelor of Arts, The English Teacher) 
Nordberg, Jenny "Underground Girls of Kabul"
Oates, Joyce Carol "Carthage" @ BC 11/16
O'Brien, Tim "The Things They Carried"
Pamuk, Orhan "Cevdet Bey and His Sons" (Cevdet Bey ve Oğulları) (Nobel Prize 2006)
Plath, Sylvia "The Bell Jar" @ BC 01/17
Rand, Ayn "Anthem"
Richman, Alyson "The Velvet Hours"
Rosner, Elizabeth "The Speed of Light" ***  
Ruzhen, Li "Flowers in the Mirror" (Jing Hua Yuan - 鏡花緣)  
Salinger, J.D. "The Catcher in the Rye" ***  
Samuel, Wolfgang W.E. "German Boy: A Child in War" 
Şafak, Elif "The Architect's Apprentice"
- "Three Daughters of Eve"
Unigwe, Chika "On Black Sisters’ Street" (Fata Morgana)
Vance, J.D. "Hillbilly elegy : a memoir of a family and culture in crisis" - 2016
@ BC 06/17 "

Books Suggested During the Year 2015/16  
Ali, Sabahattin "Madonna in a Fur Coat" (Kürk Mantolu Madonna) @ BC 06/16
Burton, Jessie "The Miniaturist" @BC 03/16
Delacourt, Grégoire "The List of my Desires/My Wish List" (La liste de mes envies) @BC 11/15
Khadra, Yasmina "The Swallows of Kabul" (Les hirondelles de Kaboul)

Kulin, Ayşe "Rose of Sarajevo" (Sevdalinka) @BC 04/16
Schmitt,Éric-Emmanuel "Monsieur Ibrahim and the Flowers of the Koran" (Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran) @BC 05/16
Schmitt,Éric-Emmanuel "Oscar and the Lady in Pink" (Oscar et la dame rose) @BC 05/16
Worth, Jennifer "Call the Midwife" @ BC 07/16
Zweig, Stefanie "Nowhere in Africa" (Nirgendwo in Afrika) @BC 04/08 + 01/16

Books Suggested During the Year 2014/15
I was lucky that a year after I couldn't run the club anymore, another lady in the area started an international book club. We do things a little different here with everyone suggesting a book from their country and we then draw one but this is just as much fun and has led me to some interesting books already:
Brown, Daniel James "The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics" @BC 01/15  
Dugain, Marc "The Officer's Ward" (La Chambre des officiers) @BC 04/15 
Mann, Thomas "Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family" (Buddenbrooks) @BC 02/15
Patchett, Ann "The Patron Saint of Liars" @BC 05/15   
Tanpınar, Ahmet Hamdi "The Time Regulation Institute" (Saatleri Ayarlama Enstitüsü) @BC 12/14 
Books Suggested During the Year 2012/13
Andrić, Ivo "The Bridge on the Drina" (На Дрини Ћуприја or Na Drini Ćuprija) (Nobel Prize 1961) **
Baram, Nir "Good people" (Anashim Tovim)
Brijs, Stefan "The Angel Maker" (De engelenmaker) @BC 11/12
Dallaire, Roméo "Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda" @BC 08/09 ~~
Delaney, Frank "The Last Storyteller: A Novel of Ireland"  

Feldman, Deborah "Unorthodox" (non-fiction)
Genova, Lisa "Still Alice" 

Gillham, David R. "City of Women" @BC 09/13
Gowda, Shilpi Somaya "Secret Daughter" @BC 03/13
Grass, Günter "The Tin Drum" (Die Blechtrommel) (Nobel Prize 1999) ~~

Haddon, Mark "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time" @BC 05/08 ~~
Halberstam, David "The Best and the Brightest" - 1972 (non-fiction) ~~
Hannah, Kristin "Winter Garden" @BC 05/13
Hesse, Hermann "The Glass Bead Game" (Das Glasperlenspiel) (classic)
(Nobel Prize 1946)
Hill, Lawrence "The Book of Negroes" ~~
Holden Rothman, Claire "The Heart Specialist"
Hornsby, Dale "Under the Mango Tree" ~~
Ishiguro, Kazuo "Never Let Me Go" ~~
(Nobel Prize 2017)
Iyengar, B.K.S. "Light on Life: The Yoga Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace, and Ultimate Freedom" ~~
Jonasson, Jonas "The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared" (Hundraåringen som klev ut genom fönstret och försvann) @BC 08/13
Kingsolver, Barbara "The Lacuna" **
Koch, Herman "The Dinner" (Het Diner) @BC 11/17
Krabbé, Tim "The Vanishing" (Het gouden ei)
Lahiri, Jhumpa "Interpreter of Maladies"
Lamb, Christina "The Sewing Circles of Herat: A Personal Voyage Through Afghanistan" @BC 05/05 ~~
Lawson, Mary "Crow Lake" @BC 03/04 ~~
"The Other Side of the Bridge" @BC 09/08 ~~
LeBor, Adam "City of Oranges" (non-fiction) @BC 01/13
Lee, Euna & Dickey, Lisa "The World Is Bigger Now" (non-fiction)

Ling, Laura; Ling, Lisa "Somewhere Inside" (non-fiction) @BC 10/12 
Loo, Tessa de "The Twins" (De Tweeling) @BC 12/04 ~~
Lupton, Rosamund "Sister"  
MacDonald, Ann Marie "Fall on Your Knees@BC 01/02 ~~
-"The Way the Crow Flies@BC 10/04 ~~
Mahfouz, Naguib "Children of the Gebelawi" (aka Children of our Alley) (أولاد حارتنا) (Nobel Prize 1988) @BC 06/13
Mantel, Hilary "Bring Up the Bodies" ~~

Massaquoi, Hans J. "Destined to Witness" (auto-biography) ~~
Massie, Robert "Catherine the Great" (biography)
McCann, Colum "Let the Great World Spin"

McCourt, Frank "Angela’s Ashes" (Memoir)
Meyer, Stephenie "The Host"

Mo, Yan "Red Sorghum: A Novel of China" (红高粱家族  Hóng gāoliang jiāzú) (Nobel Prize 2012) **
Morton, Kate "The Forgotten Garden"

Müller, Herta "The Appointment" (Heute wär ich mir lieber nicht begegnet) (Nobel Prize 2009) @BC 12/11 ~~
Mulder, Eildert "Anders Breivik is net alleen" (Anders Breivik is not alone) (non-fiction) ~~
Nagamoto, Tomori  "Bittersweet Hotel" ~~
Okrent, Daniel "Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition" (non-fiction)
Ozeki, Ruth L. "My Year of Meats" (non-fiction)

Pamuk, Orhan "Istanbul, Memories and the City" (İstanbul: Hatıralar ve Şehir) (non-fiction) (Nobel Prize 2006) *** ~~ 
-"My Name is Red" (Benim Adim Kirmizi) (Nobel Prize 2006) @BC 02/13
Precht, Richard David "Who Am I and If So How Many?: A Journey Through Your Mind" (Wer bin ich und wenn ja, wie viele? Eine philosophische Reise) (non-fiction) ***
Rich, Roberta "The Midwife of Venice" ~~
Robert S. McNamara: In Retrospect. The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam" - 1995 (non-fiction) ~~
Sankovitch, Nina "Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading"  
Sienkiewicz, Henryk "Quo Vadis" (Quo vadis. Powieść z czasów Nerona) (Nobel Prize 1905)
See, Lisa "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" ~~
Segev, Tom "The Seventh Million. Israelis and the Holocaust" (המיליון השביעי – הישראלים והשואה) (non-fiction) ~~
Skloot, Rebecca "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" (non-fiction) ~~
Stachniak, Eva "The Winter Palace: A Novel of Catherine the Great"

Stevenson, Wendell "The Weight of a Mustard Seed: An Iraqi General's Moral Journey During the Time of Saddam" ~~
Stockett, Kathryn "The Help"
Tharoor, Shashi "The Elephant, the Tiger, and the Cell Phone: Reflections on India - The Emerging 21st-Century Power" ~~
Thom, James Alexander "Follow the River" 
Trees, Wolfgang "Kaffee, Krähenfüße und Kontrollen Die großen Schmuggeljahre an der deutschen Westgrenze" ~~

Ung, Loung "First they killed my father. A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers" (non-fiction) @BC 04/13
Van Agt, Dries "A Cry for Justice" (Een schreeuw om recht. De tragedie van het Palestijnse volk) (non-fiction) ~~
Wells, H.G. "The Island of Doctor Moreau"  ~~ 

