Didsbury Book Group

We talk about them too ! If you like to talk about what you've read, then please join us — new members are very welcome. We meet at the Fletcher Moss on William Street in Didsbury around 8 pm.

There's a meeting every fortnight, but you don't have to come to them all. It's dead simple; choose a book you like the sound of, read it (or even part of it) beforehand and turn up with a few ideas and money for beer / wine / flirtinis. It's all very informal, and we're quite a friendly bunch. We can usually be found on the table with the books and flirtinis.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

The Power — Naomi Alderman



Book cover for The Power in Didsbury book group

What would the world look like if men were afraid of women rather than women being afraid of men ?

This week's book is Naomi Alderman's The Power.

We'll be meeting at The Fletcher Moss on William Street in Didsbury.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

The Secret Speech — Tom Rob Smith



Book cover for The Secret Speech in Didsbury book group

The Soviet Union 1956: after Stalin's death, a violent regime is beginning to fracture. Stalin's successor Khrushchev pledges reform. But there are forces at work that are unable to forgive or forget the past.

Leo Demidov, former MGB officer, is facing his own turmoil. His adopted daughters have yet to forgive him for his part in the brutal murder of their parents. They are not alone. Leo, his wife, and their family are in grave danger from someone with a grudge. Someone transformed beyond recognition into the perfect model of vengeance. Leo's desperate mission to save his family will take him from the harsh Siberian Gulags, to the depths of the criminal underworld, to the centre of the Hungarian uprising — and into a hell where redemption is as brittle as glass.


This week's book is Tom Rob Smith's The Secret Speech.

We'll be meeting at The Fletcher Moss on William Street in Didsbury.

As we're coming to the end of our reading list, we'll be choosing books at the meeting.  You might like to consider the unread books list.

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Homegoing — Yaa Gyasi



Book cover for Homegoing in Didsbury book group

The tale begins in the late 18th century in an Asante village, part of the Gold Coast which eventually became Ghana. A young girl, Effia Otcher, is sold by her father to a slaver as a bride, not as a slave — and taken to live with him in Cape Coast Castle, a fort overlooking the sea. The slaves are in dungeons underneath the castle, awaiting transit to the Americas and the Caribbean. Amongst them is 15-year-old Esi Asare, Effia’s half-sister. In a series of subsequent interconnected stories, the bloodlines of these two women are followed through seven generations covering the associated histories of the US and Ghana up to the turn of the 21st century.

This week's book is Yaa Gyasi's Homegoing.

We'll be meeting at The Fletcher Moss on William Street in Didsbury.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

His Dark Materials 1: Northern Lights — Philip Pullman



Book cover for His Dark Materials 1: Northern Lights in Didsbury book group

"Without this child, we shall all die".

Lyra Belacqua and her daemon live half-wild and carefree amongst the scholars of Oxford. The destiny that awaits her will take her to the frozen lands of the Arctic, where witch-clans reign and ice-bears fight. Her extraordinary journey will have immeasurable consequences far beyond her own world ...


This week's book is Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials 1: Northern Lights.

We'll be meeting at The Fletcher Moss on William Street in Didsbury.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

If You Could See Me Now — Cecelia Ahern



Book cover for If You Could See Me Now in Didsbury book group

What if love was right there in front of you — you just couldn't see it ?

Elizabeth Egan is too busy for friends. As a reluctant mother to her sister Saoirse's young son Luke and with her own business to run, every precious moment is made to count. But with Saoirse crashing in and out of their lives, leaving both her sister and her son reeling, Luke and Elizabeth are desperately in need of some magic.


This week's book is Cecelia Ahern's If You Could See Me Now.

We'll be meeting at The Fletcher Moss on William Street in Didsbury.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Why Did You Lie ? — Yrsa Sigurdardottir



Book cover for Why Did You Lie ? in Didsbury book group

A journalist working on a historical child abuse story tries to hang himself. A family returns from holiday to find their home in disarray and their guests missing. A technician who, with three other people, has been sent to do repairs on an old lighthouse, finds himself trapped there by bad weather and high seas.

They have one thing in commmon: they all lied. And someone is determined to punish them.


This week's book is Yrsa Sigurdardottir's Why Did You Lie ?.

We'll be meeting at The Fletcher Moss on William Street in Didsbury.

Thursday, 5 April 2018

The Satyricon — Petronius



Book cover for The Satyricon in Didsbury book group

The Satyricon is the most celebrated work of fiction to have survived from the ancient world, and is considered to be the first realistic novel, the father of the picaresque genre. It recounts the sleazy progress of a pair of literature scholars as they wander through the cities of the southern Mediterranean. En route they encounter a teacher in higher education, a libidinous priest, a vulgar freedman turned millionaire, a manic poet, a superstitious sea-captain, and a femme fatale.

