Good Feelings Books


The Most Funny, Uplifting, Joyous, Happy Books

The lockdowns and government restrictions have led to a huge boost in the number of people reading. Readers have sought endless escapism from the unexciting, monotonous routines of day-to-day life in lockdown. As lockdown continued into March, Page Turners were unable to meet yet again. As an alternative Page Turners were asked to suggest their most funny, uplifting, joyous, happy book which left them with a feel good sensation….and would help What’s On readers get through these lockdown days…and beyond. Here are their suggestions…

Nicola’s choice of a feel good novel is a young person’s book by Susan Cooper, The Dark is Rising Sequence. Nicola has read and re-read this adventure involving magic and incorporating myths numerous times; and she always loses herself in it!

Sandra selected a book which gave her the feel good factor from beginning to end, Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr. Sandra believes this book is filled with the pleasure of travel and she describes it as funny, perceptive and tender. Does anyone remember the experience of travelling somewhere?!

Jenny’s choice is Blott on the Landscape by Tom Sharpe. Jenny remembers this 70s novel for the sheer emotion of laughing out loud A LOT! Jenny describes Blott as simply a very fast moving farce with many an amusing quick-witted turn of phrase (some rude!). She has enjoyed revisiting it, having a good chortle and reminding herself of its downright ridiculous storyline!

Helen also chose a Tom Sharpe novel, Peterhouse Blue, a humorous and well observed book about life in a fictional college at Cambridge University. Helen maintains it is both acerbic and mocking of an elite educational institution; it is a story of hypocrisy and pomposity with a surprising twist at the end and Helen believes it is very much a “laugh out loud” novel.

May’s selection of a joyful book is Mary Berry’s, Fast Cakes. During lockdown, this book made her feel good: who wouldn’t feel good reading about and making lemon drizzle cake, shortbread, tacky gingerbread, brownies, drop scones… I need to write on?

A character in Lynne’s pick of a feel good book would have approved of May’s choice as she loved to eat and drink and party and enjoy life…..Bridget Jones, from the Helen Fielding’s books. Bridget Jones is a binge drinking, chain smoking publisher who tries (and fails) to keep her life in order. Her attempts to enjoy life end with her in some tight spots that most people can identify with….and laugh along with…

Sylvia selected the book that the film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is based on, These Foolish Things by Deborah Moggach. Enticed by advertisements for a luxury retirement home in India, a group of strangers leave England to begin a new life. Their experiences are hilarious and poignant and certainly provide readers with many uplifting, joyful moments.

The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan is Babs’s choice of a thoroughly heart warming and enjoyable read. The novel alternates between two main story lines and is a pleasant, sometimes humorous, easy read with interesting characters and a good ending.

Our final Page Turners selection of an uplifting read is from Jill who opted for two books by Barbara Kingsolver, The Bean Trees and Pigs in Heaven. Jill really loved the characters and well drawn plots. The second one was a satisfying follow-up and gave an interesting description of the Cherokee Nation.

If the lockdown restrictions, or even the weather are keeping you indoors, why not try one of these books that Page Turners have enjoyed….?



Heroes and Heroines



Due to continued Covid restrictions, there was no opportunity for book club members to meet up in February. Instead the Page Turners were set the task to decide who is the greatest hero or heroine they have read about on their literary journeys. Will it be Hercule Poirot, from Agatha Christie’s crime novels; or Winston Smith, from 1984 by George Orwell; or a young heroine like Hermione Grainger, from the Harry Potter series?

Nicola’s greatest hero is Tate from Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. Nicola appreciated the way Tate saw Kya as an individual in her own right. Unlike many others, who only saw her as ‘the marsh girl’ and made many assumptions about her, Tate understood Kya and recognised the value of her for who she was.

Lynne’s heroine is Eleanor Oliphant from Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. Eleanor is a social misfit with a traumatic past. She tries to deal with the loneliness and isolation she has lived with for many years; a theme many people will empathise with, having had to endure similar emotions during the pandemic lockdown restrictions. She manages to transform herself and live a fuller life, which makes her a heroine in Lynne’s eyes.

Helen’s selection is Maya Angelou who wrote seven volumes of autobiography, including I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Helen believes Maya speaks eloquently and frankly about her experiences of growing up in the 1930s Deep South. No detail is spared but also nothing is sensationalised past the point of the wonder with which her childlike eyes saw the world. Everything she experienced is tackled with honesty and confidence; what shines through is Angelou’s love and appreciation for the world as something wondrous, something to be grateful for even when it seems impossible. This makes Maya a genuine heroine in Helen’s opinion.

