Books

 

Books Groups Love

A selection of our best books according to groups. Click or tap on any book to view it in the catalogue and read more reviews from groups.

 

Genre : Fiction: New Zealand
Year : 2012
Pages : 396
"Finn fell." Such simple little words to start a story, such simple words that belie the truth behind the event. Five-year-old Finn's fall from the first floor verandah of his family's Hawke's Bay home is shocking in its unexpectedness and a signal that all is not well in the McNamara household. Recently emigrated from the UK, expectations are being exceeded all round, except that is, for Sacha, and that's just teenagers for you ... isn't it?

This thought-provoking novel delves into every parent's worst nightmare with recognisable characters and setting, events that ring true, and a courageous exploration of the social issues that we face in our homes and communities.

Comments from Groups:

One of the best books we have read this year. We loved that it was set in the Hawkes Bay and that we could picture the landscape etc. It was a suspenseful novel, and many could hardly put it down. We loved the writing style, and identified with the mother's difficulty in not being able to tell the truth, and her torment because of it. Recommend highly. Christchurch 238

Everybody enjoyed Second Chances, and felt that the author handled all the various threads of the plot well. She touched on several very contemporary issues - drug abuse, child abuse, immigration and family dynamics - and held our interest throughout.. Katikati 001

Everyone loved our book this month. Most agreed it was the very best book we had read this year. We really felt that Norman's experience as a barrister gave her great insight into how real people deal with difficult circumstances. We thought she created a very believable family dynamic. As New Zealanders, we loved the way she saw NZ through the eyes of immigrants - the scenery, the generosity and friendship of the locals. Otorohanga 003

A well paced and well researched story. There was plenty to discuss with issues around migration, teenage difficulties and NZ drug problems. We recommend this book! Tauranga 015

This was an enjoyable read, with themes particularly familiar to some of the migrants in our group. An author to look out for. Timaru 016

Mixed reviews - some loved it, others thought it readable but not a great read, more of a holiday read. Wellington 120

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Categories: Fiction - New Zealand, Community, Contemporary, Family Saga, Grief/loss, Morals/Ethics, Relationships, Light style, What's Hot, Popular Book with Groups, Blind Foundation book

Genre : Fiction
Year : 2016
Pages : 406
All the ugly and wonderful things indeed ... young Wavy and her brother Donal are at the mercy of their meth-addicted parents, but for the care and support of an unlikely knight in shining armour. Kellen, one of their father's drug runners is a damaged man who does his best for the children. But the powerful and undeniable bond that develops over time between he and Wavy is complicated by their significant age difference and the boundaries they breach.

This is a graphic coming-of-age story as compelling as it is disturbing in its visceral portrayal of love and resilience in the gritty reality of rural America.

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Categories: Fiction, Contemporary, Love story, Morals/Ethics, Relationships, Social commentary/perspectives, Young narrator, America, What's Hot, Popular Book with Groups, 2020 Titles

Genre : Fiction
Year : 2018
Pages : 388
When cabinet minister James Whitehouse, with a seemingly perfect life, goes on trial for rape, there is a lot at stake: not only his marriage to Sophie and his successful career (in tandem with his old friend Tom the PM), but also his exposure to Kate Woodcroft, the experienced prosecuting barrister hell-bent on revealing the truth.

Moving between the hallowed halls of contemporary Westminster and Oxford University decades earlier, this suspenseful psychological thriller and intelligent dissection of male privilege and behaviour, offers a fascinating and timely reflection on consent, intent and the misuse of power. [Larger font]

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Categories: Fiction, Contemporary, Feminism, Morals/Ethics, Relationships, Social commentary/perspectives, Suspense/Thriller, England, What's Hot, Popular Book with Groups, 2020 Titles

Genre : Non Fiction
Year : 2018
Pages : 416
'What do you want to be when you grow up?' Michelle Obama has some strong opinions about such questions, but certainly her response would not have been to say 'to be the First Lady'. But of course, this is exactly where she ends up as the wife of President Barack Obama, from 2009-2017. Her journey to one of the most famous addresses in the world started in a working class neighbourhood in the South Side of Chicago and progressed via Princeton and Harvard, corporate law, marriage and motherhood.

Written with warmth and candour, this is an inspiring memoir from a former First Lady offering readers the unique perspective of someone achieving many 'firsts' in her life thus far.