Zusak, Markus "The Book Thief" @BC 01/11 ~~

Books Suggested During the Year 2011/12
Abuelais, Izzeldin "I Shall Not Hate" ~~
Aboulela, Leila "Lyrics Alley"
Allende, Isabel "Island Beneath the Sea" (La isla bajo el mar)
Atwood, Margaret "The Handmaid’s Tale" ~~
Banerjee Divakaruni, Chitra "The Mistress of Spices" ~~
Bhagat, Chetan "A Night at the Call Center" ~~
- "Five Point Someone: What Not to Do at IIT" ~~
Bausum, Ann "With Courage and Cloth: Winning the Fight for a Woman's Right to Vote" (non-fiction)
Brontë, Charlotte "Jane Eyre" (classic) @BC 01/12
Brontë, Emily "Wuthering Heights" (classic) ***
Brooks, Geraldine "Caleb's Crossing"  ~~
- "March" ~~
- "People of the Book"
Bryson, Bill "At Home. A Short History of Private Life" ~~
Burnard, Bonnie "Suddenly" ~~
Burns, Olive Ann "Cold Sassy Tree"
Bush, George W. "Decision Points" (autobiography)
Byatt, Antonia S. "Possession"" (Booker Prize 1990) ***
Capella, Anthony "The Wedding Officer" (Naples 1943) ~~
Chang, Jung "Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China" - (biography/autobiography) ~~
Chang, Leslie T. "Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China" (US) or "Factory Girls: Voices from the Heart of Modern China" (UK) (non-fiction) @BC 12/11
Clarke, Marcus "(For the Term of his) Natural Life" ~~
Davidsen, Leif "The Unknown Wife" (Den ukendte hustru)  ~~
De Chellis Hill, Carol "Henry James' Midnight Song"
Delaney, Frank "Ireland. A Novel"
Deng, Alphonsion; Deng, Benson; Ajak, Benjamin; Bernstein, Judy A. "They Poured Fire on us from the Sky: The True Story of Three Lost Boys from Sudan" (autobiography)
Dickens, Charles "Great Expectations" (classic) ~~
Diffenbaugh, Vanessa "The Language of Flowers"
Doctorow, Edgar Lawrence (E.L.) "Ragtime" (modern classic)
Doetsch, Richard "The 13th Hour" ~~
Dunmore, Helen "The Siege" @BC 11/11
Feiler, Bruce "Learning to Bow. Inside the Heart of Japan"
Fforde, Jasper "Lost in a Good Book" ~~
- "The Eyre Affair" ~~
Freud, Sigmund "The Interpretation of Dreams" (Die Traumdeutung) (classic, non-fiction) ~~
Gaiman, Neil "American Gods" ~~
Gallegos, Romulo "Doña Bárbara" ~~
Ghosh, Amitav "Sea of Poppies" (Booker Shortlist 2008)
Godden, Rumer "The Diddacoi" (Kizzy and the Diddacoi, Radio 4 programme) ~~
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von "The Sorrows of Young Werther" (Die Leiden des jungen Werther) (classic) ***
Grass, Günter "Crabwalk" (Im Krebsgang) (Nobel Prize 1999) @BC 08/12
Grayling, A.C. "Towards the Light: The Story of the Struggles for Liberty and Rights that Made the Modern West" (non-fiction)
Guterson, David "The Other" ***
Haasse, Hella "The Tea Lords" (Heren van de thee) ~~
Hawthorne, Nathaniel "The House of the Seven Gables" (classic)
Herbert, Xavier "Capricornia" (modern classic)
Hernández, José "The Gaucho Martín Fierro" ~~
Hesse, Herman "Demian" (Demian) (modern classic) (Nobel Prize 1946)
Hessler, Peter "River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze" (non-fiction) ~~
Heyer, Georgette "An Infamous Army" ~~
Hickman, Katie "Daughers of Britannia"
Hochschild, Adam "King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa" (non-fiction)
Howe, Katherine "The Physic Book of Deliverance Dane" ~~
Hume, Fergus "The Mystery of a Hansom Cab" ~~
Jensen, Carsten "I Have Seen the World Begin" (Jeg har set verden begynde) ~~
Jones, Edward P. "The Known World" (Pulitzer Prize 2004)
Kingsolver, Barbara "Animal, Vegetable and Miracle" (non-fiction)
- "The Lacuna" ***
Kladstrup, Donald & Petie "Wine and War: The French, the Nazis, and the Battle for France's Greatest Treasure" (non-fiction) @BC 03/12
Kohler, Sheila "Becoming Jane Eyre" ~~
Kristof, Nicholas D. & Wudunn, Shery"Half the Sky. How to Change the World" (non-fiction) @BC 05/12
Kulin, Ayse "Aylin" (Aylin) ~~
- "Farewell" (Veda) ~~
Kurlansky, Mark "Salt. A World History" (non-fiction)
Lahiri, Jhumpa "Interpreter of the Maladies: Stories of Bengla, Boston and Beyond" (Pulitzer Prize 2000)
Larson, Erik "In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin" (non-fiction)
Lenz, Siegfried "The German Lesson" (Deutschstunde) @BC 04/18
Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim "Nathan the Wise" (Nathan der Weise) (classic) ***
McCann, Colum "Let the Great World Spin: A Novel" ~~
McMurtry, Larry "The Last Picture Show" (modern classic)
Mitchell, Margaret "Gone With the Wind" (modern classic, Pulitzer Prize 1937) ***
Montejo, Eugenio "The Trees: Selected Poems 1967-2004" ~~
Morgan, Marlo "Mutant Message Down Under: A Woman's Journey into Dreamtime Australia" ~~
Newell, John Philip "Praying with the Earth: A Prayerbook for Peace" (non-fiction) ~~
O'Connor, Flannery "A Good man is hard to find" (short stories)
Okrent, Daniel "Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition" (non-fiction)
Oz, Amos "The Seventh Million Jew" ~~
Penney, Stef "The Invisible Ones" ~~
- "The Tenderness of Wolves" ~~
Pessl, Marisha "Special Topics in Calamity Physics" ~~
Pollan, Michael "The Omnivore's Dilemma: The Search for a Perfect Meal in a Fast-Food World" (non-fiction)
Premchand, Munschi "The Gift of a Cow" (Godaan) (classic) ~~
Pressfield, Steven "Gates of Fire" (Sparta and the Battle of Thermopylae) ~~
Rayner, Sarah "One Moment, One Morning"
Rhys, Jean "Wide Sargasso Sea" ~~
Ribaud, Roger "Maître de Maisons de sa Cave à sa Table"  ~~
Roberts, Gregory David "Shantaram" ~~~
Ruiz Zafón, Carlos "The Prince of Mist" (El príncipe de la niebla) ***
Rushdie, Salman "Midnight's Children" (Booker Prize 1981)
Şafak, Elif "The Bastard of Istanbul" - 2008 ~~
- "The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi" @BC 02/12
- "The Gaze"
- "İskender" ~~
- "The Saint of Incipient Insanities" (Araf) ~~
Satrapi, Marjane "The Complete Persepolis" ***
Saviano, Roberto "
Gomorrah: A Personal Journey Into the Violent International Empire of Naples' Organized Crime System" aka "Gomorrah: Italy’s Other Mafia" (Gomorra: Viaggio Nell’impero Economico E Nel Sogno Di Dominio Della Camorra) (non-fiction) *** ~~
Schami, Rafik "The Caligrapher's Secret" (Das Geheimnis des Kalligraphen) @BC 04/12
Sendker, Jan-Philipp "Risse in der großen Mauer" (non-fiction) *** ~~
Shields, Carol "The Stone Diaries" (Pulitzer Prize 1995, Booker Shortlist 1993)
Shields, Carol "Unless"
Sijie, Dai "Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress" (Balzac et la Petite Tailleuse Chinoise) ***~~
Silko, Leslie Marmon "Ceremony" (modern classic)
Skloot, Rebecca "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" (non-fiction)
Spink, Kathryn "Mother Teresa: A Complete Authorized Biography”"(biography)
Steinbeck, John "East of Eden" (modern classic) (Nobel Prize 1962) @BC 09/12
Swartwood, Robert "Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Fewer" ~~
Thom, James Alexander "Follow the River" (modern classic)
Torday, Paul "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" ~~
Twain, Mark "The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg" ~~
Twain, Mark; Smith, Harriet Elinor; Griffin, Benjamin; Fischer, Victor "Autobiography of Mark Twain" Samuel Clements ~~
Urquhart, Jane "The Stone Carvers" @BC 02/08
- "The Underpainter"
Van der Zee, Henri "The Hunger Winter: Occupied Holland 1944-1945" ~~
Waller, Robert James "Bridges of Madison County" ~~
Wearing, Alison "Honeymoon in Purdah: An Iranian Journey"
Weir, Alison "The Lady in the Tower"
White, Patrick "The Solid Mandala" ~~
Williamson, Kate T. "A Year in Japan" 
Woolf, Virginia "Mrs. Dalloway" (modern classic) ***
Xinran, Xue "Sky Burial"
Zamoyski, Adam "1812. Napoleon's Fatal March on Moscow" (non-fiction) ~~ 
Zweig, Stefanie "Nowhere in Africa" (Nirgendwo in Afrika) @BC 04/08 @BC 01/16
- "Somewhere in Germany" (Irgendwo in Deutschland) (sequel to "Nowhere in Africa") ***

