Category Archives: bookclub

Book Club – Leeds

Source: Book Club – Leeds

Book Club (Louise Hay – You can heal your life)

As well as specialising in things holistic and complimentary we at New Beginnings at one time hosted the book club on the now sadly closed South Leeds Community radio station. We’ve decided to bring back the book club but from the more accessible Costa coffee on Briggate, Leeds
As we are all about positivity and healing the new book club will be for those who wish to read spiritual books (not necessary religion though), self help books, other general positive works and no doubt throwing in our favourite decluttering books to chat about. The choices are endlessTo start with we will be discussing Louise Hay – You can heal your life
Good reads blurb: Louise’s key message in this powerful work is: “If we are willing to do the mental work, almost anything can be healed.” Louise explains how limiting beliefs and ideas are often the cause of illness, and how you can change your thinking…and improve the quality of your life.Don’t worry if you don’t get chance to read it, please still come along and join the discussion. We also invite you to bring a choice for the next club and be a part of the forward planning discussion. Appreciating not everyone works Mon-Fri & 9-5 we thought this could be an evolving event where we can choose dates between us dependent on the best work patterns and also change venues whenever we feel like it. Maybe in August we could meet in the park & bring picnics?? We want the events to be as inclusive as possible. Everyone has something to share and bring to the chat.
If you are coming along please drop us a line on the facebook event

Review: LBCOutlaws – The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes


LBC Outlaws

Date:  Wednesday 2nd of March 2016
Time:  6:30pm
Address: Harper Street, LS2 7EA



The Shining Girls


Lauren Beukes


16131077The girl who wouldn’t die, hunting a killer who shouldn’t exist…
A terrifying and original serial-killer thriller from award-winning author, Lauren Beukes.
1930’s America: Lee Curtis Harper is a delusional, violent drifter who stumbles on a house that opens onto other times.
Driven by visions, he begins a killing spree over the next 60 years, using an undetectable MO and leaving anachronistic clues on his victims’ bodies.

But when one of his intended ‘shining girls’, Kirby Mazrachi, survives a brutal stabbing, she becomes determined to unravel the mystery behind her would-be killer. While the authorities are trying to discredit her, Kirby is getting closer to the truth, as Harper returns again and again…

 The Review


I’m not sure…

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LBCPuffins review book 31 – The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge


The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

 About the book

The leaves were cold and slightly clammy. There was no mistaking them. She had seen their likeness painstakingly sketched in her father’s journal. This was his greatest secret, his treasure and his undoing. The Tree of Lies. Now it was hers, and the journey he had never finished stretched out before her.

When Faith’s father is found dead under mysterious circumstances, she is determined to untangle the truth from the lies. Searching through his belongings for clues she discovers a strange tree. A tree that feeds off whispered lies and bears fruit that reveals hidden secrets. The bigger the lie, the more people who believe it, the bigger the truth that is uncovered.

The girl realizes that she is good at lying and that the tree might hold the key to her father’s murder, so she begins to spread untruths far…

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Helen’s Roald Dahl challenge book 11 – The Witches


About the book
 “This is not a fairy-tale. This is about REAL WITCHES. Real witches don’t ride around on broomsticks. They don’t even wear black cloaks and hats. They are vile, cunning, detestable creatures who disguise themselves as nice, ordinary ladies. So how can you tell when you’re face to face with one? Well, if you don’t know yet you’d better find out quickly-because there’s nothing a witch loathes quite as much as children and she’ll wield all kinds of terrifying powers to get rid of them. Ronald Dahl has done it again! Winner of the 1983 Whitbread Award, the judges’ decision was unanimous: “funny, wise, deliciously disgusting, a real book for children. From the first paragraph to the last, we felt we were in the hands of a master” -Goodreads
About the Authorroald-dahl-640x360

Roald Dahl was a British novelist, short story writer and screenwriter of Norwegian descent, who…

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LBC White Swan review – Storm Front (The Dresden Files) – Jim Butcher


LBC White Swan

Date:  Sunday 13th of March 2016
Time:  6:00pm
Address: Swan Street, Leeds

Discussing:  Storm Front  (The Dresden Files) – Book 1


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THE BLURB (from Amazon)

Meet Harry Dresden, Chicago’s first (and only) Wizard P.I. Turns out the ‘everyday’ world is full of strange and magical things – and most of them don’t play well with humans. That’s where Harry comes in.