The recommended translation is that of Sullivan which is available in Penguin Classics.


This week's book is Petronius's The Satyricon.

We'll be meeting at The Fletcher Moss on William Street in Didsbury.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

A Place Called Winter — Patrick Gale



Book cover for A Place Called Winter in Didsbury book group

A shy but privileged elder son, Harry Cane has followed convention at every step. Even the beginnings of an illicit, dangerous affair do little to shake the foundations of his muted existence — until the shock of discovery and the threat of arrest force him to abandon his wife and child and sign up for emigration to Canada. Remote and unforgiving, his allotted homestead in a place called Winter is a world away from the golden suburbs of turn-of-the-century Edwardian England. And yet it is here, isolated in a seemingly harsh landscape, under the threat of war and madness that the fight for survival will reveal in Harry an inner strength and capacity for love beyond anything he has ever known before.

This week's book is Patrick Gale's A Place Called Winter.

We'll be meeting at The Fletcher Moss on William Street in Didsbury.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Obasan — Joy Kogawa



Book cover for Obasan in Didsbury book group

The Government makes paper airplanes out of our lives and flies us out the windows. Some people return home. Some do not. War they all say, is war, and some people survive. 

Obasan is narrated by Naomi, a sheltered and pampered child who is five years old when her life is drastically changed by the events at Pearl Harbor and the Second World War. As a Japanese Canadian, Naomi is separated from her parents, persecuted and eventually placed in an internment camp during the second world war.

This week's book is Joy Kogawa's Obasan.

We'll be meeting at The Fletcher Moss on William Street in Didsbury.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Flowers For Algernon — Daniel Keyes



Book cover for Flowers For Algernon in Didsbury book group

Charlie Gordon, IQ 68, is a floor sweeper and the gentle butt of everyone's jokes — until an experiment in the enhancement of human intelligence turns him into a genius. But then Algernon, the mouse whose triumphal experimental tranformation preceded his, fades and dies, and Charlie has to face the possibility that his salvation was only temporary.

This week's book is Daniel Keyes's Flowers For Algernon.

We'll be meeting at The Fletcher Moss on William Street in Didsbury.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Planetary 1: All Over The World And Other Stories — Warren Ellis



Book cover for Planetary 1: All Over The World And Other Stories in Didsbury book group

Collecting the adventures of Elijah Snow, a powerful, hundred year-old-man, Jakita Wagner, an extremely powerful but bored woman, and The Drummer, a man with the ability to communicate with machines. Infatuated with tracking down evidence of superhuman activity, these mystery archaeologists of the late twentieth century uncover unknown paranormal secrets and histories, such as a World War II supercomputer that can access other universes, a ghostly spirit of vengeance and a lost island of dying monsters.

This week's book is Warren Ellis's Planetary 1: All Over The World And Other Stories.

We'll be meeting at The Fletcher Moss on William Street in Didsbury.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

The Light Between Oceans — M. L. Stedman



Book cover for The Light Between Oceans in Didsbury book group

Shattered by his experiences in the World War I trenches, veteran Tom Sherbourne returns home in Australia to his wife Isabel. Looking for restoration and peace the couple move to an isolated lighthouse where they try to rebuild their lives and long for a child that never comes. Then, one day, a boat washes ashore with a baby inside — a gift that offers the hope of a future they’ve longed for but the consequences of their actions may be more far-reaching than they could have ever imagined.

This week's book is M. L. Stedman's The Light Between Oceans.

We'll be meeting at The Fletcher Moss on William Street in Didsbury.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

The Little Friend — Donna Tartt



Book cover for The Little Friend in Didsbury book group

Twelve-year-old Harriet is doing her best to grow up, which is not easy as her mother is permanently on medication, her father has silently moved to another city, and her serene sister rarely notices anything. All of them are still suffering from the shocking and mysterious death of her brother Robin twelve years earlier, and it seems to Harriet that the family may never recover. So, inspired by Captain Scott, Houdini, and Robert Louis Stevenson, she sets out with her only friend Hely to find Robin's murderer and punish him. But what starts out as a child's game soon becomes a dark and dangerous journey into the menacing underworld of a small Mississippi town.

This week's book is Donna Tartt's The Little Friend.