Books Suggested During the Year 2010/11 
Ackerman, Diane "The Zookeeper's Wife. A War Story" (non-fiction) ~~
Andersen, Hans Christian + Hamsun, Knut "Istanbul'da Iki Iskandinav Seyyah" (non-fiction) ~~
Baker, Jean Harvey "Mary Todd Lincoln: A Biography" (biography)

Barnow, David "De hongerwinter" (The honger winter, only available in Dutch so far) ~~
Bernlef, J. (Hendrik Jan Marsman) "Out of Mind" (Hersenschimmen)
Betancourt, Íngrid "Even Silence has an End: My Six Years in the Jungle" (Même le silence a une fin) (autobiography) @BC 08/11
Brown, Dan "The Da Vinci Code" ***
Capote, Truman "In Cold Blood" (modern classic) ~~
Chevalier, Tracy
"Remarkable Creatures" @BC 10/11 - "The Lady and the Unicorn" ~~
Cleave, Chris "The Other Hand" (or Little Bee) Comte-Sponville, André "The Book of Atheist Spirituality" (L'Esprit de l'athéisme - Introduction à une spiritualité sans Dieu) (non-fiction)
Courtenay, Bryce "The Power of One" (non-fiction)
de Rosnay, Tatiana "Sarah's Key"
de Winter, Leon "Hoffman's Hunger" (Hoffman's honger)
Dunmore, Helen "The Siege" ~~ @BC 11/11
Ebershoff, David "The 19th Wife" ~~
Faulks, Sebastian "Birdsong" ~~
Ford, Mackenzie (Peter Watson) "The Gifts of War"
Fromkin, David "A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East" (or: Creating the Modern Middle East) (non-fiction) ~~
Furnivall, Kate "The Russian Concubine"
Hamsun, Knut "Pan" (Pan) (modern classic) (Nobel Prize 1920) @BC 03/11
Hay, Elizabeth "Late Nights on Air"
Hegi, Ursula "Stones from the River" *** ~~
Hessler, Peter "River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze"
Hill, Lawrence "The Book of Negros" (non-fiction)
Hillenbrand, Laura "Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption" (non-fiction) ~~
Hillers, Marta/Anonyma "A Woman in Berlin" (Eine Frau in Berlin. Tagebuchaufzeichnungen vom 20. April bis 22. Juni 1945) (diary) ~~
Hilton, James "Lost Horizon. The classic tale of Shangri-La" (modern classic)
Hirsi Ali, Ayaan "Infidel: My Life" (Mijn Vrijheid) (autobiography) @BC 03/08
- "Nomad: From Islam to America: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations" (autobiography) @BC 05/11
Hochschild, Adam "King Leopold's Ghost. A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa" (non-fiction) ~~
Hosseini, Khaled "A Thousand Splendid Suns" @BC 06/11
Kang Chol-Hwan; Rigoulot, Pierre "The Aquariums of Pyongyang. Ten Years in the North Korean Gulag" (Les Aquariums de Pyongyang) (non-fiction)
Kingsolver, Barbara "The Lacuna" *** ~~
Kostova, Elizabeth "The Historian" ***
- "The Swan Thieves" ***
Larson, Eric "In the Garden of Beasts: Love and terror in Hitler's Berlin" (non-fiction) ~~
Lee, Harper "To Kill a Mockingbird" (modern classic, Pulitzer Prize 1961) @BC 11/10
Luttrell, Marcus; Robinson, Patrick "Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10" (non-fiction) ~~
McCourt, Frank "Angela's Ashes" (autobiography) *** ~~
Michener, James "Caravans" (modern classic) ~~
Miller, Don "A Million Miles In a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life" (non-fiction)
Mortenson, Greg "Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan" (non-fiction) @BC 04/11
Müller, Herta "The Appointment" (Heute wär ich mir lieber nicht begegnet) (Nobel Prize 2009) @BC 12/11
- "The King Bows and Kills" (Der König verneigt sich und tötet) (autobiography) (Nobel Prize 2009) *** ~~
- "The Land of Green Plums" (Herztier) (Nobel Prize 2009) ~~
Newby, Eric "A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush" (non-fiction) ~~
Nemat, Marina "Prisoner of Tehran: One Woman's Story of Survival Inside a Torture Jail" - 2007 (non-fiction) ~~
Oates, Joyce Carol "Black Girl/White Girl"
Orwell, George "Animal Farm. A Fairy Story" ***
Power, Samantha "Problem from Hell, America and the Age of Genocide" (non-fiction) ~~
Rhue, Morton (Todd Strasser) "The Wave" (fictionalized account) *** ~~
Rowlatt, Bee & Witwit, May "Talking About Jane Austen in Baghdad. The True Story of an Unlikely Friendship" (non-fiction) @BC 09/11
Ruiz Zafón, Carlos "The Angel's Game" " (El juego del ángel)
Runcie, James "The Discovery of Chocolate" ***
Rushdie, Salman "The Moor's Last Sigh" (Booker Shortlist 1995)
Rutherfurd, Edward "The Princes of Ireland: The Dublin Saga"
Şafak, Elif "Araf" (aka The Saint of Incipient Insanities) ***
- "The Forty Rules of Love. A Novel of Rumi" @BC 02/12
Saint-Exupéry, Antoine "The Little Prince" (Le Petit Prince) ***
Schulze, Ingo "New Lives" (Neue Leben)
Segev, Tom "The Seventh Million. Israelis and the Holocaust" (המיליון השביעי – הישראלים והשואה) (non-fiction) ~~
Setterfield, Diane "The Thirteenth Tale"
Shriver, Lionel "We need to talk about Kevin"
Sobel, Dava "Galileo's Daughter. A Drama of Science, Faith and Love" (non-fiction) @BC 09/06
Steinbeck, John "The Grapes of Wrath" (modern classic) (Nobel Prize 1962, Pulitzer Prize 1940) @BC 03/09
Stockett, Kathryn "The Help" ***
Stowe, Harriet Beecher "Uncle Tom's Cabin" (classic) ***
Taleb, Nassim Nicholas "The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable"
Tekin, Latife "Swords of Ice" (Buzdan Kiliçlar) @BC 02/11
Tolan, Sandy "The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East" *** ~~
Twain, Mark "A Tramp Abroad" (modern classic)
Verghese, Abraham "Cutting for Stone"
Walsh, Helen "Once Upon a Time in England"
Waters, Sarah "The Little Stranger" (Booker Shortlist 2009)
Wroblewski, David "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle"
Zusak, Markus "The Book Thief" @BC 01/11
Movie: "Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple" - 2006 and
"Jonestown: Paradise Lost" (History Channel documentary, 2007)