Harry is the best at what he does – and not just because he’s the only one who does it. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends…

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Book Review: The Shining Grils – Lauren Beukes

As you know, I’m chief puffin of LBCPuffins and part of LBCOutlaws and in recent months even stretching to a year, I’ve been pretty bad with book reviews, but this book has got into my soul, it’s the only way to describe it. After a week at work where one customer ruined it for the rest them and left me shaken for a whole week, to end up full of cold and to spend my Sunday sat/laid on the sofa reading is a bloody miracle. I needed to rest and I did it. And yes this book made me go ‘oooooooooh’ and having to put it down to make a coffee or put washing out was difficult.

Please don’t continue reading if you haven’t read it or are attending Tuesday’s meeting incase I spoil it for you as it has done in the past. 😀

But if you haven’t read it yet, I urge you to!.


The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

About the Author

The Shining Girls, her new novel, due out mid-2013 is about a time-travelling serial killer and the girl who survives his attack and turns the hunt around.

Lauren Beukes is a novelist, scriptwriter, comics writer, TV writer and occasional documentary maker and former journalist.

The Blurb

The girl who wouldn’t die, hunting a killer who shouldn’t exist…

A terrifying and original serial-killer thriller from award-winning author, Lauren Beukes.

1930’s America: Lee Curtis Harper is a delusional, violent drifter who stumbles on a house that opens onto other times.

Driven by visions, he begins a killing spree over the next 60 years, using an undetectable MO and leaving anachronistic clues on his victims’ bodies.

But when one of his intended ‘shining girls’, Kirby Mazrachi, survives a brutal stabbing, she becomes determined to unravel the mystery behind her would-be killer. While the authorities are trying to discredit her, Kirby is getting closer to the truth, as Harper returns again and again…

I don’t know where to begin with book. Perhaps with the format. One of the biggest things discovered in bookclub is the format we read books and how it can affect the story in which it’s read by paperback,phone,audio,e-reader and in this case for me hardback. I’ve never really been a fan of the hardback, I think it’s always been seen as a luxury of which I’m not accustomed to, and always scared to break it as it is seen as  a precious item, then of course is the sheer size of it (is that the right term?) that is doesn’t easily fit in your rucksack, or there’s enough space for your elbows on the bus.
This book I borrowed from the library and I kept putting it off as it looked so daunting. When I did start I forgot to check the blurb and got slightly confused at the time jumps (it also got mentioned at another book club but I didn’t pick up on it.) It took me a while to realise and at this point I thought the author had made an error, then I reread the blurb, and bingo, it’s a time travelling type book. AWESOME! Also the fact I was reading it on paper meant I could flick back easily to check what year we were in and what character was doing what. Yes, I’m a bright spark I know. But that’s what’s more enjoyable.
This year I have so far read 15 books, some of which are for book club, this time last year I had read about 4, I think. I don’t know about you but I sometimes can be a slow reader and then suddenly  a book grips me and WHAM! I’m off. When people say they can read a book in a day, I scoff. ‘It can’t be done!’ Well I bloody did it, along with a walk in the park, washing and several cups of coffee. Anyway I’ve gone off course…BACK TO THE BOOK!
Like I said I didn’t realise what the time jumps meant at first, I got really confused and wondered how one character could be in a time frame she wasn’t born in but then I think I read something wrong by that point. You see the point of the story, is that the killer steals a coat and finds a key to a house, a house that although stays rooted in Chicago could send the baddie back and forwards in time to kill. That this deranged man picked out girls and waited until they were older before killing them. That was until I thought there was a typo and had to re-read the blurb on the book. Silly me.
That then lead me to practically inhale the book. I got very annoyed when the washing machine needed sorting as I didn’t want to put the book down. You see the bad guy – Harper, sets about picking out girls, gives them a present and tells them to hold on to it for him then years later up he pops and in most cases kills them. But not in Kirby’s, she was given a toy pony while she sat outside her house playing and years later survives a brutal attack by said baddie and goes on a hunt to track him down, all with the help of an older man who is a journalist who first fancied her Mum but then falls her big time, but of course gets injured in the process.
With me so far? I will leave the ending for you to read as I would love to know your thought on the book. I loved the writing style, the descriptions were very detailed, the characters were outstanding, I really felt for Kirby and her upbringing and the strength she showed to find out the truth. I actually felt I was in the story and that rarely happens for me these days, I could see the house, see the streets, the batman and robin duo fighting crime, it was a good read for me and one of those where it left me needing to watch Harry Potter to make me feel everything is ok, it was that creepy.
Whether I would read another of her books, I would have to let this one settle before I decided, as if it was as creepy as this I might need a sunny day to read it. But I highly recommend you read this one.
Thank you for reading

