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Sainsbury's Book Club

Every month, we choose our favourite eBooks we’ve read over the past few weeks that we think you’ll like. To help you get the most out of our selections, we’ve gathered together a range of free samples, book trailers, author biographies and reading group discussion points.

We'd love you to contribute to the Book Club too, so if you like what you read, recommend it to others by reviewing the books on the list. Reviewing books is simple and satisfying, so get involved.

You can also find extra book club resources, including Q&As, author-penned articles, excerpts and videos on the Book Club section of our blog here.

Collect 100 bonus Nectar points on this week's Book Club recommendation

The Little Shop of Happy-Ever-After

Jenny Colgan

£4.99 or 998 points
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"A brilliantly told, beautiful story about courage, pursuing your dreams and finding love where you least expect it"

Ufuoma says:

A brilliantly told, beautiful story about being courageous, pursuing your dreams and finding love in the place you least expected. I haven’t read many Jenny Colgan books (I think this might be my second), but if you must know, I am now a fan. Her writing style has a warmth to it that you can't help but be swept away by. And as this one is written with book lovers in mind, it was even better.

When Nina loses her beloved job as a librarian in Birmingham she gets the idea of running a bookshop from a van. Even though she doesn’t get a lot of support from her friends she still decides to give it a try, and if it doesn’t work out at least she will have rescued all those lovely books from being recycled. She goes all the way up to the Scottish Highlands to purchase the van, but everything starts to fall apart even before she can even begin.

What did I like? I really enjoyed this book, part of it made me smile and laugh. Other parts filled me with a warmth and understanding. There are so many elements to this book: the romance, friendships, community and much more. I can’t help but admire Nina’s bravery to just uproot her life and start over, some of us out there need to try this and step out to grab that dream you long thought you could never achieve. A fantastic feel good read that you are sure to fall in love with.

Other Book Club Reads

Crooked Heart

Lissa Evans

Released: 2014

£4.99 or 998 points
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"This book will make you laugh, cry and shout 'hoorah' or 'no' in equal measure"

Sarah says:

At the outset Crooked Heart appears to be yet another heart-breaking evacuee story however it swiftly turns into something quite marvellously different.

Noel is the orphan, who sometimes exasperates but mostly delights, evacuated to St Albans. There his life crosses with a selection of quirky, wonderfully drawn characters; love, hate or pity them, you will develop a relationship with them all and enjoy the unexpected route that Noel's story takes as a result.

This book will make you laugh, cry and shout 'hoorah' or 'no' in equal measure. A joyous read from start to finish.

The Widow

Fiona Barton

Released: 2016

£5.99 or 1198 points
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"A clever read, balancing the mundanity of daily life with growing tension"

Sharon says:

The premise of Fiona Barton’s debut is how much does the wife of a suspected child kidnapper really know about her husband’s activities. Jean Taylor is the widow – she was married to a man accused of kidnapping two year-old Bella. Now he’s dead she’s free to tell her side of the story.

I was hooked from the off – on many levels it’s a clever read, balancing the mundanity of daily life and a pretty dull marriage with the growing tension felt by the missing child’s mother, the police and journalists – all desperate to get to the truth. Alternating between characters and flipping between 2006 and 2010 also adds to the growing pressure.

I felt nothing but loathing for Glen Taylor – a thoroughly unpleasant individual, but it was far more complicated with Jean and and I’m not sure I ever got to really know her – compliments to the writing here.

It’s a really good read, the ending felt a tiny bit flat and I couldn’t help but be a little disappointed, but not as disappointed as I was for having finished the book.

A God in Ruins

Kate Atkinson

Released: 2015

£4.99 or 998 points
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"Trademark Atkinson - beautiful, but bleak..."

Sharon says:

"In ‘Life After Life’ Ursula Todd lived through the turbulent events of the last century – again and again. This is Kate Atkinson’s companion volume, in which she turns her attention to Teddy, Ursula’s younger brother – would-be poet, RAF bomber pilot, husband and father and follows his progress through the twentieth century."

"I loved ‘Life After Life’ and couldn’t wait to get stuck into this book – the early parts are a little slow but the writing is trademark Atkinson and beautiful, if remarkably bleak at times. It doesn’t have the same ‘Groundhog Day’ like format but it does go back and forth in time in a way that can be confusing, especially if you’re trying to remember details from ‘Life After Life’. My advice is not to do that and just enjoy this book." 

Strictly Between Us

Jane Fallon

Released: 2016

£4.99 or 998 points
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"Gritty and believable, this is a very human story..."

Felicity says:

This book is based on the key character, Tamsin, who hears, through the rumour mill, that her best friend's husband is cheating on her.  The story is based around her sometimes funny and sometimes atrocious ideas of how find out if it's true, and if it is, to catch him out and obtain proof. The storyline is set within the television industry, but also so closely intertwined with recognisable snippets of any body's everyday life. It is really (and sometimes uncomfortably) believable. 

The writing is detailed and descriptive, with references to current events, but with enough generally familiar details that I could picture being in my local pub watching the scene unfold having joined the characters at their table or walking past my own glass office block in another scene.  This really brought the book alive.

The storyline is gritty and at some stages I felt wrung out from grappling with the emotional extremes.  If you’re expecting generic Chick Lit where the biggest problem is a broken nail then this won't suit you. However throughout the book it challenged my perception of right and wrong and the levels of grey in between. The challenge of guessing where the story was going kept me reading. Tamsin's flaws as she tries to do the right thing in a difficult situation make this .

So You've Been Publicly Shamed

Jon Ronson

Released: 2015

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"This book is insightful and delightfully wry; well worth it"

Jonathan says:

As it seems like there’s barely day when there’s not a public shame-related story in the news, this book looks at a topic that’s as hot as it gets. Incidentally, here ‘publicly shamed’ mostly means being shamed over the internet. It’s something I became interested in after meeting someone who was constantly finding new outrages to scream down on Twitter. Nowadays the perpetually indignant are not so unusual.

Jon Ronson brings the topic alive with plenty of research – he interviews people whose lives have been ruined by the indignation of the righteous on the Internet; sometimes justified, sometimes not. In fact, he has a vast number of fascinating interview subjects, including the US judge who, after centuries on the judicial shelf, brought back the idea of public humiliation to punish minor offences. 

One of the most enjoyable things about reading a Jon Ronson book is that they are very funny and this is no exception. His interview subjects are strange and he brings out their curiousness with great wit. If you’re interested in what social media is doing to us, this book is insightful and delightfully wry; well worth it. (The book also contains a post script about the strange story of how Mr Ronson himself became the subject of an internet shaming incident!)

Not Forgetting The Whale

John Ironmonger

Released: 2015

£5.99 or 1198 points
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"This book has to be the most exhilarating that I have ever read!"

Pete says:

This book has to be the most exhilarating that I have ever read! It also has such an unusual and original storyline. Funnily enough, when I first read the synopsis I thought that it might not be for me. And how wrong could I have been? It turned out to be such an escape that my daily commute completely disappeared in the story.

This book will take you on a journey to the end of the world, or maybe just the end of the U.K., as we know it. It all starts with a young man called Joe Haak washing up with a whale on a beach in St. Piran, Cornwall. He has fled London, fearing that a computer programme he created for a City bank has predicted the end of the world!

Joe then has many adventures as he tries to warn the villagers that the end is nigh. I loved the richness of the characters and the descriptions of the St. Piran village; it made me feel like I was on holiday. A highly recommended read, definitely a four star rating.