Books Suggested During the Year 2009/10

Abdolah, Kader "The House of the Mosque" (Het huis van de moskee) @BC 09/10
Ackerman, Diane "The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story" (non-fiction)
Adiga, Aravind "The White Tiger" (Booker Prize 2008)
Akpan, Uwem "Say You're One Of Them" (short stories)
Al Khamissi, Khaled "Taxi" (Taxi. Hawadith al-mashawir) (short stories)
Barbery, Muriel "The Elegance of the Hedgehog" (L'Élégance du hérisson)
Berkeljon, Sara & Wansink, Hans "De orkaan Ayaan" (not available in English) ~~
Brontë, Anne "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" (classic) ***
Brontë, Charlotte "Jane Eyre" (classic) @BC 01/12
Brontë, Emily "Wuthering Heights" (classic) ***
Bryson, Bill - Travel books: "The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America", "Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe", "Notes from a Small Island" (Britain), "A Walk in the Woods" (US edition: "A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail"), "Notes From a Big Country", "Down Under" (US edition: "In a Sunburned Country"), "African Diary" - Books about Language: "Mother Tongue", "Made in America", "Troublesome Words" and his latest books: "A Short History of Nearly Everything" (non-fiction, science), "The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid" (memoir), "Shakespeare: The World as a Stage" (biography), "Bill Bryson's Dictionary: For Writers and Editors" (I read quite a few of these and intend to read all of them.) *** ~~
Chabon, Michael "The Yiddish Policemen's Union" ***
Chang, Iris "The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II" (non-fiction)
Coetzee, J.M. "Disgrace" (Nobel Prize 2003, Booker Prize 1999) ***
de Loo, Tessa "A bed in heaven" (Een bed in de hemel)
Diamant, Anita "The Red Tent"
Dirie, Waris "Desert Flower: The Extraordinary Journey of a Desert Nomad" (non-fiction) ***
Dunn, Katherine "Geek Love" ~~
Evans, Eli N. "The Provincials" (personal history) ~~
Evans, Karin "The Lost Daughters of China: Adopted Girls, Their Journey to America, and the Search for a Missing Past" ~~
Falcones, Ildefonso "Cathedral of the Sea" (La catedral del mar) @BC 08/10
Fitzgerald, Laura "Veil of Roses"
Gies, Miep "Anne Frank Remembered: The Story of the Woman Who Helped to Hide the Frank Family" (Herinneringen aan Anne Frank. Het verhaal van Miep Gies, de steun en toeverlaat van de familie Frank in het Achterhuis) (non-fiction)
Gibb, Camilla "Sweetness in the Belly"
Griffin, John Howard "Black like me" (non-fiction) @BC 12/09
Hamsun, Knut "Growth of the Soil" (Markens Grøde 1) (modern classic) (Nobel Prize 1920)
- "Hunger" (Sult) (modern classic) (Nobel Prize 1920)
- "Mysteries" (Mysterier) (modern classic) (Nobel Prize 1920)
 "Pan" (Pan) (modern classic) (Nobel Prize 1920) @BC 03/11
- "Victoria" (Victoria. En kjærlighedshistorie) (modern classic) (Nobel Prize 1920)
Hessler, Peter "River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze" (non-fiction)
Hill, Lawrence "The Book of Negros" (historical fiction)
Hirsi Ali, Ayaan "Infidel: My Life" (Mijn Vrijheid) (autobiography) @BC 03/08
Horan, Nancy "Loving Frank"
Hosseini, Khaled "A Thousand Splendid Suns" @BC 06/11
Hunt, Janin "Netherlands: A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette (Culture Shock! Guides)" (non-fiction)
Ilibagiza, Immaculéee "Left to Tell: One Woman's Story of Surviving the Rwandan Holocaust" (non-fiction) ***
Lamb, Wally "The Hour I First Believed" @BC 01/10
LeGuin, Ursula K. "The Left Hand of Darkness" (science fiction)
- "Those who walk away from Omelas" ~~
Loe, Erlend "Naiv. super" (Naïve, Super)
Maguire, Gregory "Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West"
Mantel, Hilary "Wolf Hall" (Booker Prize 2009)
Martel, Yann "The Life of Pi" (Booker Prize 2002)
McClure, Tori Murden "A Pearl in the Storm: How I Found My Heart in the Middle of the Ocean/A Woman's Solo Odyssey" (memoir/autobiography)

Mercier, Pascal "Night Train to Lisbon" (Nachtzug nach Lissabon) @BC 03/09
Moore, Christopher "Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal" @BC 02/10
Mulisch, Harry "Siegfried" (Siegfried) (alternate history)
Patchett, Ann "Bel Canto"
Picoult, Jodi "Nineteen Minutes"
Rand, Ayn "Atlas Shrugged"

Rhue, Morton (Todd Strasser) "The Wave" (fictionalized account) *** ~~
Ruiz Zafón, Carlos "The Angel's Game" (El juego del ángel) ***
Rush, Christopher "Will" ("auto"biography on William Shakespeare)
Russo, Richard "Bridge of Sighs"
Sasson, Jean "Desert Royal"

Shaffer, Mary Ann & Barrows, Annie "The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society" @BC 10/10
Sharpe, Norean R. "Living with the Dutch" (non-fiction)
Shkilnyk, Anestasia "A poison stronger than love" ~~
Shreve, Anita "Light on Snow"
Sinclair, Upton "The Jungle" ~~
Strout, Elizabeth "Olive Kitteridge: A Novel in Stories" (Pulitzer Prize 2008)

Toews, Miriam "The Flying Troutmans"
Trojanov, Ilija  "The Collector of Worlds" (Der Weltensammler) @BC 04/10
Troost, J Maarten "Sex Lives of Cannibals - Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific"
Tuchman, Barbara W. "A Distant Mirror" (modern classic, historical fiction)
van de Krol "Native English for Nederlanders" (non-fiction) ~~

Vossestein, Jacob "Dealing with the Dutch" (non-fiction) ***
Walker, Alice "The Way Forward is with a Broken Heart" (collection of stories) ~~
Wallraff, Günter (undercover journalism) ~~

Walls, Jeannette "The Glass Castle" (non-fiction, memoir) ***
Wassmo, Herbjørg "Dina's book" (Dina's bok)

White, Colin & Boucke, Laurie "The UnDutchables: An Observation of the Netherlands, Its Culture and Its Inhabitants" (non-fiction) @BC 11/05
Wisner, Franz "How the World Makes Love: And What It Taught a Jilted Groom" @BC 06/10
Woolf, Virginia "To the Lighthouse" @BC 05/10
Wroblewski, David "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle"
"Ghosts of Rwanda"
"Bride & Prejudice", (a modern "Pride & Prejudice")

Books Suggested During the Year 2008/09
Abdolah, Kader "The House of the Mosque" (Het huis van de moskee) @BC 09/10
Albom, Mitch "The Five People You Meet in Heaven" @BC 12/08
Arnold, Gaynor "Girl in a Blue Dress" @BC 04/09
Austen, Jane "Pride & Prejudice" (classic) ***
Berg, Elizabeth "Talk Before Sleep"

Boyne, John "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas" @BC 06/09
Brontë, Anne "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" (classic) ***
Buck, Pearl S. "The Good Earth" - 1931 (modern classic) (Nobel Prize 1938, Pulitzer Prize 1932) @BC 11/09
Capella, Anthony "The Wedding Officer"
Capote, Truman "In Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder and Its Consequences" (modern classic) (non-fiction novel)
Chabon, Michael "The Yiddish Policemen's Union" *** ~~
Chambers, Aidan "Postcards from No Man's Land" ~~
Cooper, James Fenimore "The Last of the Mohicans" (classic)
Crile, George "Charlie Wilson's War: The Extraordinary Story of How the Wildest Man in Congress and a Rogue CIA Agent Changed the History of Our Times" (non-fiction)
Crowther, Yasmin "The Saffron Kitchen" (La Cocina Del Azafran)

Dallaire, Roméo "Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda" (non-fiction) @BC 08/09
Davis, Kenneth C. "Don't Know Much About History" (non-fiction) ~~

Deforges, Régine "The Blue Bicyle", part 1 (La Bicyclette Bleue) (It's practically the French "Gone with the Wind", apparently there are now 10 parts, so maybe they also copied "Scarlett") *** ~~
* 101 avenue Henri-Martin or "Lea" (
101, avenue Henri-Martin, part 2) ~~
* Devil Is Still Laughing About It (
Le diable en rit encore 1944-1945, part 3) ~~
* Black Tango (
Noir tango, part 4 ) ~~
Silk Road (Rue de la Soie, 1947-1949, part 5) ~~
The Final Hill (La dernière colline, 1950-1954, part 6) ~~
To the Freedom of Cuba! (Cuba libre!, part 7) ~~
Algiers, White City (Alger, ville blanche - 1959-1960, part 8) ~~
The Generals of Twilight (Les Généraux du crépuscule: 1960-1962, part 9) ~~
And When the Trip is Over (Et quand viendra la fin du voyage...: 1964-1967, part 10) ~~
Delderfield, R.F. "A Horseman Riding By: Long Summer Day" Vol. 1 ~~
- "A Horseman Riding By: Post of Honour" Vol. 2 ~~
- "A Horseman Riding By: The Green Gauntlet" Vol. 3 ~~
Esquivel, Laura "Like Water for Chocolate" (Como agua para chocolate) ~~
Fforde, Katie "Going Dutch"

Follett, Ken "The Pillars of the Earth" ***
Frank, Anne "The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition" (modern classic, diary) *** ~~
Frazier, Charles "Thirteen Moons" ***
Friedman, Carl "The Shovel and the Loom" (Twee koffers vol)
Frost, Robert "The Road less traveled" ~~

García Márquez, Gabriel "Love in the Time of Cholera" (El amor en los tiempos del cólera) (Nobel Prize 1982) @BC 11/08
Gladwell, Malcom "The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference" (non-fiction) ***
Grass, Günter "Crabwalk" (Im Krebsgang) (Nobel Prize 1999) @BC 08/12 ~~
Gregory, Philippa "The Other Boleyn Girl"

Gruen, Sara "Water for Elephants" @BC 10/09
Hahn Beer, Edith "The Nazi Officer's Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust" (autobiography) ~~
Harris, Trudy "Glimpses of Heaven: True Stories of Hope and Peace at the End of Life's Journey" (non-fiction) ~~