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Categories: Non fiction, Big Read, Biography, Culture/Ethnic/Racial, Political, America, What's Hot, Popular Book with Groups, 2020 Titles

Genre : Non Fiction
Year : 2016
Pages : 282
Comedian Trevor Noah has not just survived being born a crime (according to the Immorality Act of 1927), but has thrived. With a black mother and a white European father, he was forced to negotiate the racially restrictive apartheid laws of 1980s South Africa, fortunately armed with a secret weapon: his fearless and indomitable mother Patricia.

Both funny and insightful, this is a memoir of witty truth telling, exposing a South African upbringing to the sensitive insights of an acute observer. [Small font]

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Categories: Non fiction, Biography, Community, Culture/Ethnic/Racial, Human Rights, Humour, Political, Relationships, Social commentary/perspectives, South Africa, What's Hot, Popular Book with Groups, 2020 Titles

Genre : Non Fiction
Year : 2017
Pages : 378
World renowned psychologist Edith Eger is uniquely placed to expound on the choice we make when it comes to suffering: live as a victim, or as a survivor. Sent to Auschwitz with her family as a 16 year-old, she survived, putting it down to 'working together and helping others', a lesson she then applied to the career and new life she embraced in the US. In this remarkable memoir, the story of the author's exceptional life is interspersed with accounts of patients she has helped move from trauma to triumph in her clinical practice.

Written with integrity and compassion, this book contains inspiring approaches to achieving healing and freedom by confronting the suffering that life inevitably throws at us.

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Categories: Non fiction, Biography, Philosophy, Psychology, What's Hot, Popular Book with Groups, 2020 Titles

Genre : Fiction
Year : 2016
Pages : 342
Melbourne-based Federal Police Investigator Aaron Falk reluctantly returns to his hometown of Kiewarra to attend the funeral of his childhood friend Luke, and Luke's wife and child, supposed victims of a murder-suicide. Forced to confront his own past with Luke, Aaron is drawn into the investigation, probing the secrets of a small town fuelled by drought and despair.

Set in the blistering heat and dust of rural Australia, this is a thriller that races along as fast as the wildfire that threatens the harsh and unforgiving landscape.

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Categories: Fiction, Contemporary, Mystery, Relationships, Suspense/Thriller, Australia, What's Hot, Popular Book with Groups, 2018 Titles

Genre : Non Fiction
Year : 2018
Pages : 385
Having never been to school until the age of 17 nor registered for a birth certificate or medical care, Tara Westover seems an unlikely candidate for educational success. But succeed she has - blazing a trail through Harvard and Cambridge, this daughter of Doomsday survivalists from a remote area in Idaho, exemplifies the transformative power of education.

Riveting and often shocking, this inspiring memoir discloses a brutal childhood, the power of family to shape us and the cost of self-determination.

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Categories: Non fiction, Biography, Contemporary, Gender Issues, Medical/Health, Relationships, Religion, Social commentary/perspectives, America, What's Hot, Popular Book with Groups, 2020 Titles

Genre : Fiction
Year : 2016
Pages : 438
When war is declared, Mary North is sure she will be snapped up for something far more exciting than the role that she is assigned: that of a school teacher. The silver lining, however, comes in the form of Tom Shaw from the Education Authority, and more importantly, his friend Alistair Heath. Played out against the backdrop of the Blitz and at the front lines of Malta, this is a vividly drawn World War II story of privileged young Londoners proving their mettle.

Illuminating the racism and class structures of the time, this novel was inspired by the experiences of the author's grandparents.

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Categories: Fiction, War theme, Culture/Ethnic/Racial, Human Rights, Love story, England, Malta, What's Hot, Popular Book with Groups, 2018 Titles

Genre : Fiction
Year : 2016
Pages : 462
If indefinite house arrest was to be your fate then Moscow's luxurious Hotel Metropol was an ideal venue. However, instead of his usual suite, Count Alexander Rostov is reduced to living in an attic room, courtesy of the Bolsheviks as punishment for being an aristocrat. In the decades that follow his 1922 sentence, he strives to rise above his circumstances and master them. Along for the journey are a collection of colourful characters, fellow wayfarers cast on the safe shores of the Hotel Metropol, a welcome refuge from the upheaval of the Russian Revolution unfolding outside its doors.

Entertaining and stylish, this is a story shaped by the indomitable spirit of an unrepentant aristocrat, rich with philosophical insights and carefully woven with modern Russian history. [Small font]

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Categories: Fiction, Historical, Political, Relationships, Social commentary/perspectives, Russia, What's Hot, Popular Book with Groups, 2019 Titles

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