It’s time for our best book club books of 2021. In Part 1 of our two-part end-of-year special we look back over our book club reads. Which ones have stayed with us? Which ones sparked debate? And which will we crown our book club book of the year? We also hear from Gary Wigglesworth, author of The Book Lover’s Quiz Book and journalist and frequent pod special-guest Phil Chaffee to find out their favourites.
For our best books of 2021, don’t miss Part 2 in which we tackle the books we read for ourselves, outside of book club. Listen in for over 70 book recommendations from us, some more pod special guests and our book clubs.
Writers and Lovers by Lily King and Early Work by Andrew Martin. We discussed these fully in episode 87.
Euphoria, by Lily King
Shuggie Bain, Douglas Stuart. Listen in to episode 89 as Phil Chaffee joins us to discuss this Booker winning novel.
The Mermaid of Black Conch, Monique Roffey. Catch up with episode 91 for the full discussion and some follow-0n book recommendations.
Mrs Death Misses Death, Salena Godden. We were joined by Gary Wigglesworth to discuss Salena Godden’s challenging novel. Listen in to episode 94 to find out why he loved it.
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. Listen in to episode 97 for the full discussion of Ishiguro’s 1989 Booker winner plus our follow-on book recommendations.
Like A Sword Wound by Ahmet Altan. Phil joined us again for episode 101, listen in as we discuss why we all loved this Turkish novel so much. You might also be interested in episode 48 on Altan’s I Will Never See The World Again.
Second Place by Rachel Cusk. The source inspiration we mentioned was Lorenzo in Taos by Mabel Dodge Luhan. Listen to episode 105, where we’re joined by Phil Chaffee and Sarah Oliver to discuss it.
Matrix by Lauren Groff. Don’t miss episode 107 where we’re joined once again by Phil Chaffee and Sarah Oliver, plus our follow-on book recommendations.
Gary Wigglesworth’s favourite book of 2021
A Lonely Man by Chris Power. Gary also mentioned Mothers, Power’s earlier book of short stories.
Phil Chaffee’s favourite books of 2021
How Beautiful We Were, Imbolo Mbue
As Meat Loves Salt, Maria McCann
The Barsetshire Chronicles, Anthony Trollope (so far Phil has read The Warden
Barchester Towers and Doctor Thorne, with Framley Parsonage next up)
To hear more from Gary Wigglesworth and get a taste of his literary quiz, listen in to episode 84, in which he puts us thorough our paces. And if you’re interested to know more or to go to one in person the details are on his website.
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Over to you
What book club books have you done that really sparked debate? Let us know, we’re always on the hunt for the best ones.