Hegi, Ursula "Stones from the River" *** ~~
Itani, Frances "Deafening"

Jessop, Carolyn "Escape" (biography) ***
Kehlmann, Daniel "Measuring The World" (Die Vermessung der Welt) (biographical novel) ***
Kostova, Elizabeth "The Historian" ***
Krakauer, Jon "Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith" (non-fiction) ***
- "Into Thin Air: Personal Account of the Everest Disaster" (non-fiction)

LeBor, Adam "City of Oranges" (non-fiction) *** ~~
Lessing, Doris "The Golden Notebook" (modern classic) (Nobel Prize 2008) @BC 01/09
Lewis, Robert "Raising a Modern Day Knight: A Father's Role in Guiding His Son to Authentic Manhood" (non-fiction) ~~
Lourie, Richard "A Hatred for Tulips"
Lubin, Albert J. "Stranger on the Earth: A Psychological Biography of Vincent Van Gogh" (non-fiction)

Mahfouz, Naguib "Palace Walk" (بين القصرين) (The Cairo Trilogy) (non-fiction) (Nobel Prize 1988)
Mann, Charles C. "1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus" (non-fiction) ~~
Martel, Yann "Life of Pi"
McCaughrean, Geraldine "Peter Pan in Scarlet"

Mercier, Pascal "Night Train to Lisbon" (Nachtzug nach Lissabon) @BC 03/09
Meulenbelt, Anja (Dutch books only) ~~
Michener, James A. "The Covenant" ~~
Miller, Sue "While I was gone"

Mortenson, Greg "Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission To Promote Peace...One School At A Time." (non-fiction) @BC 05/09
Mortenson Greg and Relin, David Oliver; Thomson, Sarah (Adapter) "Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Journey to Change the World... One Child at a Time" (non-fiction for 8-13 year-olds) ~~
Mortenson, Greg and Roth, Susan L. "Listen to the Wind" (non-fiction for children) ~~
Mosse, Kate "Sepulchre"

Naipaul, V. S. "A Bend in the River: His Great Novel of Africa" (Nobel Prize 2001, Booker Shortlist 2003) ***
Oates, Joyce Carol "Black Girl/White Girl"
Patchett, Ann "Truth & Beauty: A Friendship" (non-fiction/memoir)
Pessl, Marisha "Special Topics in Calamity Physics" ***
Picoult, Jodi "My Sister's Keeper" @BC 02/09
- "Nineteen Minutes"
- "Plain Truth" ~~

Rhue, Morton (Todd Strasser) "The Wave" (fictionalized account) *** ~~
Scrivener, Leslie "Terry Fox: His Story" (biography)
Sebold, Alice "The Lovely Bones"

See, Lisa "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" ~~
Shorto, Russell "The Island at the Centre of the World: The Untold Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Founding of New York" (non-fiction)
Shute, Nevil "On the Beach"

Smith, Zadie "On Beauty" (Booker Shortlist 2005) ***
Spragins, Ellyn "What I Know Now: Letters to My Younger Self" (non-fiction)
Stanley, Jerry "Children of the Dust Bowl: The True Story of the School at Weedpatch Camp" (non-fiction) ~~

Steinbeck, John "The Grapes of Wrath" (modern classic) (Nobel Prize 1962, Pulitzer Prize 1940) @BC 03/09
- "The Pearl" (Nobel Prize 1962)
Tremayne, Peter "Absolution by Murder" (Sister Fidelma Series: A Celtic Mystery)

Vargas Llosa, Mario "The Storyteller" (El Hablador) (Nobel Prize 2010) *** ~~
Walls, Jeannette "The Glass Castle: A Memoir" (non-fiction) ***
Wilson, Budge "Before Green Gables"
Young, James E. "At Memory's Edge: After-Images of the Holocaust in Contemporary Art and Architecture" (non-fiction) ~~
Poems of Lord Byron

Books Suggested During the Year 2007/08
Al Aswany, Alaa "The Yacoubian Building" ***
al-Baz, Rania "Disfigured: A Saudi Woman’s Story of Triump over Violence” (Défigurée) (memoir)

Albom, Mitch "Five people you meet in heaven" @BC 12/08
Andrić, Ivo "The Bridge on the Drina" (На Дрини Ћуприја or Na Drini Ćuprija) (Nobel Prize 1961)
Atwood, Margaret "The Blind Assassin" (Booker Prize 2000)
Beckman, Thea "Crusade in Jeans" (Kruistocht in spijkerbroek)
Bernlef, J. (penname for Hendrik Jan Marsman) "Out of Mind" (Hersenschimmen)
Brashares, Ann "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants"

Bryson, Bill "A Short History of Nearly Everything" (non-fiction)
Buruma, Ian "Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo Van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance" (non-fiction) @BC 12/07
Cather, Willa "My Ántonia" (classic) @BC 10/08
Collins, Wilkie "The Woman in White" (classic) ***
Covey, Stephen R. "The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness" (non-fiction)

Dash, Mike "Tulipomania: The Story of the World's Most Coveted Flower and the Extraordinary Passions It Aroused" (non-fiction) *** ~~
Desai, Kiran "The Inheritance of Loss" (Booker Prize 2006) ~~
Dumas, Alexandre "The Black Tulip" (La Tulipe Noire) (classic) ~~

Edwards, Kim "The Memory Keeper’s Daughter" @BC 01/08
Evanovich, Janet "One for the Money" (Stephanie Plum Novels)
Fischer, Erica "Aimée & Jaguar" (Aimée & Jaguar, Eine Liebesgeschichte, Berlin)
Follett, Ken "The Pillars of the Earth" ***
Forster, E. M. (Edward Morgan) "A Passage to India" (classic) ***
Frost, Robert "The Road less traveled"

Gabaldon, Diana "Outlander" (First of Outlander Series)
Gibb, Camilla "Sweetness in the Belly"
Goodkind, Terry "Wizard’s First Rule"
Grafton, Sue "A is for Alibi" (Kinsey Millhone Alphabet Mysteries)

Grenville, Kate "The Secret River" (Booker Shortlist 2006) ***
Groult, Benoîte "La touche étoile" (not yet translated into English) (author of: Les vaisseaux du cœur, The salt on our skin)

Guterson, David "Snow Falling on Cedars" ***
Haddon, Mark "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time" @BC 05/08
Hamill, Pete "Snow in August"
Hardy, Thomas "Jude the Obscure"

Hirsi Ali, Ayaan "The Caged Virgin" (non-fiction)
Hislop, Victoria "The Island" ***
Howell, Georgina "Gertrude Bell: Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations" (biography)
Janin, Hunt & Van Eil, Ria "Culture Shock! Netherlands" (non-fiction)

Johnson, Dr. Spencer "Who Moved My Cheese?" (non-fiction) ***
Joyce, James "Dubliners" ***
Khan, Riz (HRH Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud) "AlWaleed: Businessman Billionaire Prince" (non-fiction) ~~
Kipling, Rudyard "Kim" (classic) (Nobel Prize 1907)
Kolodiejchuk, M.C., Fr. Brian "Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light" (non-fiction)

Kostova, Elizabeth "The Historian" *** ~~
Krakauer, Jon "Into Thin Air: Personal Account of the Everest Disaster" (non-fiction)

Lawson, Mary "The Other Side of the Bridge" @BC 09/08
Leïla "Mariée de force" (non-fiction) ~~

Lewis, C.S. "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" (first of the Narnia Chronicles) ***
- "The Pilgrim's Regress: An Allegorical Apology for Christianity Reason and Romanticism"
Mann, Heinrich "Man of Straw," "The Patrioteer,"or "The Loyal Subject" (Der Untertan)
Mapes Dodge, Mary "Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates:a Story of Life in Holland"
Marsh, Ngaio (Dame Edith) – Mystery Novels ~~

McCall Smith, Alexander: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series (we read the first three)
* 1999 The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
* 2000 Tears Of The Giraffe
* 2002 The Kalahari Typing School for Men
* 2004 The Full Cupboard of Life
* 2004 In the Company of Cheerful Ladies (also known as The Night-Time Dancer)
* 2006 Blue Shoes and Happiness
* 2007 The Good Husband of Zebra Drive
* 2008 The Miracle at Speedy Motors

McCourt, Frank "Angela’s Ashes" (autobiography) *** ~~
- "Teacher Man"
- "’Tis: A Memoir" ***
Menchú Tum, Rigoberta "Crossing Borders: An Autobiography"
Michener, James "Chesapeake"
- "Texas"

Moggach, Deborah "Tulip Fever" @BC 11/07
Mulisch, Harry "The Assault" (De Aanslag)

