Cricklereaders June Book Group

This month Cricklereaders will be enjoying Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout. Here’s an intriguing snippet from the start of the book:

For many years Henry Kitteridge was a pharmacist in the next town over, driving every morning on snowy roads, or rainy roads, or summertime roads, when the wild raspberries shot their new growth in brambles along the last section of town before he turned off to where the wider road led to the pharmacy. Retired now, he still wakes early and remembers how mornings used to be his favorite, as though the world were his secret, tires rumbling softly beneath him and the light emerging through the early fog, the brief sight of the bay off to his right, then the pines …

The June group will meet at the library at 1030 on Sunday 26 June. Do join in.

Cricklereaders May Meeting

A highly topical read for the months of April/May. We’ll be reading A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka. Why not read along with us and then join us in the library to discuss?
We’ll meet between 1030 and 1130 in the library on Sunday 15 May.

Spaces still available in our book group. See here for details on joining.

Cricklereaders April Meeting

The April meeting will meet on Sunday 3 April at the library, from 1030-1130. The book for this month is The Forty Rules of Love, by Turkish author Elif Shafak.


“A novel within a novel, The Forty Rules of Love tells two parallel stories (The technique placing two story together is called juxtaposition in literature) that mirror each other across two very different cultures and seven intervening centuries.” It starts when a housewife, Ella, gets a book called Sweet Blasphemy for an appraisal.. This book is about a thirteenth century poet, Rumi, and his spiritual teacher, Shams. The book presents Shams’s Forty Love Rules at different intervals. The story presented in the novel is basically on “love and spirituality that explains what it means to follow your heart”.

The letter “b”

Every chapter of the book starts with letter “b”. It is because the secret of Quran lies in Surah Al-Fatiha and its spirit is contained in the phrase Bismillah ir Rehman ir Rahim (In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent and the most Merciful). The first Arabic letter of the Bismillah has a dot below it that symbolizes the Universe as per Sufism thoughts.

If you’d like to join in, drop us a line to, or just read along with us and let us know what you think!

Cricklereaders October Meeting

The book chosen for October’s meeting is Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro.  Born in Nagasaki, Japan, in 1954, Kazuo Ishiguro moved to Britain at the age of five. He is a multi-award-winning author, including the Nobel and Booker Prizes. The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go were both made into successful feature films, bringing his work to an even wider audience. Despite his lofty position as a literary author, his works are accessible and very human. Klara and the Sun was described by The Sunday Times as “A masterpiece of great beauty, meticulous control and, as ever, clear, simple prose.”

We will be meeting at the library before this next meeting to view the space and decide collectively whether to hold the next meeting there or continue on Zoom. If you would like to join, please email

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

We just finished Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi. Yaa is Ghanaian American, born in Ghana, brought up in the USA. This is her second book.

Most of the group enjoyed the read, and even those who were less enthusiastic still found something to admire in it. It is an easy read – and the short chapters were a definite plus!
It covers many themes, ranging from drug addiction, the challenges of assimilation in a different culture, racism, prejudice, mental health, religion, friendships, neuroscience and “fitting in”. Some thought there were too many strands to the novel and that it attempted too much. Others found lots to enjoy in the exploration of these themes and were encouraged to try the novelist’s first book, Homecoming. Overall, it was a positive, thumbs-up for Transcendent Kingdom.

Most of us got our copies from West End Lane Books, and we thank them for ordering it in for us.

Next month’s read could not be more different. We’re onto Bleak House, by Charles Dickens. It will be a re-read for some, but new to many.

The Review Copies Have Arrived!

So exciting! The ten review copies of Hope Nicely’s Lessons for Life have arrived from The Reading Agency!

I thought it would be nice to kick off the book group with a book you might not normally read, and it’s a bonus that it’s free! The publisher asks for reviews once we’ve read it. More details on that shortly.

In the meantime, if you haven’t claimed your free copy yet, drop me a line and I’ll arrange to get it to you. Just a reminder that the information session on the book group will be this Sunday afternoon. See my earlier post for details.

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