The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust's Bell Library and Knowledge Hub has launched its first book club and we are called the Royal Readers Book Club.
We would like to invite anyone who is already an avid reader and those who are just curious about what book worms talk about (you may be surprised!) to join our meetings.
During these unsettling times, we could all do with the kind of escapism that books can offer and we aim for these get togethers to be very relaxed and enjoyable. The details of our next meeting are as follows:
This month's book is;
As part of the Health and Wellness week, the Health Education England donated 10 uplifting books to each NHS library. Many of them are in the Top Ten Book Club reads. You can find them on the library catalogue under Uplifting Reads.
Book Reviews from RWT Royal Readers Book Club
Fingers in the Sparkle Jar (Chris Packham) - Review by David Law
A trouble childhood of bullying and isolation led to a growing affinity with natural world for Chris Packham. What became a diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome is described in detail and illustrated by his natural world experiences including encounters with kestrels and sparrowhawks. It's a marmite book that readers may either engage with or dis-engage after a few chapters, however for those who do stick with it there are many moments when the beauty of communicating with nature come out of the page.
Diary of a Bookseller (Shaun Bythell) - Review by Tracey
An easy read which will take you to a Bookshop in a beautiful part of Scotland to meet owner Simon (tendency towards grumpiness), his eccentric staff (amazing what you can find in the Supermarket bins), quirky local customers (Bum Bag Dave and The Pagan) and a slightly chunky cat. The daily diary entries show some days when something mildly exciting happens (Wigtown Festival) and others when there are no customers and nothing in the till. Gives an insight into the struggles independent Bookshops are having with online presence of Amazon and the use of Kindles over real books.
Magpie Murders (Anthony Horowitz) - Review by Tina
Magpie Murders is a murder mystery book with an intriguing twist that keeps the ‘little grey cells’ working overtime until the very end of the novel. I toughly enjoyed this book. I hadn’t read a proper who done it for a while and I was invested in the characters Horwitz created right from the start. There are sad tales and things that really make you smile, so as long as you can remember where each character appears in the undulating storyline, you’ll be pulled along for the ride until the ultimate conclusion. If you like Agatha Christie you’ll love this book; which I’d give a solid 8.5/10.
Twisted Lies (Angela Marsons) - Review by Pam C
This is the 14 book in the DI Kim Stone detective series and it doesn’t disappoint. In parts a little gruesome and as usual covers current issues, all based in the wonderful Black Country (Stourbridge, Merry Hill, Wolverhampton) place names you can relate to if your local. Always with sensitivity and care to the issues and the occasional humour from her team. Once again Kim is tasked with solving a number of murders, supported by her wonderful team. Without creating “spoilers”, for once her nemesis Tracy Frost, the local journalist proves to be an helpful asset in resolving a past murder. As always, a thrilling read cannot wait for the next instalment due in November 2021 “Stolen Ones”. I would give this a 10/10.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (Gail Honeyman) - Review by Pam K
“The book helps to illustrate that we really do not know what people are going through in their lives. We may see them every day, say ‘hello’ and ‘good bye’, and even judge them on a number of levels. In the book Raymond takes time to get to know Eleanor and this changes both their lives for the better as well as those around them. This resonated as it seems that in this busy world, we meet many people and perhaps pigeon hole them, without the right to do so. We are all just trying to get by, some finding this easier than others”.
Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein - Review by Tanja
The story of an extraordinary woman who had many lives: as an adopted child experiencing terrifying abuse, as a husband and father, sex worker, drag queen and transitioning from male to female at a time when this was even more difficult and less accepted than it is today.
Sarah Krasnostein, the author, meets Sandra Pankhurst in her final ‘incarnation’ as a trauma cleaner. Sandra’s life story slowly unravels as the author gets to know her better and accompanies her to places of devastation – scenes of violent crime, homes where somebody quietly died unnoticed and places of sometimes extreme hoarding. In contrast to more sensationalist TV shows trivialising the issues, Sandra conducts her job quietly and compassionately, ensuring the dignity of those who are struggling – it also becomes clear that for many, there is no ‘miracle cure’ or happy ending: their houses may be clean after a visit from Sandra and her team, but many revert to their previous pattern quite quickly. The chapters around hoarders provided a fascinating insight into what makes us tick and how our experiences shape the environment we maintain, whether we are hoarders or obsessively clean and tidy.
While the author clearly developed both admiration and deep respect for Sandra, this is no hagiography, Sandra is often a very unreliable narrator, omitting bits of her past she would rather leave unexamined – as we all do when it comes to how we tell the stories of our lives – and she is as human and capable of making poor choices as the next person.
13th October 2021 - Reading one book is like eating one crisp. Daine Duane.
10th November 2021 - I'm not addicted to reading, I can stop as soon as I've finished the next chapter.
8th December 2021 - Shop, Eat, Read - Repeat.
These are books previously reviewed by the Royal Readers.
We would love to hear from you!
If you have any ideas or suggestions you would like to put forward about how the club is taking shape please leave your comments in the discussion box.