May’s choice of hero is Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Atticus agrees to defend Tom, a black man, accused of raping a white woman, knowing that he will face local prejudice. He defends Tom against a lynch mob and in spite of the evidence, Tom is found guilty. May believes that Atticus is a hero for standing up for what is right, in spite of the risks involved.

Jill’s favourite book while growing up was Little Women by Louisa May Alcott and her choice for the title of greatest heroine is Jo March, who she identified with strongly. Jill admired Jo’s vivid imagination, sense of adventure, fearlessness and deep love for her family. She was a true feminist and fought against the social restraints of her time, but in time she conquered her personal faults & became a happily fulfilled wife and mother.

Sylvia’s hero is an aloof and romantic hero, “a noble character at heart, albeit somewhat prideful”: Mr Darcy from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Does this choice have anything to do with Mr Darcy, played by Colin Firth, emerging from a lake in the TV version…. ?!

Rafi Bukhara from the novel Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton was Babs choice. Following the deaths of close family members, Rafi heroically and lovingly guarded his young brother Basi during their 6 month journey from Syria. Subsequently, when his school in Somerset is under siege by two men armed with automatic weapons, despite already suffering with PTSD as a result of his earlier traumas, Rafi was the first to recognise the danger. He ensured the successful evacuation of the Junior School. Truly a hero of our times, claims Babs.

Sandra’s choice is Jane Eyre from the novel by Charlotte Bronte. Sandra considers Jane to be completely self-sufficient and capable of enduring solitude, loneliness and heartbreak. Jane always relied on herself for guidance and comfort and survives the disapproval and cruelty of others. She has true values and principles and will not sacrifice these no matter what the outcome: which is what all true heroines do.

Do you agree with the choices made by the Page Turners?



Literature’s Most Dastardly Villains


Literature’s Most Dastardly Villains

Another year, another lockdown, another postponed Page Turners meeting, but another opportunity for Book Club members to reflect on characters in books they have read…..and disliked! There are many villains in literature: Flashman in Tom Brown’s Schooldays was considered a scoundrel; whereas Professor Moriarty in Conan Doyle’s Sherlock has been described as a ruthless, vindictive mastermind; the White Witch in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe has never been forgiven for killing Christmas! So who do the Page Turners believe is the greatest villain in the books they have read?

May’s choice of villain is Mrs. Reed, Jane Eyre’s aunt, from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. May claims that Mrs. Reed was very unkind to Jane, an orphaned child and her unjustified treatment included locking Jane in a haunted bedroom and sending her off to boarding school with a bad reputation. May appreciates that there are more vicious villains, but they are often more obvious in their treatment of their victims than the shrewd Mrs Reed.

Helen’s most villainous literary character of all time is the boldly ambitious and manipulative Lady Macbeth, from Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth. Helen considers Lady Macbeth to be one of Shakespeare’s most infamous and treacherous female characters. She is cunning and power-hungry and the mastermind behind the idea to kill King Duncan. Towards the end of the play she is overcome by remorse and driven insane, but in Helen’s opinion, this does not make amends for her previous evil deeds.

Lynne selected Herbert Powyss, a scientist set on making his name, from the novel, The Warlow Experiment by Alix Nathan. In 1793, Powyss imprisons a poor farm labourer in his cellar for 7 years, for a generous financial reward, to study the effects of prolonged solitude. Predictably, the experiment is determined to be ill judged and has many unforeseen consequences. Powyss is an example of the upper class barbarity and cruelty of the time and an authentic villain.

Hannibal Lecter, from the novels by Thomas Harris was Babs’s choice. Although Hannibal Lecter is a highly intelligent and charismatic forensic psychiatrist, he is also a serial killer who eats his victims. Babs claims that once you have read about Hannibal, he will always be remembered as the greatest villain.

Nicola’s selection for the title is Alexander Zalachenko (Lisbeth’s father) in ‘the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ trilogy by Steig Larsson. Nicola judges him to be an astonishingly evil character without an iota of humanity; his evil deeds included abusing his wife, leaving her with irreparable brain

damage, disowning his children by never seeking them out and then going to astounding lengths to kill his daughter.