Oates, Joyce Carol "The Gravedigger’s Daughter" ***
Pamuk, Orhan "My Name is Red" (Benim Adım Kırmızı) (Nobel Prize 2006) ***
-"The Black Book" (Kara Kitap) (Nobel Prize 2006) ***
- "Snow" (Kar) (Nobel Prize 2006)
- "Istanbul, Memories and the City" (İstanbul: Hatıralar ve Şehir) (non-fiction) (Nobel Prize 2006) ***
Pavord, Anna "The Tulip" (non-fiction) *** ~~
Picoult, Jodi "Vanishing Acts"

Powers, Charles T. "In the Memory of the Forest" ~~***
Reichs, Kathy "Déjà Dead"
- "Grave Secrets"

Rogge, Jan-Uwe Rogge “Puberty” (Pubertät) ~~
See, Lisa "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan"

Shriver, Lionel "We Need to Talk About Kevin: A Novel"
Sijie, Dai "Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress" (Balzac et la Petite Tailleuse chinoise) ***
Simmons, Simone "Diana--The Last Word" (non-fiction)

Smith, Zadie "On Beauty" (Booker Shortlist 2005) ***
Stewart, Rory "The Places in Between" (non-fiction)
Stone, Irving "The Agony and the Ecstasy: A Biographical Novel of Michelangelo" @BC 08/08
Toporov, Brandon and Buckles, Father Luke "The Complete Idiot's Guide to World Religions" (non-fiction)
Traver, Robert "Anatomy of a Murder"

Urquhart, Jane "The Stone Carvers" @BC 02/08
Walker, Alice "The Color Purple" (Pulitzer Prize 1983) ~~
Wedekind, Frank "Spring Awakening" (Frühlingserwachen)
Werfel, Franz "The Song of Bernadette" (Das Lied von Bernadette) (non-fiction)

Woolf, Virginia "Mrs. Dalloway" (classic) ***
Zweig, Stefanie "Nowhere in Africa" (Nirgendwo in Afrika) @BC 04/08 @ BC 01/16
Friendly Persuasion – movie with Gary Cooper and Anthony Perkins – 1956
Witness – movie with Harrison Ford, Kelly McGillis (and Viggo Mortensen in one of his first roles) – 1985

Books Suggested During the Year 2006/07
Abdolah, Kader "My Father's Notebook" (Spijkerschrift)

Bender, Sue "Plain and Simple: A Woman's Journey to the Amish" (non-fiction) @BC 04/07
- "A Woman's Journey Home" - Book 2 (non-fiction) ~~
- "Stretching Lessons. The Daring Starts from Within" - Book 3 (non-fiction) ~~

Cather, Willa "My Ántonia" (classic) @BC 10/08
Chang, Jung "Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China" (biography/autobiography)
Coelho, Paulo "The Alchemist: A Fable about Following Your Dream" (O Alquimista) ***
Cottrell Boyce, Frank "Frank "Millions"
Curtis Higgs, Liz "Thorn in My Heart"
Eliot, George "Middlemarch" (classic) @BC 06/07
García Márquez, Gabriel "One Hundred Years of Solitude" (Cien años de soledad) (Nobel Prize 1982) ***
Gavalda, Anna "Hunting and Gathering" (Ensemble c'est tout) @BC 02/07
Grenville, Kate "The Idea of Perfection"

Guillou, Jan "Road to Jerusalem" (Vägen till Jerusalem/Tie Jerusalemiin)
Helprin, Mark "Soldier of the Great War"

Hemingway, Ernest "The Old Man and the Sea" (Nobel Prize 1954, Pulitzer Prize 1953) ***
Hesse, Hermann "Demian" (Demian) (classic) (Nobel Prize 1946)

- "Siddhartha" (Siddhartha) (classic) (Nobel Prize 1946) ***
Hosseini, Khaled "The Kite Runner" @BC 10/07
King, Steven "The Green Mile"

Lamb, Wally "I know this much is true" ***
Lewycka, Marian "A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian" @BC 11/06
Mann, Thomas "Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family" (Buddenbrooks: Verfall einer Familie) (classic) (Nobel Prize 1929) @BC 08/07
Marshall, Megan "The Peabody Sisters: Three Women Ignited American Romanticism" (biography)
Martell, Yann "Life of Pi"

Mason, Daniel "The Piano Tuner" @BC 12/06
Michener, James "Chesapeake" ~~
Nafisi, Azar "Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books"  

Noor Al-Hussein, Queen of Jordan "A Leap of Faith: Memoir of an Unexpected Life" (autobiography) @BC 01/07
Oates, Joyce Carol "The Falls" ***
Ogawa, Yôko "Gift of Numbers" (Hakase no aishita sushiki)
Packer, Ann "The Dive from Clausen's Pier"

Pollock, David C.; Van Reken Ruth "Third Culture Kids" (non-fiction) @BC 09/07
Power, Charles T. "In the Memory of the Forest" ***

Ruíz Zafón, Carlos "The Shadow of the Wind" (La Sombra del Viento) @BC 10/06
Russo, Richard "Empire Falls" (Pulitzer Prize 2002)

Sachar, Louis "Holes" ***
Seierstad, Åsne "The Bookseller of Kabul" *** ~~
Smith, Zadie "On Beauty" (Booker Shortlist 2005) *** ~~
Steinbeck, John "The Grapes of Wrath" (modern classic) (Nobel Prize 1962, Pulitzer Prize 1940) @BC 03/09
Stone, Irving "Agony and the Ecstasy: A Biographical Novel of Michelangelo" @BC 08/08
Stroyar, J.N. "The Children's War" and
"A Change of Regime" ***
Walker, Alice "The Color Purple" (Pulitzer Prize 1983)
Waltari, Mika "The Dark Angel" (Johannes Angelo) @BC 05/07
- "Young Johnnes" (Nuori Johannes)
- "The Adventurer" (Mikael Karvajalka)
- "Michael, the Finn" or "The Wanderer) (Mikael Hakim)

Wiesel, Elie "Night" (La Nuit) (classic, autobiography) (Nobel Peace Prize 1986) @BC 03/07
Zweig, Stefanie "Nowhere in Africa" (Nirgendwo in Afrika) @BC 04/08 @ BC 01/16
- "Somewhere in Germany" (Irgendwo in Deutschland) (sequel to "Nowhere in Africa") ***

Books Suggested During the Year 2005/06
Alcott, Louisa May "Little Women" (classic) ***

Allende, Isabel "The House of the Spirits" ***
Ashworth, Andrea "Once in a House on Fire" (non-fiction) ***
Atwood, Margaret "The Blind Assassin"
Austen, Jane "Persuasion" (classic) @BC 02/06
Barth, John "The Floating Opera"

Bernières, Louis de "Birds Without Wings"
Bowen, Elizabeth "The Death of the Heart"

Brontë, Charlotte "Jane Eyre" (classic) @BC 01/12
Brontë, Emily "Wuthering Heights" (classic) ***
Byatt, Antonia S. "Possession" (Booker Prize 1990) ***
Chevalier, Tracy "The Virgin Blue" ***
Didion, Joan "The Year of Magical Thinking"

Dirie, Waris "Desert Flower: The Extraordinary Journey of a Desert Nomad" (non-fiction) ***
Dostoevsky, Fyodor "The Adolescent" (Podrostok) @BC 12/05
Evans, Nicholas "The Horse Whisperer"

Faulks, Sebastian "Birdsong"
Fredriksson, Marianne "Hanna's Daughters" (Anna, Hanna og Johanna) @BC 06/06
- "Inge and Mira"
- "Two Women" (Flyttfåglar)

Gabaldon, Diana "Outlander" (also titled "Cross Stitch")
Gibran, Kahlil "The Prophet" ***
Goodman, Carol "The Lake of Dead Languages"
Graves, Robert "I, Claudius"

Haushofer, Marlen "The Wall" (Die Wand) ***
Heller, Joseph "Catch-22"
Herman, Eleanor "Sex with Kings: 500 Years of Adultery, Power, Rivalry, and Revenge" (non-fiction) ~~
Hill, Susan "The Various Haunts of Men"

Kladstrup, Don & Petie "Wine & War: The French, the Nazis, and the Battle for France's Greatest Treasures" (non-fiction) @BC 03/12
Larson, Erik "Isaac's Storm - The Drowning of Galveston" (non-fiction)
Lawhead, Stephen "The Iron Lance" (Celtic Crusades Series, Book 1)
Lawrence, D.H. "Woman in Love"
Maguire, Gregory "Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister"
McCarthy, Mary "Group"

Mosse, Kate "Labyrinth" @BC 08/06 
Multatuli "Max Havelaar: Or The Coffee Auctions of A Dutch Trading Company"
Naslund, Sena Jeter "Ahab's Wife: Or the Star Gazer"