Green Knowe – truely, madly, creepy!


I don’t know about you, but as far as I’m concerned, the most enjoyable children’s books always have some sort of a bite in them(is it the same as Young Adult? I’ve never known where the cut off point is there. Will check with the oracle in a bit! – UPDATE – she indicates that its discretionary. So I shall stick with children’s, as I think YA is a horrendous degrading marketing ploy.).
From Roald Dahl (where the bite might be literal!), to Enid Blyton, to Philip Pullman, Michelle Paver, JK Rowling  and so on; the who’s who of children’s books  have all recognised that to appeal to a literate and intelligent young person; there needs to be an element of danger, consequences for crimes, consistent and rational (albeit fantastical) characters, and the reality that, very often, you can rely only on yourself (and a select band of buds) to…

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Modern Mrs Darcy Reading Challenge 2016

Source: Modern Mrs Darcy Reading Challenge 2016

My list:

    a book published this year –  Time Travelling with a Hamster by Ross Welford

    a book you can finish in a day –  A room of one’s own Virginia Woolfe

   a book you’ve been meaning to read – Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe – Fannie  Flagg

    a book recommended by a local librarian or bookseller –   H is for Hawk Helen Macdonald

    a book you should have read in school – Little Women by Louise May Alcott

    a book chosen by your spouse/partner/sibling/child or BFF -The Memory keepr’s daughter kim edwards

   a book published before you were born –Awakenings -Oliver sacks

    a book that was banned at some point –A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

    a book that was previously abandoned – As you wish –Cary Elwes

    a book you own but have never read – White Teeth by Zadie Smith

    a book that intimidates you – Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

    a book you’ve already read at least once – The Art of racing in the rain Garth Stein

LBC White Swan – Wool Review

And this is why I love book club. What an amazing review!!! I have a lot to of work to do to polish mine up. Gets typing quickly…..


LBC White Swan

Date:  Sunday 11th of October 2015
Time:  6:00pm
Address: Swan Street, Leeds




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Huge thanks to Riley @McCluskry for providing this excellent write up! A long time book clubber; this is his first write up! Welcome to the team, Riley!


If the world outside was deadly,
And the air you breathed could kill.

Where every birth required a death
And the choices you made could save lives – or destroy them.



woolSome of us approached ‘Wool’ with caution, put on the defensive by…

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Book review: The Magician’s Nephew by C.S.Lewis

The Magician’s Nephew

(The Chronicles of Narnia (Publication Order) #6)

by C.S. Lewis


When Digory and Polly are tricked by Digory’s peculiar Uncle Andrew into becoming part of an experiment, they set off on the adventure of a lifetime. What happens to the children when they touch Uncle Andrew’s magic rings is far beyond anything even the old magician could have imagined.

