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Sainsbury's Book Club

Every month, we choose our favourite eBooks we’ve read over the past few weeks that we think you’ll like. To help you get the most out of our selections, we’ve gathered together a range of free samples, book trailers, author biographies and reading group discussion points.

We'd love you to contribute to the Book Club too, so if you like what you read, recommend it to others by reviewing the books on the list. Reviewing books is simple and satisfying, so get involved.

You can also find extra book club resources, including Q&As, author-penned articles, excerpts and videos on the Book Club section of our blog here.

This week's Book Club recommendation

You

Caroline Kepnes

£5.99 or 1198 points
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"There's some humour in the mix of what is a fast paced book..."

Matt says:

I was recommended this book by a friend of mine, totally not the kind of thing I would have picked out, but it’s really good. It focusses around a guy, Jo, who is an obsessive stalker and it’s written from his point of view.

A chance meeting with a girl when she walks into the bookstore he works at results in him spying on her, hacking her emails and following her every move. He totally believes that he and the girl, Beck, should be together and it is the way he conveys this which is sometimes romantic, but in the main scary and totally obsessive.

I got the impression the character knew that he was not rational all the time, he adds a bit of humour into the mix and you end up with quite a fast paced book that, in parts, will remind you of how you felt when you first fell totally in love with someone…i.e….it can drive you crazy and do things you wouldn’t normally do.

Other Book Club Reads

The Fever

Megan Abbott

Released: 2014

£4.29 £5.99 or 858 points
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"With thrilling plot and brilliant characterisation, if you are looking for a novel that will keep you guessing right until the very end this is for you"

Fay says:

Think you had a tough time as a teenager? This novel will make you think again. It’s rare to find an author who can so brilliantly capture what it is to be a young adult. The crushes, the intense friendships and fraught family times – it’s all there.

But thrown into the mix is something truly unexpected which I for one was clueless about until the very end. Abbott has the ability to keep you guessing, while teasing you with just about enough information to capture your attention.

At times the book may feel a touch too much like a teen novel but any hints of that are quickly brushed up by the thrilling plot and brilliant characterisation.

If you are a fan of Gone Girl and are looking for a novel that will keep you guessing right until the very end, then this tale of teenage tribulations is for you.

 

Amnesia

Peter Carey

Released: 2014

£3.49 £6.99 or 698 points
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"Filled with raucous, argumentative Aussie voices, Amnesia is quite a ride..."

Jonathan says:

Filled with raucous, argumentative Aussie voices, Amnesia is quite a ride. Told (mostly) by larger-than-life journalist Felix Moore, a splendid character who subsists on a diet of red wine and political indignation, there are broadly two parts to the story. Firstly, Felix’s attempts to write a book that will prevent Australian internet activist Gaby Bailleux from being extradited to the USofA. (Writing the book is harder than it sounds as he keeps on being “interrupted”.) The second part is the contents of that book – the life of Gaby and her parents.

Peter Carey is superb at creating characters – there are numerous people who you believe in and want to know more about, even bit-part players. Within the broader life stories, there are loads of fascinating tales and anecdotes. Alongside the personal stories of Gaby and Felix et al, we also learn a lot about Australian-American relations and a history of the Australian left. Sounds dull, but it’s actually interesting. Especially when there are secret coups and forgotten Aussie-Yank battles involved.

If there is a weakness with Amnesia, it’s the ending. The story (or stories, really) slightly fizzle out. But that doesn’t matter; it’s the journey that counts here. Did I mention that that it’s funny? Well it is. Though I’ve never been to Oz, I’d imagine this book is like a night spent in a Sydney pub in the company of a natural Aussie storyteller.

Waterloo: The History of Four Days, Three Armies and Three Battle…

Bernard Cornwell

Released: 2014

£5.99 £7.05 or 1198 points
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"Written in a style that keeps you gripped, it’s incredibly well researched… the author really brings the battles to life."

