Books we love

Three Women by Lisa Taddeo 

Book cover of Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

 This week’s book review is on Three Women, by Lisa Taddeo. Over to Fiona from Brompton Library to tell us more about this fantastic read! 

Three Women is a non-fiction book written as a novel, based on the lives of three women from different backgrounds. We hear from Lina, a bored suburban mother, Maggie, a seventeen-year-old high school student in North Dakota who becomes involved with her teacher, and Sloane, a successful restaurant owner from New York State whose husband has interesting sexual tastes.   

Taddeo spent eight years interviewing these women and becoming immersed in their lives.  The book explores the women’s emotional lives and their desires, showing how women keep themselves hidden and how they are judged by society.  As a piece of non-fiction written as fiction, it manages get into the inner lives of these women.  The external reality of their looks, their lives, and their selves are much less important than what is happening for them internally. Their perceptions of themselves and what they want are often in conflict with how society sees them and what it allows them to be and to have.   

I really enjoyed this book.  The stories are great, the characters are interesting and relatable, and I think what Taddeo has done is quite unique; having used real women, she keeps the authenticity of their stories and them as women, while making it into a very readable book.  My only criticism would be that the writing at points is a little clunky, but it didn’t stop me enjoying the book. 

Fiona, Brompton Library  

Three Women is available to borrow in our libraries and to download with your Westminster library card here. 

Have you read Three Women? What did you think? Let us know in the comments 

 

Book Review: The Clutter Corpse and Other Murders

Simon Brett

This week, our Book of the Week is The Clutter Corpse and Other Murders, by Simon Brett. Instead of a Recommended Reads this week, we’re handing over to Chelsea Library’s Zvezdana to talk about why she loves Simon Brett’s novel. Plus, read on for an exciting opportunity to hear Simon Brett speak for yourself…

Over to Zvezdana!

Continue reading “Book Review: The Clutter Corpse and Other Murders”

Recommended Reads

This week, our Book of the Week is The Shadow King, by Maaza Mengiste. Set during Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia, The Shadow King is an exhilarating tale of a band of female fighters refusing to submit to European colonisation. If you’ve already been wowed by Mengiste’s novel, we’ve selected some empowering reads for you to enjoy.

Continue reading “Recommended Reads”

Recommended Reads

This week’s Book of the Week is A Streetcat Named Bob, by James Bowen. Fittingly, our theme this week is cats, so we have put together a list of feline-centred novels for you to flick through and enjoy!

Continue reading “Recommended Reads”

Recommended Reads

This week’s Book of the Week is The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, which deals with racial abuse and trauma in 1940’s America. We have put together a list of similarly anti-racist titles for you to look through and borrow. 

Continue reading “Recommended Reads”

Recommended Reads

Our Book of the Week this week is Call for the Dead by John le Carré, a spy novel introducing the now-infamous George Smiley. We have put together a list of similar spy thrillers and non-fiction exposés for you to enjoy today. 

Continue reading “Recommended Reads”

Recommended Reads

This week’s Book of the Week is The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway was born on the 21st July 1899, this week marking his 121st birthday. We have put together a list of similar titles for you to look through and enjoy.

 

life of pi pic

 

Life of Pi, by Yann Martel

The Patel family have decided to sell their zoo in India and sail to Canada with a few remaining animals. Suddenly, tragedy strikes in the form of a horrendous storm, leaving the Patel’s son Pi as the sole human survivor. However, Pi is not alone in the ocean; a fearsome Bengal tiger has also survived the storm. The pair must learn to trust one another over the coming months if they are to last their voyage.

 

the great gatsby book cover

 

The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald’s most famous work, The Great Gatsby, has been heralded as a modern American classic. When young and impressionable Nick moves in next door to extravagant millionaire Gatsby, he is drawn into a series of events leading to catastrophic consequences. Gatsby spares no expense in his attempts to win over childhood love Daisy, now married to old-money brute Tom Buchanan, and Nick can only bear witness to his friend’s downfall.

 

the alchemist book pic

 

The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho

Originally written in Portuguese, The Alchemist has become an international bestseller. It is an allegorical novel, following the life of an Andalusian shepherd named Santiago who dreams of finding treasure in the pyramids of Egypt. Believing his dream to be prophetic, Santiago journeys to Egypt to seek his fortune. There, he experiences love, loss, and adventure in a powerful and moving tale.

 

if beale street could talk book pic

 

If Beale Street Could Talk, by James Baldwin

Set in Harlem in the 1970’s, Baldwin’s classic is a love story following the lives of Fonny, a sculptor, and Tish, the book’s narrator. When Fonny is falsely accused of rape, Tish, 19 and pregnant, must help their families win justice for her lover. Past and present mingle to form a passionate and powerful novel, widely regarded as an essential read for our time.

Some of these books are available to download from our cloudLibrary here.  All you need is a Westminster library card and if you are not a member, don’t worry,  just click here – it’s completely free to join and use our resources. 

Recommended Reads

This week’s Book of the Week is The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory. We’ve put together a selection of some historical fiction you may enjoy after reading Gregory’s Tudor romance.

 

wolf hall book cover

Wolf Hall

Wolf Hall documents Thomas Cromwell’s rise to power in the court of Henry VIII in the 16th Century. Born into a working-class family with no political history or renown, Wolf Hall highlights Cromwell’s pragmatism and skill in aiding Henry during the tumultuous Reformation period. Winning the Man Booker prize amongst other notable awards, Wolf Hall has been named as one of the 10 best historical novels by The Observer.

 

the gates of rome book cover

The Gates of Rome, by Conn Iggulden

Gladiatorial combat, conniving senators, and mass warfare whisk Iggulden’s readers off to the ancient world of the Roman Empire. Full of suspense and dastardly plots, the first book in the Emperor Series is not to be missed.

 

the mermaid and mrs hancock book cover

The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock, by Imogen Hermes Gowar

A stunning twist on the historical novel, The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock takes the reader back to 1785 and the world of merchant sailing. Jonah Hancock leads the normal life of a merchant trader, until one day his Captain arrives on his doorstep claiming he has sold Jonah’s ship for the most staggering prize of all; a mermaid. But with great beauty comes a destructive power, one which has the potential to change Jonah’s life forever.

 

the narrow land book cover

The Narrow Land, by Christine Dwyer Hickey

Set in the 1950’s, The Narrow Land explores the unlikely friendship between Michael, a 10 year old boy living with his troubled mother, and the Hoppers, an artistic couple who live nearby. The legacy of the Second World War haunts this novel, shaping landscape and characters alike and making for a nostalgic read.

All of these books (and more!) are available to download from our cloudLibrary here.  All you need is a Westminster library card and if you are not a member, don’t worry,  just click here – it’s completely free to join and use our resources.