Niffenegger, Audrey "The Time Traveler's Wife" @BC 03/06
Orwell, George "Down and Out in Paris and London"

Pearson, Allison "I Don't Know How She Does It: The Life of Kate Reddy, Working Mother" @BC 01/06
Powers, Charles T. In the Memory of the Forest" ***
Sebold, Alice "Lovely Bones"

Seierstad, Åsne "The Bookseller of Kabul" *** ~~
Seth, Vikram "A Suitable Boy" *** ~~
Shakib, Siba "Afghanistan: Where God only Comes to Weep" (Nach Afghanistan kommt Gott nur zum Weinen) (non-fiction) @BC 04/06
Shreve, Anita "Light on Snow"

Smith, Zadie "White Teeth" ***
Spark, Muriel "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie"
Süßkind, Patrick (Suskind) "Perfume: The Story of a Murderer" (Das Parfüm)
Tartt, Donna "The Secret History"
Tindall, Blair "Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs and Classical Music" (memoir)

Turner, Nancy E. "The Water and the Blood" ***
Waltari, Mika "The Dark Angel" (Johannes Angelo) @BC 05/07
- "The Egyptian" (Sinuhe Egyptiläinen) @BC 05/06
Wassmo, Herbjørg "Dina's Book" (Dinas Bok)
Waugh, Evelyn "Brideshead Revisited: Sacred and Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder" (classic)

White, Colin; Boucke, Laurie "The UnDutchables: An Observation of the Netherlands, Its Culture and Its Inhabitants" (non-fiction) @BC 11/05

Books Suggested During the Year 2004/05
Adams, Douglas "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" *** 

Angelou, Maya "I know why the caged bird sings" (autobiography) ***
Bernières, Louis de "The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts" (1st of a trilogy) 

Bragg, Melvin "A Soldier's Return" *** ~~
Brontë, Charlotte "Jane Eyre" (classic) @BC 01/12
Bryson, Bill "Troublesome Words" (non-fiction) ***

Bush, Catherine "Claire's Head" *** ~~
Bussink, Gerrit "Bittersweet Pieces: A Collection of Dutch Short Stories"

Chevalier, Tracy "The Virgin Blue" ***
Coelho, Paulo "The Alchemist: A Fable about Following Your Dream" (O Alquimista) ***
Coetzee, J.M. "Disgrace" (Nobel Prize 2003, Booker Prize 1999) ***
Cooper, James Fenimore "Last of the Mohicans" (classic)

Dash, Mike "Tulipomania: The Story of the World's Most Coveted Flower and the Extraordinary Passions It Aroused" (non-fiction) *** ~~
Donati, Sara "Into the Wilderness"
Dorrestein, Renate "A Heart of Stone" (Een hart van steen) ***
Frazier, Charles "Cold Mountain" ***
Funke, Cornelia "Inkheart" (children's book)
García Márquez, Gabriel "One Hundred Years of Solitude" (Cien años de soledad) (Nobel Prize 1982) ***
Ghosh, Amitav "The Glass Palace" @BC 02/05
Gladwell, Malcolm "The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference" (non-fiction, sociology) *** ~~

Glover, Douglas "Elle" @BC 03/05
Golden, Arthur "Memoirs of a Geisha" @BC 10/05
Guterson, David "Snow Falling on Cedars" ***
Hardy, Thomas "Tess of d'Urbervilles" (classic) ***
Herman, Eleanor "Sex with Kings: 500 Years of Adultery, Power, Rivalry, and Revenge" (non-fiction)
Henderson, Kristin "Driving by Moonlight: A Journey Through Love, War and Infertility" (non-fiction)
Hillenbrand, Laura "Seabiscuit: An American Legend" (non-fiction)

Høeg, Peter "Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow" (Frøken Smillas fornemmelse for sne) *** ~~
Horwood, William "Skallagrigg" (youth)
James, Etta + Ritz, David "Rage to Survive: The Etta James Story" (non-fiction)
Jin, Ha "Waiting"
Kingsolver, Barbara "Animal Dream"

Kladstrup, Don & Petie "Wine & War: The French, the Nazis, and the Battle for France's Greatest Treasure" (non-fiction) @BC 03/12
Lamb, Christina "The Sewing Circles of Herat" (non-fiction) @BC 05/05
Lansens, Lori "Rush Home Road"

Lewis, Oscar "Children of Sanchez: Autobiography of a Mexican Family" (non-fiction) @BC 06/05
Lippi, Rosina "Homestead" ***
Liss, David "The Coffee Trader" (Book on NL)
Loo, Tessa de "The Twins" (De Tweeling) @BC 12/04
Mankell, Henning - any ~~ "Daniel" 
Martel, Yann "Life of Pi"

McCall Smith, Alexander: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series (we read the first three)
* 1999 The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
* 2002 Tears Of The Giraffe The Kalahari Typing School for Men
* 2004 The Full Cupboard of Life
* 2004 In the Company of Cheerful Ladies (also known as The Night-Time Dancer)
* 2006 Blue Shoes and Happiness
* 2007 The Good Husband of Zebra Drive
* 2008 The Miracle at Speedy Motors
McDermott, Alice "Charming Billy"
Mistry, Rohinton "Family Matters" (Booker Shortlist 2002)
Monk Kidd, Sue "The Mermaid Chair"

Morrison, Toni "Beloved" (Nobel Prize 1993, Pulitzer Prize 1983) ***
Munro, Alice "Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage" (short stories) (Nobel Prize 2013) @BC 04/05
Munro, Alice "The Love of a Good Woman"
(Nobel Prize 2013)
Noble, Elizabeth "The Reading Group" @BC 09/05
Nichols, Peter "Voyage for Madmen" (non-fiction) @BC 01/05
Oates, Joyce Carol "We Were the Mulvaneys" ***
O'Brien, Edna "Down by the River"

Ondaatje, Michael "Anil's Ghost" ***
Paton, Alan "Cry, The Beloved Country" (classic) ***
Proulx, Annie E. The Shipping News" (Pulitzer Prize 1994) ***
Redfield, James "The Celestine Prophecy"
Roberts, Yvonne "A History of Insects"

Rosner, Elixabeth "The Speed of Light" ~~
Roy, Arundhati "The God of Small Things" (Booker Prize 1978)
Salinger, J.D. "The Catcher in the Rye" (classic) ***
Seierstad, Åsne "The Bookseller of Kabul" *** ~~
Seth, Vikram "A Suitable Boy" *** ~~
Shakib, Siba "Afghanistan: Where God only Comes to Weep" (Nach Afghanistan kommt Gott nur zum Weinen) (non-fiction) @BC 04/06
- "Samira and Samir: The Stunning True Story of Love and Freedom in Afghanistan" (Samira und Samir) ***
Shalev, Meir "Four Meals" ***
Soueif, Ahdaf, "The Map of Love" (Booker Shortlist 1999) @BC 09/02
Stewart, Chris "Driving over Lemons" (biography) ***

Tolstoy, Leo "Anna Karenina" (classic) @BC 08/05
Walker, Alice "The Color Purple" (Pulitzer Prize 1983) ***
Whiteford, Merry, McInerney-Whiteford, Merry "If Wishes were Horses?"

Books Suggested During the Year 2003/04
Ali, Monica, "Brick Lane: A Novel" (Booker Shortlist 2003) ***

Allende, Isabel "Daughter of Fortune" (Hija de la Fortuna) ***
Chevalier, Tracy "The Lady and the Unicorn"

Clinton, Hillary Rodham "Living History" (autobiography) @BC 06/04
Cullen, Bill "It's a long way from Penny Apples" (autobiography) @BC 09/04
Doyle, Laura "The Surrendered Wife" (non-fiction)
Eugenides, Jeffrey "Middlesex" (Pulitzer Prize 2003)
Fuller, Alexandra "Scribbling the Cat: Travels with an African Soldier" (non-fiction)

García Márquez, Gabriel "Love in the Time of Cholera" (El amor en los tiempos del cólera) (Nobel Prize 1982) @BC 11/08
Haddon, Mark "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time " @BC 05/08
Harley Jr., Willard F. "His Needs, Her Needs" (non-fiction)
Henderson, Kristin "Driving by Moonlight: A Journey Through Love, War and Infertility" (non-fiction)

Hugo, Victor "Les Misérables" (classic)
Karon, Jan "At Home in Mitford" (first of the Mitford Series)

Kidd, Sue Monk "The Secret Life of Bees" @BC 08/04
Landvik, Lorna "Welcome to The Great Mysterious" @BC 05/04
Lawson, Mary "Crow Lake" @BC 03/04
Leapman, Michael "The Ingenious Mr Fairchild: The Forgotten Father of the Flower Garden"" (non-fiction) @BC 01/04
MacDonald, Ann-Marie "The Way the Crow Flies" @BC 10/04
Mulisch, Harry "The Discovery of Heaven" @BC 02/04
Paton, Alan "Cry, the Beloved Country" (classic) ***
Ray, Jeanne "Eat Cake" ~~

