10 Book Club choices for World Book Day

books on a shelf

Tue 3 Mar 2020

World Book Day on 5th March is a good reminder that the only thing better than losing yourself in a good book is discussing it with fellow readers afterwards.

Derby Libraries have a list of recommended titles for Book Clubs. With everything from classics to new novels, a mix of fiction and non-fiction, and every genre from thriller to historical to literary, there is something to get every book club talking.

You can download the latest list or ask staff at our branches at Alvaston, Riverside, Normanton or Mickleover for their recommendations. But in the meantime, here are ten titles to get you started:

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Jane Austen sets social snobbery against summer picnics; social rejection against the passion of real love. Her warm portrait of the relationship between two very different sisters contrasts her precise observation of vanity, selfishness and snobbery.

Milkman by Anna Burns - NEW CHOICE

In this unnamed city, to be interesting is dangerous. Middle sister, our protagonist, is busy attempting to keep her mother from discovering her maybe-boyfriend and to keep everyone in the dark about her encounter with Milkman. But when first brother-in-law sniffs out her struggle, and rumours start to swell, middle sister becomes 'interesting'. The last thing she ever wanted to be. To be interesting is to be noticed and to be noticed is dangerous.

The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell - NEW CHOICE

Shaun Bythell owns The Bookshop, Wigtown - Scotland's largest second-hand bookshop. A book-lover's paradise? Well, almost! In these wry and hilarious diaries, Shaun provides an inside look at the trials and tribulations of life in the book trade, from struggles with eccentric customers to wrangles with his own staff. He takes us with him on buying trips to old estates and auction houses, recommends books, introduces us to the thrill of the unexpected find, and evokes the rhythms and charms of small-town life, always with a sharp and sympathetic eye.

The Binding by Bridget Collins - NEW CHOICE

Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a letter arrives summoning him to begin an apprenticeship. He will work for a Bookbinder, a vocation that arouses fear, superstition, and prejudice. He will learn to hand-craft beautiful volumes, and within each he will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. Your past will be stored safely in a book and you will never remember your secret, however terrible. In a vault under his mentor's workshop, row upon row of books - and memories - are meticulously stored and recorded. Then one day Emmett makes an astonishing discovery: one of them has his name on it.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

One of Dickens's greatest novels, Great Expectations is also one of his most autobiographical stories, as the young protagonist Pip escapes from his troubled childhood experiences to learn for himself the perils of love, the dangers of wealth, and how to sort his friends from his enemies.

Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan

1940. In the aftermath of the fall of Paris, Hieronymus Falk, a rising star on the cabaret scene, is arrested in a cafe and never heard from again. He is 20 years old, a German citizen and he is black. 50 years later, Sid - Hiero's bandmate and the only witness that day - is going back to Berlin, where they first met.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations and human rights; to trust money, books and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables and consumerism? And what will our world be like in the millennia to come? Bold, wide-ranging and provocative, 'Sapiens' challenges everything we thought we knew about being human: our thoughts, our actions, our power ... and our future.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

You are a young neurosurgeon. You have completed 11 years of training. You are devoted to your work and on the brink of a wonderful career. Then you are diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. 'When Breath Becomes Air' is an unforgettable reflection on the practice of medicine and the relationship between doctor and patient, from a gifted writer who became both.

Circe by Madeline Miller - NEW CHOICE

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe has neither the look nor the voice of divinity, and is scorned and rejected by her kin. Increasingly isolated, she turns to mortals for companionship, leading her to discover a power forbidden to the gods: witchcraft. When love drives Circe to cast a dark spell, wrathful Zeus banishes her to the remote island of Aiaia. Many are destined to pass through Circe's place of exile, entwining their fates with hers. The messenger god, Hermes. The craftsman, Daedalus. A ship bearing a golden fleece. And wily Odysseus, on his epic voyage home. 

Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce - NEW CHOICE

Alison has it all. A doting husband, adorable daughter, and a career on the rise - she's just been given her first murder case to defend. But all is never as it seems. Alison drinks too much. She's neglecting her family. And she's having an affair with a colleague whose taste for pushing boundaries may be more than she can handle. Alison's client doesn't deny that she stabbed her husband - she wants to plead guilty. And yet something about her story is deeply amiss. Saving this woman may be the first step to Alison saving herself. But someone knows Alison's secrets. Someone who wants to make her pay for what she's done, and who won't stop until she's lost everything.