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Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

on 4 January 2014
Frustrated/Annoyed by books that have previously been published under a different title? Beware that this is a reprint of the 2007 'The Book Club Bible'.

A great companion guide that proved much more interesting than I had anticipated. As well as 100 or so books that are discussed in a certain amount of depth there are also several sections listing the 'top 10' reads in categories such as 'British/American Classics', 'World Classics', 'Men's Books' and 'Sci-Fi Books'.

With each featured book (many of which are excellent choices for reading groups) allocated two pages the information given includes a publication date, number of pages (though it is pointed out in the notes that this can vary depending on the edition read), a spoiler free synopsis, either a 'What the critics said' or 'Readers Opinion', 'Discussion Points', 'Background Information' and what I occasionally felt were some fairly obscure 'Suggested Companion Reads'.

Great to pick out the books you have read and ideal if you want to add to your reading list. My only criticisms being that there was no note on just how the books had been chosen/who they had been chosen by and that there were few of the featured books published before the 1990's.

Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper.
The Book Lovers' Companion: What to Read Next
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on 22 April 2017
Incredible waste of money in that the plot of the book is revealed for every book. A real Radio 4 listeners listening as well with little that might appeal across the board.
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on 25 September 2012
I was very disappointed to discover that this book is a reprint of 'The Book Club Bible' which I already own. Neither does it contain a review of Pride & Prejudice as mentioned in the preview so I feel that that the information on this book should be rewritten to save disappointment for other purchasers.
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on 22 January 2013
Love this book to bits. Gave one to all my reading friends and family this Christmas and all were really thrilled and delighted. Forgot to keep one back for me! Shall be ordering another. If you love reading - buy it!
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on 27 February 2014
Left to my own devices I tend to read the same authors so I bought this book. I was delighted to find that I had already read a number of the recommendations, so I can't be doing too badly. However I've now read a few of the books recommended in the companion and loved them. It's helpful to read the book review to help you choose
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on 7 July 2015
Lionel Shriver is an American journalist and author. She was born 18, May 1957 in Gastonia, North Carolina, USA and is best known for her novel We Need to Talk About Kevin which won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2005. So when I noticed that she had written the forward to The Book Lovers' Companion, I knew it would be worth consulting this book as I now lead the village book group, having inherited that distinction from my friend, Evelyn Hood. Going through the table of contents actually feels a bit like being at a book club. Some of the choices made me beam with delight; others left me spluttering with disbelief!

Of course, such a good book club discussion can be the forging of a new friendship but deciding what to read next can be a daunting task for a lot of us. You want a book that is different enough that it will not suffer from a comparison from the last book you read. While books and stories can be social; reading itself is a very individual process. There are a plethora of factors that impact on reading. Mood alone can change how you respond to a book. Getting recommendations from friends and family or a trusted book reviewer is probably considered the safest route to sourcing your next read. You will have a first hand positive review to work from.

There are over 200 entries, including many of the usual suspects: Pride and Prejudice, Brick Lance or The Great Gatsby in The Book Lovers' Companion. There are also gems that do not normally make their way into an anthology of this type including Perfume and The Story of Lucy Gault.

Each entry in The Book Lovers' Companion is divided up into sections. These include spoiler free summaries, discussion points, reader’s notes and background information. Similar titlesthat might be of interest are also included.

I started off reading about books that I had already read so that I could get into the style of The Book Lovers' Companion. However, there were a number of reviewers involved in the compilation of this book resulting in a diverse range that are humorous, personal and topic specific. I love top tens and look forward to spending a bit of time contrasting theirs with my mental lists.

The Book Lovers' Companion contains a great range of books reviewed. Importantly, each review reads honestly, albeit briefly. It is particularly enjoyable to pick out the entry of a really unique book and watch the struggle to succinctly condense it into a few sentences. However, perhaps if each review were a page or two longer, it would allow for a slightly more in-depth look at each book. The summaries were quite impressive and I enjoyed reading the opinions offered.
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on 18 October 2013
Cover 4.0 As a new writer I want to write books which reflect the times and age of the last 100 years as well as some fantasy and future story lines. Although there are a few books written before this time range in this lovely little listing, overall it sets a good scene for a new writer. For the books I had read I had a chuckle at the critic's comments. I suppose they have to say something and in my glass house I suppose I am one as well making comments on Amazon. I will need to work through the book and add reviews into Amazon of those books I have read. One of the books I have around and dip into most months. Well done the compilers ... what about another? Alexander of the Allrighters and Ywnwab!
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on 14 February 2013
I bought this as a present for a friend and had a quick flick through it, and I definitely agree with the choices of "What to Read Next", the descriptions given for each book are so well written it's encouraged me to pick up a few books for reading. Also, as regards to one of the other comments about this book, it does say on the Copyright page "First published in Great Britain in 2007 as The Book Club Bible" so I'd say if anyone's made the mistake of buying both books, all I can suggest is to always click the option to look inside a book for sale on Amazon if possible before buying it to avoid any unwanted surprises!
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on 30 March 2014
Excellent reference book, members of our book group were interested in using it.Will hopefully help with other readers to find new authors.
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on 8 April 2014
Really useful, clear and interesting book with great suggestions for alternative reads based on many popular and well-loved novels :)
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