Sylvia nominated Wynstan, the evil Bishop, from The Evening and the Morning by Ken Follett. Sylvia kept thinking he couldn’t do anything more evil but he always did; however (spoiler alert!), Sylvia does say,” he gets his ‘come uppance’ eventually.”

Jenny proposed Alec d’Urbervilles from the Thomas Hardy novel Tess of the d’Urbervilles. Alec cruelly took advantage of impoverished young Tess, deserts her and her child, and then misuses her again against a backdrop of evil lies, in the guise of an evangelical priest. Jenny deems Alec to be manipulative, selfish and uncaring and thoroughly deserving of the title of the greatest villain.

Undoubtedly, fictional villains can be fascinating: they can be scheming, determined, uncompromising and evil….as the Page Turners have described in their choices of villains. Do you agree with their selections….or is there an even greater villain lurking in a book you have recently read…..?



Where the Crawdads Sing’ by Delia Owens

Where the Crawdads Sing’ by Delia Owens

After the success of last month’s inaugural Page Turners Walking Books meeting, the group met outside once more, following appropriate social distancing guidelines, to discuss their latest book. The venue this time was Cold Knap in Barry. There were spectacular views across the Channel as we ambled along the promenade in bright sunshine. The book was then mused over by the group as they stopped for a discussion under one of the shelters overlooking the lake.

The book under discussion was ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ by Delia Owens. It has topped the New York Times Fiction Best Sellers of 2020 for 32 consecutive weeks. The book is set in late 1969 in Barkley Cove, North Carolina and tells the story of Kya, who has survived for many years alone in the marshes, with gulls and sea creatures as her only friends. After a young man is found dead, Kya is a suspect in the ensuing murder hunt.

There was a very positive response to the book from the entire Page Turners group…which seems to occur rarely! Helen loved the elements of whodunnit; Nicola enjoyed the vivid descriptions of the sea and landscape. There were discussions about the role of men in the book, the ending of the book and alternative suspects…(no spoilers!!), the author’s background. Everyone certainly gained something from reading it…and it’s easily a book which could be read again.

It is a book all members of Page Turners would recommend…and scored a 9.5/10.



Pleasure of Reading Rediscovered


Page Turners favourite books of 2020

The publisher Bloomsbury have claimed that people have ‘rediscovered the pleasure of reading’ in lockdown.

The firm, best known for publishing the Harry Potter books, said profits jumped 60%. Popular books included ‘Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race’, ‘Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood’, ‘White Rage’ and ‘Such A Fun Age’. Page Turners already know the pleasures of reading and were asked to reflect on their year of reading and to decide which was their favourite book of 2020.

Babs’s favourite book this year was ‘The Lost Man’ by Jane Harper. The book tells the story of Cameron, the middle brother of three, who is found dead in the remote outback in Western Australia, having apparently walked miles from his car which was fully stocked with water and supplies. Babs says it is so atmospheric, descriptive and well written that it transports the reader to the unrelenting heat and isolation of the Australian outback.

May chose the ‘Collins Wild Flower Guideby Streeter, Hart-Davies, Hardcastle, Cole and Harper. May claims that during the first lockdown, when repeating the same walks, it gave her an interest. She started taking photos and noting small differences between the flowers she spotted. It is a large book that would probably not fit in most stockings, but would fit under the tree, next to the box of Celebrations!

Helen’s most memorable book was the, excellent and thought provoking ‘A Mad World, My Masters: Tales form a Traveller’s Life’ by John Simpson. John Simpson was the BBC World Affairs Editor and his riveting and beautifully written accounts of his experiences brought a new perspective to Helen’s understanding of many world events in the late 20th century.

Lynne’s choice was the Booker Prize Winner, ‘Girl, Woman, Other’ by Bernardine Evaristo. The book follows 12 very different characters, from different periods of time, on an entwined journey of self discovery in Britain. The vibrant book opens your eyes to the struggles and pains of many black British families.

Sandra’s selection was ‘Sweet Sorrow’ by David Nichols. Sandra really enjoyed this book which is a compassionate story about the pain and loneliness of a teenage boy and his life changing summer; a classic coming of age novel. Sandra claims this is a good read for sitting in front of a fire on a winter’s day and for anyone who has fallen in love….what better stocking filler for a romantic at Christmas time?

