BookClub

This page serves as a starting point for our English book club in Zürich, Switzerland.

We have a Meetup page!

To help pick books for future meetings, check our List of Open Books and add your opinions or propose your own. Go there, add books, and vote! We’re all set until September but time flies …

To edit a book meeting page:

  1. click on the title of the meeting below
  2. click on Edit this page or Diese Seite bearbeiten at the very bottom of the page

There is no login required, just pick any username you like when saving.

2017-04 Book Club

What: Anil's Ghost by Michael Ondaatje

When: 26 April, 19:30 – RSVP on Meetup (optional ;))

Where: Restaurant Werdguet

From Amazon:

Anil’s Ghost transports us to Sri Lanka, a country steeped in centuries of tradition, now forced into the late twentieth century by the ravages of a bloody civil war. Enter Anil Tissera, a young woman and forensic anthropologist born in Sri Lanka but educted in the West, sent by an international human rights group to identify the victims of the murder campaigns sweeping the island.

When Anil discovers that the bones found in an ancient burial site are in fact those of a much more recent victim, her search for the terrible truth hidden in her homeland begins. What follows is a story about love, about family, about identity - a story driven by a riventing mystery.

First suggested: April 2016

Supporter(s): Karina, Andrei, Wendy, Nela

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2017-03 Book Club

What: Fortune Smiles by Adam Johnson

When: 22 March, 19:30 – RSVP on Meetup (optional ;))

Where: Restaurant Werdguet

From Goodreads.com

These brand new stories from Johnson are typically comic and tender, absurd and totally universal. In post-Katrina Louisiana, a young man and his new girlfriend search for the mother of his son. In Palo Alto, a computer programmer whose wife has a rare disease finds solace in a digital copy of the recently assassinated President. In contemporary Berlin a former Stasi agent ponders his past.

And in “Interesting Facts”, a woman with cancer rages against the idea of her family without her.

Hugely inventive and endlessly energetic, this is a heart wrenching, surprising collection of stories that show Johnson at the top of his form.

First suggested: November 2015

Supporter: Nela, Nicole, Nadya, Jennifer

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2017-02 Book Club

What: Preparation for the Next Life by Atticus Lish

When: 15 February, 19:30 – RSVP on Meetup (optional ;))

Where: Restaurant Werdguet

From Goodreads.com

Zou Lei, orphan of the desert, migrates to work in America and finds herself slaving in New York’s kitchens. She falls in love with a young man whose heart has been broken in another desert. A new life may be possible if together they can survive homelessness, lockup, and the young man’s nightmares, which may be more prophecy than madness.

First suggested: November 2015

Supporter: Nela, Karina, Andrei, Jennifer

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2017-01 Book Club

What: All the Light We cannot See by Anthony Doerr

When: 18 January, 19:30 – RSVP on Meetup (optional ;))

Where: Restaurant Werdguet

From the back of the book:

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.

First suggested: November 2016

Supporter(s): Rene, Nela, Wendy, Karina

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2016-12 Book Club

What: Games People Play by Eric Berne

When: 14 December, 19:30 – RSVP on Meetup (optional ;))

Where: Restaurant Werdguet

We think we’re relating to other people–but actually we’re all playing games.

Forty years ago, Games People Play revolutionized our understanding of what really goes on during our most basic social interactions. More than five million copies later, Dr. Eric Berne’s classic is as astonishing–and revealing–as it was on the day it was first published. We play games all the time–sexual games, marital games, power games with our bosses, and competitive games with our friends. Detailing status contests like “Martini” (I know a better way), to lethal couples combat like “If It Weren’t For You” and “Uproar,” to flirtation favorites like “The Stocking Game” and “Let’s You and Him Fight,” Dr. Berne exposes the secret ploys and unconscious maneuvers that rule our intimate lives. Explosive when it first appeared, Games People Play is now widely recognized as the most original and influential popular psychology book of our time. It’s as powerful and eye-opening as ever.

First suggested: ???

Supporter(s): ???

