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Spice Book Club - Sutton Coldfield

.. discuss a book each month over tea & cakes!

Mon 8 Jan 2018
Meet inside Spice Office, Streetly B743EJ
8pm Start (ends around 9.30pm)
Drinks & cakes at the Spice Office
No charge to book, but collection for Book Aid on the day
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Back in 2011 we established this sociable evening each month for book lovers. It has proved popular for being very relaxed and informal and definitely not high brow.

Over some 6 years and 66 books, it has become a popular part of our programme!

The Format: is that each month we discuss a set book that we have read in preparation. The conversation will be led by our volunteer, Kate Coulter, but is very informal. Kate provides teas/ coffees/mineral water and some home baked treats. A voluntary collection is taken each month which we will send to Book Aid International who send books to schools and libraries in third world countries and are endorsed by celebrity writers such as Michael Palin and their patron is The Duke of Edinburgh. It costs just 2 to send one book to readers in sub-Saharan Africa and beyond so every penny we raise can make a difference. (Our modest collections each month really add up and so far have resulted in enough money being raised for Bookaid International for around 800 books to have been sent in our name to schools and libraries in Sub Saharan Africa).

Preparation: You will need to have read each book beforehand (hence the advance notice). We often are able to choose books that are on offer at WH Smith and or try your local library.



The Venue: The Spice Office is in a building called Ryknild House on Burnett Road in Streetly. We are on the 1st Floor above 3 shops (Resolve Physiotherapy, Obsessions & Mimosa). There are parking spaces along the front and on the road side.

The entrance to the offices is on the right hand side of the building. Press the top buzzer and we'll let you in - come upstairs and we are at the far end of the corridor.


The Books (the month given is the month of the evening when we will be meeting to discuss the book):



November 2017: Quite Ugly One Morning Christopher Brookmyre

Yeah, yeah, the usual. A crime. A corpse. A killer. Heard it. Except this stiff happens to be a Ponsonby, scion of a venerable Edinburgh medical clan, and the manner of his death speaks of unspeakable things. Why is the body displayed like a slice of beef? How come his hands are digitally challenged? And if it's not the corpse, what is that awful smell?

A post-Thatcherite nightmare of frightening plausibility, Quite Ugly One Morning is a wickedly entertaining and vivacious thriller, full of acerbic wit, cracking dialogue and villains both reputed and shell-suited.


December 2017: I Let You Go Clare Mackintosh

The sensational Sunday Times bestseller and winner of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2016.

A tragic accident. It all happened so quickly. She couldn't have prevented it. Could she?

In a split second, Jenna Gray's world descends into a nightmare. Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows to start afresh. Desperate to escape, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief and her memories of a cruel November night that changed her life forever.

Slowly, Jenna begins to glimpse the potential for happiness in her future. But her past is about to catch up with her, and the consequences will be devastating ..


Also for December Book Swap!

It's our last date of the year and it's Christmas, so just for fun, we have an optional activity suggested by Skye.

What we're suggesting (for those who wish) is that you bring in a book that you have enjoyed reading to swap with someone else who has brought one in. You could even wrap it up in Christmas paper!

This way we should all end up with a new book for festive reading.

As I say, you don't have to take part in this, but do hope you do as it will be fun!


January 2018: Holding Graham Norton

The Sunday Times bestseller, Graham Norton's dark and masterful debut set in a remote Irish village, is an intelligently crafted story of love, secrets and loss.

The remote Irish village of Duneen has known little drama; and yet its inhabitants are troubled. Sergeant PJ Collins hasn't always been this overweight; mother of two Brid Riordan hasn't always been an alcoholic; and elegant Evelyn Ross hasn't always felt that her life was a total waste. So when human remains are discovered on an old farm, suspected to be that of Tommy Burke - a former love of both Brid and Evelyn - the village's dark past begins to unravel. As the frustrated PJ struggles to solve a genuine case for the first time in his life, he unearths a community's worth of anger and resentments, secrets and regret.

Darkly comic, touching and at times profoundly sad. Graham Norton employs his acerbic wit to breathe life into a host of lovable characters, and explore - with searing honesty - the complexities and contradictions that make us human.


February 2018: First Casualty Ben Elton

Flanders, June 1917: a British officer and celebrated poet, is shot dead, killed not by German fire, but while recuperating from shell shock well behind the lines. A young English soldier is arrested and, although he protests his innocence, charged with his murder.

Douglas Kingsley is a conscientious objector, previously a detective with the London police, now imprisoned for his beliefs. He is released and sent to France in order to secure a conviction. Forced to conduct his investigations amidst the hell of The Third Battle of Ypres, Kingsley soon discovers that both the evidence and the witnesses he needs are quite literally disappearing into the mud that surrounds him.

Ben Elton's tenth novel is a gut-wrenching historical drama which explores some fundamental questions. What is murder? What is justice in the face of unimaginable daily slaughter? And where is the honour in saving a man from the gallows if he is only to be returned to die in a suicidal battle?

As the gap between legally-sanctioned and illegal murder becomes evermore blurred, Kingsley quickly learns that the first casualty when war comes is truth.


Further books to be confirmed





We had a really enjoyable evening, it's amazing what some of the others read into 'The Crying Tree' and how much they could remember! My excuse was that it was a while since I'd read it. I am really glad I have booked all 3 book nights in advance as there is now a waiting list for the next one in February and I am already reading the book for that one.

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Updated Monday 18th December 2017, 16:23

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