Leeds Literati Reading Group

Image result for leeds literati

Welcome to Leeds Literati Reading Group. We meet at Leeds Central Library on the last Tuesday of every month 6.00-6.45pm in The Sanderson Room, third floor.

Open to everyone, Leeds Literati read an eclectic range of books from prize winning books to popular titles. For those who cannot attend our group, please feel free to read the book and post your comments on the page.

For more information call Library Enquiries 0113 3785005 or email libraryenquiries@leeds.gov.uk


Please share your lockdown reading with us by taking a picture and posting to twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #LeedsReadsBookshelf.

We would love you all to join in! Have you finally started on your ‘to be read’ pile or you are you reverting to old favourites as comfort reads in these trying times? Whatever, we want to know – just use the hashtag and @LeedsLibraries in your tweet or Instagram page.

Our new digital book club Leeds Reads online will be meeting for the first time on the 21st of May. Please visit the following link for more information: https://leedsreads.net/leeds-reads-book-club/

That pile of bookspile of books | Spine reading size | Leo Reynolds | Flickr

During the lockdown, please see how far you get through that pile of books that you have been meaning to read. Feel free to post images and reviews on #LeedsReadsBookshelf, or send your reviews to me so I can email them out to the rest of the group. If you get through your pile of physical books, please remember to look for library books on our digital service platform – Borrowbox.

As soon as restrictions are lifted and we are able to meet again, I will post the news here.


February 2020

This month we are reading Rachel Cusk’s Outline. This is coordination with Leeds Art Gallery and their exhibition by artist Sarah Barker.

Image result for outline cuskOutline is a novel in ten conversations. Spare and lucid, it follows a novelist teaching a course in creative writing over an oppressively hot summer in Athens. She leads her student in storytelling exercises. She meets other writers for dinner. She goes swimming in the Ionian Sea with her seatmate from the place. The people she encounters speak volubly about themselves, their fantasies, anxieties, pet theories, regrets, and longings. And through these disclosures, a portrait of the narrator is drawn by contrast, a portrait of a woman learning to face great a great loss.

Copies are availble for Leeds Central Library. We meet to discuss this book on the 31st March 2020.

January 2020

This month we are read The Book of Lost and Found by Lucy Foley.

In many ways my life has been rather like a record of the lost and found. Perhaps all lives are like that . . .

LONDON, 1986: Bequeathed an old portrait by her grandmother, Kate Darling begins to unpick the tapestry of her family s secret history in a journey that takes her to Corsica, Paris and back to the heady days of the Roaring Twenties where it all began.

PARIS, 1939: Alice Eversley and Thomas Stafford meet once again in the City of Light. Tom is now a world-famous artist, Alice is much-changed too bruised from the events of the last decade. Perhaps they can lose themselves in the love story that ignited by a moonlit lake all those years ago?

But sometimes there s no place for happy endings and there s no hiding from the shadow of war . . .

Copies are available at Leeds Central Library to borrow.


We would like to wish all our readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy 2020!

Dates for 2020!

Date Room
28th January Sanderson
25th February Sanderson
31st March Sanderson
28th April Sanderson
26th May Sanderson
23rd June Sanderson
28th July Sanderson
25th August Sanderson
29th September Sanderson
27th October Sanderson
24th November Sanderson
December Break

November 2019

Over the next two months we are going to read the shortlist of last years Leeds Book Awards. We have chosen to do the 14-16 year old category.

The Lost WitchRosie Loves JackPayback

White Rabbit, Red WolfThe Survival GameThe Sacrifice Box

Read them and see which one you think should have won.

Our next meeting is 28th January 2020, Sanderson Room.

October 2019

This month we are reading Sophia Tobin’s The Widow’s Confession.

Broadstairs, Kent, 1851. Once a sleepy fishing village, now a select sea-bathing resort, this is a place where people come to take the air, and where they come to hide…

Delphine and her cousin Julia have come to the seaside with a secret, one they have been running from for years. The clean air and quiet outlook of Broadstairs appeal to them and they think this is a place they can hide from the darkness for just a little longer. Even so, they find themselves increasingly involved in the intrigues and relationships of other visitors to the town.