Rosner, Elisabeth "The Speed of Light" ***
Sawyer, Anh Vu "Song of Saigon" (autobiography) - discussion with the author @BC 04/04
Sherrer, Quinn "How to pray for your children" (non-fiction)
Sparks, Nicholas "A Walk to Remember"
- "The Notebook"

Syal, Meera "Life Isn't All Ha Ha Hee Hee" @BC 12/03
Truss, Lynne "Eats, Shoots & Leaves" (non-fiction) ***

Turner, Nancy E. "These is my Words" @BC 10/03
Warren, Rick "The Purpose-Driven Life" (non-fiction)
Wharton, Edith "The House of Mirth" (classic) @BC 03/04
Wilkinson, Bruce "A Life God Rewards" (non-fiction)
Children's Books:

Adams, Richard "Watership Down" ***
Chabon, Michael "Summerland" @BC 04/04
Colfer, Eoin "Artemis Fowl"
Cooper, Susan "Over Sea, Under Stone" (The Dark is Rising Sequence)
L'Engle, Madeleine "A Wrinkle in Time"
Hart Lovelace, Maud "Betsy series" (good book for girls)
Lewis, C.S. "The Screwtape Latters" (good book for girls)
 - "Surprise" (good book for girls)
Pullman, Phillip "The Golden Compass"
Wynne-Jones, Diana (fantasy books like Harry Potter)

Books Suggested During the Year 2002/03
Berg, Elizabeth "Never Change"

- "Open House" @BC 07/03
-"Talk Before Sleep"

Eliot, George "Daniel Deronda" (classic) @BC 06/03
French, Nicci "Beneath the Skin"
- "Land of the Living"

Fuller, Alexandra "Don't let's go to the dogs tonight" (autobiography) @BC 05/03
Guterson, David "East of the Mountains"
Harris, Joanne "Five Quarters of the Orange" @BC 02/03
Kertész, Imre "Fateless" (Sorstalanság) (biography) (Nobel Prize 2002) ***
Kingsolver, Barbara "Prodigal Summer" @BC 01/03
Krasnow, Iris "The Surrendering to Motherhood: Losing Your Mind, Finding Your Soul" (non-fiction) @BC 01/03
Lanchester, John "The Debt to Pleasure" @BC 10/02
Lapierre, Dominique “City of Joy: An Epic of Love Heroism and Hope in the India of Mother Teresa” (La Cité de la Joie)

Leapman, Michael "The Ingenious Mr Fairchild: The Forgotten Father of the Flower Garden" (non-fiction) @BC 01/04
Loon, Karel van "A Father's Affair" (De passievrucht) @BC 12/02
Manguel, Alberto "A History of Reading" (non-fiction)
McEwan, Ian "Amsterdam” (Booker Prize 1998)

- "Atonement" @BC 11/02
- "Enduring Love"

Moggach, Deborah "Tulip Fever" @BC 11/07
Oates, Joyce Carol "We were the Mulvaneys" ***
Parsons, Tony "Man and Boy"
Russo, Richard "Empire Falls" (Pulitzer Prize 2002)

Seth, Vikram "A Suitable Boy" ***
Soueif, Ahdaf "The Map of Love" (Booker Shortlist 1999) @BC 09/02
Syal, Meera "Life Isn't All Ha Ha Hee Hee" @BC 12/03
Tademy, Lalita "Cane River" @BC 03/03
Tartt, Donna "The Little Friend"
- "The Secret History"

Turner, Nancy E. "These is my Words" @BC 10/03- "The Water and the Blood" ***

Books Suggested During the Year 2001/02
Allende, Isabel "The House of the Spirits", part 1 (La casa de los espíritus) ***
- "Daughters of Fortune", part 2 (Hija de la fortuna) ***
- "Portrait in Sepia", part 3 (Retrato en sepia) ***
Ashworth, Andrea "Once in a House on Fire" (non-fiction) ***
Atkinson, Kate "Behind the Scenes at the Museum"
Bacon, Charlotte "Lost Geography" ***
Berendt, John "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" (non-fiction)

Bryson, Bill "The Lost Continent" (non-fiction) ***
Byatt, Antonia S. "Possession" (Booker Prize 1990) ***
Chevalier, Tracy "Girl with a Pearl Earring" @BC 12/01
Conrad, Joseph "Heart of Darkness"
Coraghessan Boyle, T. "The Tortilla Curtain"
Craig, William "Enemy at the Gates"
Deford, Frank "The Other Adonis"
Dinesen, Isak/Blixen, Karen "Seven Gothic Tales"

- "Out of Africa" ***
Esquivel, Laura "Like Water for Chocolate"
Fellowes, Julian, Altman, Robert Altman "Gosford Park"

Findley, Timothy "Dust to Dust" ***
- "You went away"
Flagg, Fannie "Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café"

Fuller, Alexandra "Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight" @BC 05/03
Fyfield, Frances "Undercurrents"

Golden, Arthur "Memoirs of a Geisha" @BC 10/05
Guterson, David "East of the Mountains" ***
Harris, Joanne "Chocolat" ***
- "Five Quarters of the Orange" @BC 02/03
Harris, Robert "Fatherland"
Harrod Eagles, Cynthia "The Morland Dynasty"
Howard, Elizabeth "The Light Years" (Vol 1: of the Cazalet Chronicle)
- "Marking Time" (Vol. 2 of the Cazalet Chronicle
- Confusion" (Vol. 3: of the Cazalet Chronicle)

Ishiguro, Kazu "When we were orphans" (Booker Shortlist 2000) (Nobel Prize 2017) @BC 05/02
Kennedy, John "A Confederacy of Dunces" (Pulitzer Prize 1981)

Kingsolver, Barbara "The Bean Trees" ***
- "The Poisonwood Bible" (Pulitzer Finalist 1999) @BC 11/01
Letts, Billie "Where the Heart is" *** @BC 10/01
MacDonald, Ann-Marie "Fall on Your Knees" @BC 01/02
McCourt, Frank "Angela's Ashes" (autobiography) *** ~~

McEwan, Ian "Atonement" (Booker Shortlist 2001) @BC 11/02
Milton, Giles "Nathaniel's Nutmeg" (non-fiction) @BC 09/01
Mistry, Rohinton "A Fine Balance" (Booker Shortlist 1996) @BC 06/02
Moggach, Debora "Tulip Fever" @BC 11/07
Morrison, Toni "Beloved" (Pulitzer Prize 1988) (Nobel Prize 1993) ***
Naipaul, Vidiadhar Suraiprasad "A House for Mr. Biswas" (Nobel Prize 2001) ***
Naslund, Sena Jeter "Ahab's Wife"
Parsons, Tony "Man and Boy"
Pease, Allan and Barbara "Why Men Don't Listen & Women Can't Read Maps" (non-fiction) ***

Proulx, E. Annie "The Shipping News" (Pulitzer Prize 1994) ***
Rees, Siân "The Floating Brothel: The Extraordinary True Story of an 18th-Century Ship and Its Cargo of Female Convicts" ***
Roberts, Karen "The Flower Boy" ***
Rubens, Bernice "I, Dreyfus"
Scott Chessman, Harriet "Lydia Cassat Reading The Morning Paper"

Seth, Virkam "A Suitable Boy" ***
Smiley, Jane "A Thousand Acres" (Pulitzer Prize 1992) ***
Smith, Scott "A Simple Plan"

Soueif, Ahdaf "Aisha" ***
Tan, Amy "The Bonesetter's Daughter"

- "The Joy Luck Club" @BC 03/02
Tartt, Donna "The Secret History"
Trollope, Joanna "Girl from the South"

Turner, Nancy E. "These is my words" @BC 10/03
Tyler, Anne "A Patchwork Planet" ***

- "The Accidental Tourist" (Pulitzer Finalist 1986) ***
Urquhart, Jane "The Stone Carvers" @BC 02/08
Vreeland, Susan "Girl in Hyacinth Blue" @BC 12/01
Weber, Katherine "The Music Lesson"
Weiner, Jennifer "Good in Bed"

Wells, Rebecca "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" @BC 02/02
- "Little Altars Everywhere" @BC 02/02
Woolfolk Cross, Donna "Pope Joan" @BC 04/02
Wright, Richard B. "Clara Callan"
Yen Mah, Adeline "Falling leaves: The Memoir of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter" (non-fiction)

*** I read this.

@BC - We read this in the book club
 ~~ Added during the year, came up during discussion.

Some of them were suggested several times, I kept them all in, so some books are mentioned more than once.