The Alternative Book Club

The Alternative Book Club

When I am feeling at my most tense there is always one question I ask myself – are you reading a good book? and if the answer is no then the next question must be ‘why not?’

Emerging myself in the lives of others whether they be fictional or real has always been a great way for me to completely switch off. I read in the bath, in bed, in the car, snuggled on the sofa whilst my man watches the football and if I’m feeling really wound up chances are I’ve forgotten that I need to read.

We’ve talked before on the blog about starting a book club and to be honest it’s probably a bit more than I can take on right now but what I would like to start is a monthly list of Maman recommended books – so we’ll start with some of my favourites but going forward it would be fantastic if you could all let me know about any brilliant books you’ve read – fiction or reference (parenting guides are always useful) and tell me a paragraph about what you loved most about the book and why other Mums should read it. Send me a little picture of yourselves if you fancy it and hopefully before too long you’ll have a regular go to list of perfect reading to help you enjoy a bit of time away from the crazy world of motherhood.

So let’s start with a few of my recommends…

  1. The Children’s Act by Ian McEwan

This novel (by the renowned author of Atonement) gives a fascinating insight into the drama of a courtroom and the world of children’s law. It tells the story of a female judge tasked with deciding the fate of a very soon to be eighteen your old boy who is declining lifesaving medical interventions on the grounds of his religion. It covers some big issues and is at times obviously pretty heartbreaking. But it also paints a fascinating picture of the world of law and how ethical issues such as this one are all handled differently depending on the judge overseeing the case. Great read – finished it in about three weeks so not an uncontrollable page turner but definitely learned a thing or two and loved the characters.

2. The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

This is a historical novel that tells the tale of an illegitimate child born into the world of African American slavery on the turn of the century. It’s written from the perspective of the child as she grows up and you get a real picture for the racial divide that in many areas America is still trying to overcome. It leaves you marvelling at how far the world has generally come and astounded that the world could ever have been allowed to be that way. You really warm to the characters, particularly the slaves and the dialogue takes you right into the centre of the Southern estate in a long hot summer.

3. Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman

This one is a bit of a racy read. Again set in the USA it tells the story of two teenage girls growing up in the back end of nowhere who meet and become one another’s saviours. They get involved in some fairly shady stuff and learn that they can’t live without each other. Pretty scary stuff for a mother of girls but once it gets going it turns into a bit of a page turner.

4. One Day by David Nicholls

Most of you I’m sure will have read this but if by any chance you haven’t go and buy it NOW. It’s a truly wonderful story of a friendship through the years and it’s really such a magical read. I can’t say too much as I wouldn’t want to give anything away but if you are going on holiday or have a long train journey coming up this is the book for you (without children it’s almost worth just booking a long train journey for no reason don’t you think?) You won’t be able to put it down.

5. ROOM by Emma McDonagh

Again this one was really popular last year. A thriller turned tale of the ultimate mother child bond it’s another page turner written in the most beautiful way. It tells the story of a mother and sone imprisoned in a garden shed and was also an acclaimed film of 2015/16 (for which I think Brie Larson may have won the Best Actress award) but as with all of these things read the book first!

6. The Modern Girls Guide to Turning Into Your Mother – a very funny caption book on mothering from Mills and Boon by Ada Averse

The perfect little Mother’s Day gift for your mum or even for you – some of the captions are hilarious. This is a great coffee table book or even a nice little gift for another Maman who is having a rough time and could do with smiling a bit more (little things mean a lot.)

6. Million Dollar Blog by Natasha Courtenay Smith

And on a completely different topic….. to those of you looking to get your blog up and running or to start one this book is a great beginner’s guide. Don’t think you’ll make a million just by reading it but it does give a good insight into the new world that is blogging.

So that’s it from me – click any of the links to be taken straight to the Amazon page and if you do give any of them a go let me know your thoughts? I really hope to receive a few emails over the coming weeks with your suggestions. Just send them with a picture of yourself (optional) to cheltenhammaman@gmail.com and tell us why you loved the book.

Happy Reading Bookworms.



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