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Book Club resources

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Maitland City Library has a selection of titles to help support book clubs within our Maitland community.
The self contained kits often provide different formats (books, audio reads and DVD) that help explore each title in different ways.
Multiple copies ensure most groups can distribute a copy to each group member or make it easier to share.
Use our online databases  such as NoveList and Literary Reference Center for help with author read-a-likes, book discussion guides, reviews and more.

Are you a member of a book club? Need help with deciding what to read next?
The following list provides a small selection of the 100 kits currently available.
Phone 4933 6952 for information about how you can include one or more of our book kits into your group's future programme.

TOIBIN, Colm
Brooklyn

Toibin contrasts small-town Ireland and big-city Brooklyn in the early 1950s. Eilis Lacey, a smart young woman unafraid of hard work, must leave employment-poor Ireland to find a more lucrative existence in booming New York City. An Irish priest helps Eilis secure employment, and residence in a rooming house for young women. She meets a handsome, charming Italian man, and their relationship quickly flowers into love. When her sister dies in Ireland, Eilis returns home and must face the decision to stay put or go back to the more exciting life she had begun to create in Brooklyn.
Winner  of the 2010 Costa Fiction award.

Psychological fiction, relaxed pace, lyrical, richly detailed
 
DAVIES, Robertson
The fifth business

Dunstan Ramsay reviews his life. Most of it consists of his involvement since his childhood with a Mrs. Dempster. Dunstan's continuing responsibility and affection for Mrs. Dempster, a "fool-saint," continues through the years and occasions his tangential connections with Boy, with her absentee son (a magician), and his inquiry into the nature of faith and illusion, substance and shadow. . . . Mr. Davies' first novel attests to certain virtues: a quiet humor; a scrupulousness of observation; a civilized overview of an unlived life.

Literary, mystery, psychological, character-driven, reflective, though-provoking, engaging, witty
 
KINGSOLVER, Barbara
The lacuna

The story of Harrison William Shepherd, a man caught between two worlds -- Mexico and the United States in the 1930s, '40s, and '50s -- and whose search for identity takes readers to the heart of the twentieth century's most tumultuous events. Kingsolver perfects the use of multiple points of view, even reprinting actual newspaper articles to blur the line between fact and fiction. This is her most ambitious, timely, and powerful novel yet.
Winner of the 2010 Orange Prize for fiction.

Historical, literary, relaxed pace, dramatic, moody, thought-provoking, lyrical, richly-detailed
 
JAMES, Terence
Tenterfield traveller

The author, Terence James, has lived in the Hunter Valley, NSW, for over 8 years and his first novel, Tenterfield Traveller, was inspired by a curiosity as to why free settlers emigrated to Australia in the decade between the end of convict transportation and before the gold rushes.
Tenterfield Traveller follows the fortunes of Thomas and wife, Sarah, as they travel the world in their search for a better life.

Australian, historical, romance fiction

HYLAND, M.J.
This is how

When his fiance breaks off their engagement, Patrick Oxtoby leaves home and moves to a boarding house in a seaside town. But in spite of his hopes and determination to build a better life, nothing goes to plan. He can't shake the feeling that his new friends are conspiring against him, further fracturing his already fragile personality and prompting him to take a course of action that permanently alters the course of his life.

First person narratives, psychological, atmospheric, bleak, disturbing, moving, compelling, dialogue-rich, spare

BAKKER, Gerbrand
The twin

Thirty years after his twin brother Henk's death forced him to quit college to work on the family farm, Helmer starts to take charge of his life, only to have his brother's former fiance ask him to take in her troubled teenaged son.
With remarkably moving and tense passages, Bakker brilliantly portrays a middle-aged man’s fraught relationship to his aged father, a relationship permanently and tragically forged in fracture by the accidental death of the twin brother – the always preferred son – when they were teenagers.
Winner of the 2010 International IMPAC Dublin Literary award.

Dutch fiction, first person narrative, psychological, moody, thought-provoking, complex

MORGENSTERN, Erin
Night circus

A fierce competition is underway, a contest between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood to compete in "a game," in which each must use their powers of illusion to best the other. Unbeknownst to them, this game is a duel to the death, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will.

Fantasy fiction, atmospheric, romantic, lush