Nicola’s favourite book was ‘The Lost Words’ by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris. There are magical words and spells to conjure words lost to the lexicon of children. Beautifully illustrated by Jackie Morris. Nicola says this is a delight to share with youngsters and to lose yourself in – particularly in these strange times when the natural world has gained in importance for so many.

Sylvia loved every minute of her favourite book of 2020: ‘The Small House at Allington’ by Anthony Trollope. It is the 5th novel in the series ‘Chronicles of Barsetshire’. It concerns the Dale family who live in the Small House on the estate of the Squire of Allington. It is a gentle slow story; it takes some of the characters two chapters to walk out into the garden!

Jill chose ‘The Secret River’ by Kate Grenville. It is set in the early 1800s and vividly follows the lives of a Londoner and his wife following their transportation to Australia. How they cope with many hardships, and bring up their family in desperate conditions amid the Aboriginals whose community they have infiltrated, is a thought-provoking reading experience.

Jenny selected ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie which she missed reading with Page Turners a few years ago. The story follows the course of the Nigerian-Biafran civil war in the 1960s. It is told through the experiences of ethnically Igbo characters, exquisitely written as lives intertwine. Jenny couldn’t put it down, and she doesn’t know why she has waited so long before reading this masterpiece.


What was your favourite book of 2020?

Maybe one of these suggestions from the Page Turners will find its way into someone’s Christmas stocking this year….if Santa is not in a lockdown in Lapland……..and is allowed to deliver presents!



Walking and Talking Book Review

The Page Turners ‘Novel’ Approach to Book Reviewing

Due to the current Welsh government lockdown restrictions on people meeting inside, the Page Turners have had to think of novel (great pun, Babs) ways of keeping in touch. As inclement weather ruled out meeting in a garden, as on two previous occasions,” Walking Books” was proposed.

Page Turners pulled on their walking boots and arranged to meet at the playing fields, to walk and talk about the latest book. Luckily the sun shone and the group walked, in pairs, maintaining the recommended 2 metres social distance, around the perimeter of the field. The book under discussion was the first in a series of books about adopted sisters,

“The Seven Sisters” by Lucinda Riley.

Lucinda claims she wrote the books to celebrate the achievements of women, especially in the past, where often their achievements are overshadowed by those of men. In the book we read, the main character, Maia D’Apilese travels across the world from Switzerland to Rio Dr Janeiro to search for her heritage…and finds love..and family. Reviewers of the book describe the novel in glowing terms, “delicious”, “compelling” , “spellbinding”. The Page Turners were divided in their opinions. Babs and Jenny enjoyed the first book and have already embarked on the book about the next sister. May thought it was a good easy read to escape into during these covid times. Helen could not think of one good word to describe the book, and would definitely not be finishing the series! A mark of 7 was given to what all agreed was an easy read. The highlight of the meeting was when Jenny produced truly delicious homemade cake and tea in a flask from her rucksack, which she had carried around the field throughout the discussions! Very resourceful from Jenny and very well appreciated by all.

Our next Walking Books venue is the Knap….a healthy body maintains a healthy mind..



Meeting In My Garden!!


Meeting In My Garden!!

Page Turners report..we managed a meeting in my garden!!

Changes to lockdown restrictions meant the Page Turners could have an alfresco meeting in a back garden in August. The 3 books read during the lockdown were rapidly reviewed so the main purpose of the meeting, “A catch up”, could be undertaken!

Music and Silence, by Rose Tremain, is set in and around the court of Christian IV of Denmark in 1629 -30.

C was the consensus.

The Hidden Life of Trees, by Peter Wohleben, a non fiction book, discusses how trees feel and how they communicate.

D this was not so well received. No tree-huggers in the Page Turners!

The Binding, by Bridget Collins, is a fantasy novel about a book binder whose responsibilty is to help those who want to forget and erase memories.

C This was considered a good read C

With reviews out of the way, cakes and drinks were served and the Page Turners could discuss how the lockdown has been….everyone was in good spirits and enjoyed the novelty of being out and about!