Hurtled into the Wood between the Worlds, the children soon find that they can enter many worlds through the mysterious pools there. In one world they encounter the evil Queen Jadis, who wreaks havoc in the streets of London when she is accidentally brought back with them. When they finally manage to pull her out of London, unintentionally taking along Uncle Andrew and a coachman with his horse, they find themselves in what will come to be known as the land of Narnia. -Goodreads

About the Author

CLIVE STAPLES LEWIS (1898–1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954. He was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. He wrote more than thirty books, allowing him to reach a vast audience, and his works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year. His most distinguished and popular accomplishments include Mere Christianity, Out of the Silent Planet, The Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters, and the universally acknowledged classics The Chronicles of Narnia. To date, the Narnia books have sold over 100 million copies and been transformed into three major motion pictures. -Goodreads



Make your choice, adventurous Stranger
Strike the bell and bide the danger
Or wonder, till it drives you mad
What would have followed if you had


“What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are.”

As you know I run LBCPuffins as part of Leeds Book Club, its adults reading children’s books, mainly ones from our childhood, a bit of a nostalgic book reading group. This particular book has been put in the hat and not picked until we were undecided for the last book of the year and I decided to pop it in. And what a book!  I had read this book as a child, it was the first book int the series in which I owned (obviously its book no 6) and I think at this point I had seen the BBC’s version of The Lion Witch and the Wardrobe. I also remember reading the Silver chair but can’t remember what happened to it. I also own the BBC cover version of  The Lion the Witch and the wardrobe and the tv series.

and reading it again it feels like I have stepped back in time, it still holds its magic, I had forgotten how much I loved this book. I must have read it loads when I was young as it just felt like I have known this story for so long but had forgotten it. This book is the November pick and last one of the year for our book club and I was so excited I decided to read it early and I’m so glad I did. I think I need to find my own copy and remember just to re-read it once in a while.

f11e8bd681adce60da8eb6056419cd92It’s a classic children story, A child gets shipped off to his uncle’s in this case it’s so his mother can be looked after as she is ill and while the young boy (Digory) is out in the garden he meets the young girl (Polly) from next door. Of course each instantly think the other is silly, but then an adventure begins. Through the attic of Polly’s house they find a tunnel, area that they can crawl through which extends right through the roofs of the other houses. Off they go to explore, and in thinkign they have gone a great distance find a door and open it. Unfortunatley they land in Digory’s mad Uncle Andrew’s secret room.

Here they find the magician/Uncle had a secret. He has some magic rings that he is not sure how they work and traps the children in the room to trick them into using these rings. It’s from here the big adventure begins.

Out of all the books this year, I felt this has to be my favourite of the year, Like I said I felt like I did as a child reading it, and I wonder how many times I did. I now understand the latest film version where Jim Broadbent (the professor i.e. young Digory says something to Lucy) I did not twig, I guess I had forgotten then story.

Children have one kind of silliness. as you know, and grown-ups have another kind.At this moment Uncle Andrew was beginning to be silly in a very grown-up way
There is so much in this book, I do belive it is my favourite of the lot. I love the character’s I love the illustrations, especially as the one I borrowed from the library is a new edition it still holds the old illustrations, and what amazing ones they are too.
And before I finish I have to say sometimes in children’s books isn’t it funny when the children are more grown-up then the adult’s? I loved  Digory’s response to Uncle Andrew in the new world which made me laugh, I love it when a book does that.
“By gum,’ said Digory, ‘Don’t I just wish I was big enough to punch your head!”

And one thing everyone should remember

“All get what they want; they do not always like it.”
so be careful what you wish for.
So roll on November when I’m sure I’m to re-read it again. In the meantime I’ll just have to watch the other stories on the BBC boxset.
Oh one last thing I did not know Nellie came from Helen, I did wonder why the Queen’s name was changed –
Nelly (given name) Nelly, Nela, Nell, and Nellie are female given names, also used as nicknames, which are derived from the names Janelle, Helen, Ellen, Petronella, Chanelle and Cornelia.
Thank you for reading