We'll be meeting at The Stokers' Arms on Wilmslow Road in Didsbury.  Please note change of venue for this meeting whilst The Fletcher Moss is closed for refurbishment.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

The Maltese Falcon — Dashiell Hammett



Book cover for The Maltese Falcon in Didsbury book group

Sam Spade is hired by the fragrant Miss Wonderley to track down her sister, who has eloped with a louse called Floyd Thursby. But Miss Wonderley is in fact the beautiful and treacherous Brigid O'Shaughnessy, and when Spade's partner Miles Archer is shot whilst on Thursby's trail, Spade finds himself both hunter and hunted: can he track down the jewel-encrusted bird, a treasure worth killing for, before the Fat Man finds him ?

This week's book is Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon.

We'll be meeting at The Fletcher Moss on William Street in Didsbury.

This is our last book this year, and we meet next on 11 January 2018 for The Little Friend.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

The Last King of Scotland — Giles Foden



Book cover for The Last King of Scotland in Didsbury book group

On a Ugandan medical mission, Dr Garrigan, becomes irreversibly entangled with one of the world's most barbaric figures: Idi Amin. Impressed by Dr. Garrigan's brazen attitude in a moment of crisis, the newly self-appointed Ugandan President Amin hand picks him as his personal physician and closest confidante. Though Garrigan is at first flattered and fascinated by his new position, he soon awakens to Amin's savagery — and his own complicity in it. Horror and betrayal ensue as Garrigan tries to right his wrongs and escape Uganda alive.

This week's book is Giles Foden's The Last King of Scotland.

We'll be meeting at The Fletcher Moss on William Street in Didsbury.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Stone Junction — Jim Dodge



Book cover for Stone Junction in Didsbury book group

An odyssey of one man's quest to find his place in a world where espionage, drugs, revolution, magic, and murder are commonplace. Spanning three decades, the story follows a young couple who are introduced to the lifestyle of modern day outlaws, and are soon recruited to a secretive underground organisation where nothing is as it seems.

This week's book is Jim Dodge's Stone Junction.

We'll be meeting at The Fletcher Moss on William Street in Didsbury.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

The Virgin Suicides — Jeffrey Eugenides



Book cover for The Virgin Suicides in Didsbury book group

In an ordinary suburban house, on a lovely tree-lined street, in the middle of 1970s America, lived the five beautiful, dreamy Lisbon sisters, whose doomed fates indelibly marked the neighbuorhood boys who to this day continue to obsess over them. A story of love and repression, fantasy and terror, sex and death, memory, and longing. It is at its core a mystery story: a heart-rending investigation into the impenetrable, life-altering secrets of American adolescence.

*** Change of book ***

This week's book is Jeffrey Eugenide's The Virgin Suicides..

We'll be meeting at The Fletcher Moss on William Street in Didsbury.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

The Bees — Laline Paull



Book cover for The Bees in Didsbury book group

Flora 717 is a bee with problems, right from the start. Her sisters in this batch of lowly sanitation workers emerge modestly: Flora smashes her way out of the pupating cell, in a storm of waxy shrapnel. She's too big, she's too dark, she's grotesquely ugly. But she's strong, a quick learner and she can speak, while others of her caste are mute. In no time she has attracted the attention of an exalted priestess bee, who saves her from summary execution by the deformity police, and finds her "most notable". Soon, Flora has left her despised origins behind, and is rocketing up through the ranks: feeding the Queen's hallowed newborns, tending the darling young grubs; encountering the glorious Maleness of the drones, and even, after a display of savage courage, privileged to attend on the Queen herself.

This week's book is Laline Paull's The Bees.

We'll be meeting at The Fletcher Moss on William Street in Didsbury.

As we're coming to the end of our reading list, we'll be choosing books at the meeting.


Thursday, 5 October 2017

The Stepford Wives — Ira Levin



Book cover for The Stepford Wives in Didsbury book group

For Joanna, her husband, Walter, and their children, the move to beautiful Stepford seems almost too good to be true. It is. For behind the town's idyllic facade lies a terrible secret a secret so shattering that no one who encounters it will ever be the same.

This week's book is Ira Levin's The Stepford Wives.

We'll be meeting at The Fletcher Moss on William Street in Didsbury.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

The Plague of Doves — Louise Erdrich



Book cover for The Plague of Doves in Didsbury book group

Though generations have passed, the town of Pluto continues to be haunted by the murder of a farm family. Evelina Harp—part Ojibwe, part white—is an ambitious young girl whose grandfather, a repository of family and tribal history, harbours knowledge of the violent past. And Judge Antone Bazil Coutts, who bears witness, understands the weight of historical injustice better than anyone. Through the distinct and winning voices of three unforgettable narrators, the collective stories of two interwoven communities ultimately come together to reveal a final wrenching truth.

This week's book is Louise Erdrich's The Plague of Doves.

We'll be meeting at The Fletcher Moss on William Street in Didsbury.