The Book Character I Would Most Like to Meet

Page Turners

The Book Character Page Turners Would Most Like to Meet

A survey for World Book Day asked ‘leading lights of literary luminaries’ to name the characters who gave them the greatest reading pleasure. The list included Pip (Great Expectations), Elizabeth Bennett (Pride and Prejudice), Sherlock Holmes (Hound of the Baskervilles etc), Gandalf (Lord of the Rings) and Anne (Anne of Green Gables). The Page Turners were asked to select a character from a book that they would most like to meet.
Sylvia would like a whodunit solved. She would like to meet Mlle de Poitiers, the French Mistress from the book, ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ by Joan Lindsay. Sylvia would be keen to talk with her about the ‘event’ and the pupils involved. The detective Endeavour, from the Morse series by Colin Dexter was Helen’s choice. Helen believes he is a dour, irascible character who has the ability to collate a series of clues. Endeavour also has the prowess to effortlessly complete The Times crossword every day, and Helen would greatly appreciate meeting him to obtain some tips!! Tess would like a walk down memory lane and meet up with Sir Wilfred Thesiger author of ‘Arabian Sands’ and ‘The Marsh Arabs’. Tess spent many years in the Middle East and would like to chat with Sir Wilfred of their shared experiences of crossing the Empty Quarter (Rub-al-Khali) and travels in the Middle East. Babs selected the character Olive Ketteridge from the novel of the same name by Elizabeth Strout. This novel comprises of 13 short stories, highlighting characters living in Crosby, Maine. The common thread in each of the stories is Olive, a retired school teacher, who has impacted in many ways on the lives of different characters. Babs believes Olive is cranky, opinionated, complex and fascinating: and she thinks they would become friends if they ever met! Lynne chose Celie, an African-American woman living in the deep American south, from the novel ‘The Colour Purple’ by Alice Walker. Celie was born into poverty and segregation and spends most of her life being mistreated and abused by the men in her life. Celie eventually takes charge of her own destiny and becomes free of her abusive past. A strong, hopeful and combative character that Lynne believes would provoke some stimulating discussions. Sandra had just completed the ‘The Testaments’ by Margaret Attwood and would like to meet the divorced judge, Aunt Lydia. Aunt Lydia is imprisoned with other women in a stadium and endures weeks of squalid conditions. Aunt Lydia emerges as a woman who accepts that she must do what is necessary to stay alive. She becomes a mole. Sandra wonders why she chose to become a mole and behaved so badly, so cruelly and so stupidly. May would like to meet Miss Marple, a character from Agatha Christie books, including ‘The Murder at the Vicarage’. May imagines she would be good for a gossip and might also chat about some of the crime solutions she has been involved in (minus the gory details!)
Which character in which book would you like to meet?



Page Turners Lockdown Travel Dreams

Readers Transported To Another Time, Space Or Place

Another month, another missed Page Turners meeting, as lockdown in Wales continued into June. Part of the restrictions imposed on us all have been travel limitations. However, many books enable readers to be transported to another time, space and/or place and to experience new and different cultures, scenery and people. The Page Turners were asked to nominate a book they had read which had taken them on a journey to a different, exciting or new place. Without stepping onto a train, plane, car or liner, join us on our trips and maybe find inspiration for your next book or holiday choice…

Alexander McCall Smith’s “No 1 Ladies Detective Agency” was May’s choice. Having been a volunteer teacher for 2 years in Botswana, the book brought back memories for May of the warmth of the Botswana people, glimpses of their way of life and the desert scenery. May felt very privileged to be able to spend time in such a wonderful country.

Sandra choseFour Seasons in Rome” by Anthony Doerr, a travelogue of the author’s time in Rome. Sandra loved Rome when she visited and felt Doerr’s descriptions of Rome were breath-taking, vivid and real. There is also an insight into events on St Peter’s square after the death of Pope John Paul II.

Babs’s choice was “A Fine Balance” by Rohinton Mistry, set in India in 1975. Babs believes the characters were well portrayed, in a country where caste, gender, poverty and corruption made every day “a fine balance” between misery and hope. Subsequently Babs visited India which she describes as, not so much a holiday, as an assault on all the senses: the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and emotions she experienced will never be forgotten.

Another novel by Rohinton Mistry was chosen by Jenny. “Family Matters” portrays the fictionalised life of a Parsi family in present day Bombay. Jenny thought it was a very moving novel, bringing alive the colours, smells and overpowering atmosphere of a frenetic Bombay. Jenny dreams of visiting Mistry’s India to experience his India for herself.