Matt says:

I am Bernard Cornwell fan and this book was chosen in error. I picked it up thinking it was going to be a more fictional book, based on the battle. Turns out it is non-fiction, but it’s written in a style that keeps you gripped, and it’s incredibly well researched; the author really brings the battles to life. The descriptions of the battles and tactics employed by both sides are described in great detail that keeps you hooked, it certainly doesn't read like a history book from your school days!

The factual side of the book is very strong, illustrated with portraits of the main leaders, letters from the Duke himself and ordinary soldiers writing home, as well as maps of the battleground. It’s all written in such an accessible style, you sometime forget you aren't reading fiction at times. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn about this part of our history in a way that is easy to digest and keeps you glued to the pages!

A Year of Marvellous Ways

Sarah Winman

Released: 2015

£6.49 £8.49 or 1298 points
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"I had to read this book slowly to absorb the beautiful style in which it was written... It is the most unusual book I have ever read."

Vivien says:

I had to read this book slowly to absorb the beautiful style in which it was written. I loved the descriptive tales Marvellous Ways had to tell, happy, sad and unforgettable. It is the most unusual book I have ever read. The title alone had me intrigued! I enjoyed it from beginning to end.

The story is of a soldier returning from the Second World War, mourning the tragic loss of his sweetheart. Francis becomes close to a mysterious old woman of 89 who lives the life of a recluse. She lives in a Gypsy caravan, wears yellow oilskins and bathes in the sea. Marvellous nurses Francis back to health. Both characters are troubled by their past and form a loving relationship, enriching both lives.

The story is based in a hamlet on the Cornish coast. There are a few uninhabited cottages, a church and an old bake house. Peace, who was born in the village lovingly reopens the bake house and with each loaf she bakes she adds her special wishes. Eventually she finds her true love. Such wonderful description of all the characters in the story.

A truly charming and delightful novel with a surprise ending. I thoroughly recommend it.

The Sunrise

Victoria Hislop

Released: 2014

£2.99 £3.99 or 598 points
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"All the characters are vividly portrayed... after a while I found it difficult to put down"

Vivien says:

One of the joys of this book is the wonderful description of the glorious resort where the story is set [in Varosha, Famagusta, Cyprus seen above as it is today]. I loved reading about the building of the new upmarket hotel and the opening celebrations. All the characters are vividly portrayed. The two main families in the local village are the Georgious and the Özkans. There’s also wealthy hotelier, Savas Papacosta and his glamorous wife Aphroditi, who has an affair with the unsavoury Markides.

Although I thought the story was a little slow to start and wondered whether I would enjoy the book, after a while I found it difficult to put down! It is fascinating and enlightened me to the extent of the unrest between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots. I’d known about the problem, but the book gave me insight into the threat of violence affecting families on conflicting sides, many of them friends. Her descriptions of the devastation caused during the invasion are powerful and saddening.

Victoria Hislop has researched the history well. I was dismayed to learn about the atrocities and moved when the Georgious and Özkans supported each other through the hard times. Not quite as good as The Island, but still a very good read.

Us

David Nicholls

Released: 2014

£3.79 £4.99 or 758 points
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"Sometimes I felt like I was not reading a book, but reading directly from Douglas' own head"

Clari says:

David Nicholls is a brilliant writer -- he is able to put into words thoughts, emotions, and reflections that many of us would struggle to identify, let alone write but he expresses all of these effortlessly. The story is told from the perspective of his main character, Douglas, written by Nicholls in such an honest unassuming manner that sometimes I felt like I was not reading a book but reading directly from Douglas' own head.

The storyline reads more like a biography rather than a novel -- the events in a man who went through the motions of life -- being a boy, then a single working man, then a boyfriend, then a husband, then a father, then a grieving father, then a father again, then an orphan, then a frustrated father, then a so-so husband, then an ex-husband.

It's a sad story but how events unfolded in their lives are so close to home, so honestly realistic that I found myself wishing the best for Douglas and for Connie -- that they will still manage to find happiness again have I known them in real life. A great read, especially if you are familiar with the artwork generously described in this novel.