Cricklereaders June 2023 The Blue Afternoon

A quest for secrets in the blue afternoon . . .

Los Angeles, 1936. Kay Fischer, a young and ambitious architect, is being followed by an old man. When confronted, he explains that his name is Salvador Carriscant – and that he is her father.

In a matter of weeks Kay will join Salvador on an extraordinary journey as they delve back into his past to not only learn the truth behind her own birth, but also to discover the whereabouts of a woman long thought dead – and to uncover the identity of a killer.

Cricklereaders April 2023 The Lehman Trilogy

The Lehman Trilogy is a three-act play by Italian novelist and playwright Stefano Massini. It follows the lives of three immigrant brothers from when they arrive in America and found an investment firm through to the collapse of the company in 2008. It has been translated into 24 languages, staged by such directors as Luca Ronconi and Sam Mendes, and was later published as a novel. An English translation of the play by Mirella Cheeseman was produced in the West End in 2018 by the National Theatre. The production was directed by Sam Mendes and included the cast of Simon Russell Beale, Adam Godley and Ben Miles. It earned five Laurence Olivier Award nominations.

Join Cricklereaders on 30 April from 1030 to discuss this through-provoking work.

Cricklereaders March 2023 The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida

March’s book chosen by Cricklereaders is The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida, by Sheehan Karunatilaka. Winner of the 2022 Booker Prize, Shehan Karunatilaka’s second novel is a searing, mordantly funny satire set amid the murderous mayhem of a Sri Lanka beset by civil war.

Maali Almeida, war photographer, gambler and closet gay, has woken up dead in what seems to be a celestial visa office. His dismembered body is sinking in the Beira Lake and he has no idea who killed him. At a time when scores are settled by death squads, suicide bombers and hired goons, the list of suspects is depressingly long.

But even in the afterlife, time is running out for Maali. He has ‘seven moons’ to try and contact the man and woman he loves most and lead them to a hidden cache of photos that will rock Sri Lanka.

The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida was announced as the winner of the Booker Prize 2022 on October 17 at a ceremony in London.

Cricklereaders January 2023 – The Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho

The book chosen for the first Cricklereaders of the year is local author Paterson Joseph’s The Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho. You can hear Paterson talk about his book here.

Published by Little, Brown, The Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho is a “gloriously written Regency polemic”.

Waterstones says: Meet Charles Ignatius Sancho: his extraordinary story, hidden for three hundred years, is about to be told.

I had little right to live, born on a slave ship where my parents both died. But I survived, and indeed, you might say I did more…

It’s 1746 and Georgian London is not a safe place for a young Black man, especially one who has escaped slavery. After the twinkling lights in the Fleet Street coffee shops are blown out and the great houses have closed their doors for the night, Sancho must dodge slave catchers and worse. The man he hoped would help – a kindly duke who taught him to write – is dying. Sancho is desperate and utterly alone. So how does Charles Ignatius Sancho meet the King, write and play highly acclaimed music, become the first Black person to vote in Britain and lead the fight to end slavery?

It’s time for him to tell his story, one that begins on a tempestuous Atlantic Ocean, and ends at the very centre of London life. And through it all, he must ask: born amongst death, how much can you achieve in one short life?

From one of Britain’s best-loved actors, Paterson Joseph, comes an utterly captivating and haunting historical novel, telling the true story of a Great Black Briton.If you’d like to join the group, email for more details.

Next meeting: Sunday 5 February, 1030-1130

Cricklereaders December 2022 – Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

The book chosen for the last Cricklereaders of the year is Barbara Kingsolver’s Demon Copperhead.

Demon Copperhead is a once-in-a-generation novel that breaks and mends your heart in the way only the best fiction can.

Demon’s story begins with his traumatic birth to a single mother in a single-wide trailer, looking ‘like a little blue prizefighter.’ For the life ahead of him he would need all of that fighting spirit, along with buckets of charm, a quick wit, and some unexpected talents, legal and otherwise.

In the southern Appalachian Mountains of Virginia, poverty isn’t an idea, it’s as natural as the grass grows. For a generation growing up in this world, at the heart of the modern opioid crisis, addiction isn’t an abstraction, it’s neighbours, parents, and friends. ‘Family’ could mean love, or reluctant foster care. For Demon, born on the wrong side of luck, the affection and safety he craves is as remote as the ocean he dreams of seeing one day. The wonder is in how far he’s willing to travel to try and get there.

Suffused with truth, anger and compassion, Demon Copperhead is an epic tale of love, loss and everything in between.

If you’d like to join the group, email for more details.

Next meeting: Sunday 11 December, 1030-1130

Cricklereaders October 2022 – Time Shelter by Georgi Gospodinov

This month Cricklereaders will be enjoying Time Shelter by Georgi Gospodinov

‘The most exquisite kind of literature… I’ve put it on a special shelf in my library that I reserve for books that demand to be revisited every now and then. ‘
OLGA TOKARCZUK, author of Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead

‘Could not be more timely… It’s funny and absurd, but it’s also frightening, because even as Gospodinov plays with the idea as fiction, the reader begins to recognise something rather closer to home… A writer of great warmth as well as skill

‘In equal measure playful and profound, Time Shelter renders the philosophical mesmerizing, and the everyday extraordinary. I loved it’
CLAIRE MESSUD, author of The Woman Upstairs

‘A genrebusting novel of ideas… Gospodinov’s vision of tomorrow is the nightmare from which Europe knows it must awake. And accident, in combination with the book’s own merits, may just have created a classic’

‘Gospodinov is one of Europe’s most fascinating and irreplaceable novelists, and this his most expansive, soulful and mind-bending book’
DAVE EGGERS, author of The Circle

The September group will meet at the library at 1030 on Sunday 30 October. Do join in.