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2016-11 Book Club

What: The Bricks that Built the Houses by Kate Tempest

When: 23 November, 19:30 – RSVP on Meetup (optional ;))

Where: Restaurant Werdguet

Well, I read a promising book review, praising the passionate language of this debut novel. Learning that the author is a known slam poet too, the internet turned up some captivating performances of her, most notably this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32i5zfcFt8g

an hour of poetry which shows not only her love for words and their power, but also for what is important in life and how a lot of people lose track of it nowadays …

Don’t know when I will get to read it - but figured that our group of language lovers might well be interested :-)

About the book’s story: well, that’s secondary in my perception, you’ll find a synopsis here: http://katetempest.co.uk/. The main reason to read the book would be to find joy in strong and passionate feelings again while reading.

First suggested: May 2016

Supporter(s): Leon, Rene, Nicole, Nela

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2016-10 Book Club

What: Seven Years by Peter Stamm

When: 26 October, 19:30 – RSVP on Meetup (optional ;))

Where: Restaurant Werdguet

From Amazon:

Alex is caught between two very different women. Sonia, his wife, is intelligent, beautiful, charming and ambitious and together they have established a successful architectural firm and a life of easy luxury. But in the background is Ivona, who is dull, plain and passive. The only thing she offers Alex is her love, unconditionally, which inspires in him a queasy mixture of repulsion and passion. Alex knows he must make a choice, but when Ivona becomes pregnant, life takes an unexpected turn which leaves him more puzzled than ever by the mysteries of desire.

Thought it would be interesting to read some Swiss authors…

First suggested: April 2016

Supporter(s): Karina, Nicole, Nela, Uli

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2016-09 Book Club

What: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

When: 21 September, 19:30 – RSVP on Meetup (optional ;))

Where: Restaurant Werdguet

From Books.ch: Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.

First suggested: November 2015

Supporter: Nela, Jennifer, Nicole, Karina, Tanya

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2016-08 Book Club

What: Invisible by Paul Auster

When: 17 August, 19:30 – RSVP on Meetup (optional ;))

Where: Restaurant Werdguet (tbc)

From Amazon: Sinuously constructed in four interlocking parts, Paul Auster’s fifteenth novel opens in New York City in the spring of 1967, when twenty-year-old Adam Walker, an aspiring poet and student at Columbia University, meets the enigmatic Frenchman Rudolf Born and his silent and seductive girfriend, Margot. Before long, Walker finds himself caught in a perverse triangle that leads to a sudden, shocking act of violence that will alter the course of his life.

Three different narrators tell the story of Invisible, a novel that travels in time from 1967 to 2007 and moves from Morningside Heights to the Left Bank of Paris to a remote island in the Caribbean. It is a book of youthful rage, unbridled sexual hunger, and a relentless quest for justice. With uncompromising insight, Auster takes us into the shadowy borderland between truth and memory, between authorship and identity, to produce a work of unforgettable power that confirms his reputation as “one of America’s most spectacularly inventive writers.”

First suggested: November 2015

Supporter: Rene, Uli, Karina, Nicole

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2016-07 Book Club

What: Fault Lines by Nancy Huston

When: 13 July, 19:30 – RSVP on Meetup (optional ;))

Where: Restaurant Werdguet (tbc)

An incredibly funny to read beginning grips the readers attention, drawing into a contemporary story that reaches back to the second world war. It describes a line in a family’s history from the perspectives of young children in that family, each one contributing its limited view of why the grown ups behave as they do. And wondering about it, not understanding many aspects, while these young kids think that they know about the world … Going back in history reveals that there is a lot more than what meets the eye. The author excels at keeping a very humorous tone while describing even the most drastic events. All the while keeping the delicate balance between narrating a good story and leaving room for the readers imagination. I thoroughly enjoyed reading that book (so far, at more than 50%), found myself laughing time and again, learned some very interesting facts along the way and could hardly put it out of my hands.

Supporter: Leon, Barbara, Nela, Karina, Rene

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