Having time to curl up with a good book in a cosy, peaceful spot is one of the joys of the festive period.

We asked Aloÿse from the Borzoi Bookshop in Stow-on-the-Wold, who leads our Daylesford Book Club every month, to share the titles the group enjoyed most. We hope this helps to inspire your own festive reading and perhaps even prompt you to join our Book Club in the new year.

“It has been a very interesting and enjoyable year for the Book Club
at Daylesford.”

The group is quite diverse and do not know each other socially, although over the course of the discussions, people get to know one another and gradually friendships do develop. Each month is different so we have a few members who dip in and out. I never know who will be there. Once everyone has arrived, we settle into our spot in the Glasshouse for an hour or so, over a cup of delicious Daylesford coffee or tea.

I try to choose books of different genres, each with something weighty to discuss as well as the writing itself. I also try to choose books that have recently come into paperback and are not too long.

Our top five books over the year, which would make a brilliant Christmas reading list that gives a wide, varied spread of different types of book, would have to include Exposure by Helen Dunmore. I chose this as our first book of the year in January because she is an established author, the book is well written and I felt that most people would feel some sort of connection with the plot.

Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain is an example of great writing, everyone really enjoyed this.

The non- fiction biography Kick: The True Story of JFK’s Forgotten Sister by Paula Byrne was fascinating mainly because of the personalities involved.

I chose The Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler as Hogarth Press have asked prominent authors to rework some of Shakespeare’s plays. This is Taming of the Shrew: it is funny, well written and introduced many to Anne Tyler. We can now read another in the series.

We also read The President’s Hat by Antoine Laurain. It is a translation; I plan to choose more foreign works in future. This is a good holiday read that brings up interesting thoughts on personality changes.

Together, the group has explored titles by established authors, new authors, challenging writing, non-fiction, prize-winning novels, psychological thrillers, foreign writers – a real mix. The Daylesford Book Club has been a joy to look forward to every month.

Daylesford Book Club 2017