Another novel set in India was chosen by Tess. This is the longest novel in the English language so stamina will be needed if you decide to pick this book up. The novel is set four years after Independence and is Vikram Seth’s “A Suitable Boy”. Tess claims Seth takes you through Indian traditions and culture with charming endearment, as well as laying bare its faults. If we are still locked down for the next 3 months, this is an ideal choice to keep you inside and occupied!

“Clouds from Both Sides” by Julie Tullis was Lynne’s selection. The book tells the story of how Julie, at the age of 45, became the first British woman to climb an 8,000m Himalayan mountain. It’s an exhilarating account of her courage and adventures in various mountain environments around the world. You’re never too old to climb a mountain!

Sylvia chose Barbara Kingsolver’s novel “Las Laguna”, which is set in Mexico City and Asheville, North Carolina. Having been to both places, Sylvia enjoyed this “great read”, reliving the epic journey described in the book. Sylvia particularly liked reading about the enigmatic Frida Kahlo whose work she finds fascinating.

Helen’s nomination was a “coffee table” book, “Antarctica” by Mike Lucas. It is a lavishly illustrated account of the geology, history, climate and wild life which makes up this area. Helen believes the book is totally inspirational and an evocative read. Helen is lucky enough to have travelled to this continent, and although the panoramas in the book are spectacular, she feels they do not do justice to the reality…..but in lockdown to travel to an ice-covered continent, courtesy of Mr Lucas, would be special.

“One should always have something sensational to read on a train,” wrote Oscar Wilde. I hope you will find a “sensational” book in the list above, that will find its way into your luggage when you pack for your next journey….



Dinner Party Authors


This month, the Page Turners were asked to suggest which of their favourite authors they would invite to a post-lockdown dinner party and why.

May issued her invitation to Jane Austen, author of ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and ‘Emma’, amongst many others. May would ask her if she wrote romances based on her personal feelings, or because they were popular and provided her with an income.

Sylvia’s choice of guests would be Annie Proux, the Pulitzer prize winning author of ‘The Shipping News’ and ‘Brokeback Mountain’. Her latest novel is ‘Barkskin’s’, whose theme is deforestation. Sylvia’s dinner party discussions would centre on the meticulous research undertaken for her books.

Lynne would like Michelle Obama who wrote ‘Becoming’ at her table. Michelle (presumably I would be on first name terms if she was in my house!!) was the first African American First Lady of the USA and has inspired a generation of women. Conversations with her on education, poverty, politics and empowering women would be very interesting.

Helen’s guest would be Sir Thomas More, the 16th century humanist, martyr and statesman who wrote several books, including ‘Utopia’ and ‘Richard III’. He was also a prolific writer of poetry. Helen would like to hear his opinion on Hilary Mantel’s trilogy which makes his nemesis, Thomas Cromwell, a hero. That would be an interesting discussion over a glass of wine!

Tess is hoping to have two guests: C.J. Sansom who has written numerous historical mysteries set in the reign of Henry VIII; Tess is hoping he will be accompanied by the afore mentioned Hilary Mantel who writes about the same period. It seems Hilary is rather a popular choice with some Page Turners. I hope both guests enjoy the Welsh cakes, a Tess speciality, that may be offered to them!

Babs would send her invitation to Marian Keyes who has written numerous novels including ‘Rachel’s Holiday’ and ‘Grown Ups’. Babs started to read her books in the late 1990s when she says she was at her most miserable…A friend told her they would cheer her up, which they did as Babs enjoyed Marian’ s humour. Babs and Marian would hopefully enjoy a happy and humorous conversation about her books together with some chilled wine.

Sandra would invite Victoria Hislop whose novels include ‘The Return’, ‘The Thread’ and ‘Those Who are Loved’. Sandra loves history and feels that Victoria has taught her a great deal about Greece and its people, as many of her novels are stand-alone titles based around historical events in Greece. Sandra wonders whether she should offer Victoria Greek cuisine as they sit and chat about Greece and its history. I’m sure Victoria would love a kebab!

Margaret Atwood would have been one of my choices for a dinner guest. Then I read that she has a note pinned to a board above where she writes and it says: ‘Wanting to meet an author because you like his work, is like wanting to meet a duck because you like pate’. So, I left her off my list….and will ensure I put duck pate on the menu for my dinner guest!

Who would YOU like to invite to your post coronavirus dinner party…do you agree with our choice of guests? We hope this list of authors and their novels has given you some food for thought and tempted you to pick up a book…or two.



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