But this is a place with its own secrets, and a dark past. And when the body of a young girl is found washed up on the beach, a mysterious message scrawled on the sand beside her, the past returns to haunt Broadstairs and its inhabitants. As the incomers are drawn into the mystery and each others’ lives, they realise they cannot escape what happened here years before…

A compelling story of secrets, lies and lost innocence…

July 2019, August 2019, September 2019

This summer we are reading the six books chosen by the Richard and Judy Club. We will then, for fun,  be voting on which one we consider to be our favourite.

Pick up your copy from Leeds Central Library.

June 2019

This month we are reading ‘This is going to hurt’ by Adam Kay.

Welcome to the life of a junior doctor: 97-hour weeks, life and death decisions, a constant tsunami of bodily fluids, and the hospital parking meter earns more than you.

Scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends, Adam Kay’s This is Going to Hurt provides a no-holds-barred account of his time on the NHS front line. Hilarious, horrifying and heartbreaking, this diary is everything you wanted to know – and more than a few things you didn’t – about life on and off the hospital ward.

Pick your copy up from Leeds Central Library.

May 2019

This month we are reading The Mountain by Luca d’Andrea


Jeremiah Salinger blames himself. The crash was his fault. He was the only survivor. Now the depression and the nightmares are closing in. Only his daughter Clara can put a smile on his face.

But when he takes Clara to the Bletterbach – a canyon in the Dolomites rich in fossil remains – he overhears by chance a conversation that gives his life renewed focus. In 1985 three students were murdered there, their bodies savaged, limbs severed and strewn by a killer who was never found.

Salinger, a New Yorker, is far from home, and these Italian mountains, where his wife was born, harbour a close-knit, tight-lipped community whose mistrust of outsiders can turn ugly. All the same, solving this mystery might be the only thing that can keep him sane.

April 2019

This month we are reading Caraval by Stephanie Garber.

Image result for carnival stephanie garberScarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval . . . beware of getting swept too far away.

Please pick up your copy from Leeds Central Library. We will be meeting to discuss this book on the 28th May in the Portal Room on the Second Floor.

March 2019

This month we are reading The Lost Island by Preston and Child.

Gideon Crew–brilliant scientist, master thief–is living on borrowed time. When his mysterious employer, Eli Glinn, gives him an eyebrow-raising mission, he has no reason to refuse. Gideon’s task: steal a page from the priceless Book of Kells, now on display in New York City and protected by unbreakable security. Accomplishing the impossible, Gideon steals the parchment–only to learn that hidden beneath the gorgeously illuminated image is a treasure map dating back to the time of the ancient Greeks. As they ponder the strange map, they realize that the treasure it leads to is no ordinary fortune. It is something far more precious: an amazing discovery that could perhaps even save Gideon’s life.

Together with his new partner, Amy, Gideon follows a trail of cryptic clues to an unknown island in a remote corner of the Caribbean Sea. There, off the hostile and desolate Mosquito Coast, the pair realize the extraordinary treasure they are hunting conceals an even greater shock-a revelation so profound that it may benefit the entire human race . . . if Gideon and Amy can survive.

Please pick up your copy from Leeds Central Library. We will be meeting to discuss this book on the 30th April in the Portal Room on the Second Floor.

February 2019

This month we are reading ‘Mischling’ by Affinity Konar.

It’s 1944 when the twin sisters arrive at Auschwitz with their mother and grandfather. In their benighted new world, Pearl and Stasha Zagorski take refuge in their identical natures, comforting themselves with the private language and shared games of their childhood. As part of the experimental population of twins known as Mengele’s Zoo, the girls experience privileges and horrors unknown to others, and they find themselves changed, stripped of the personalities they once shared, their identities altered by the burdens of guilt and pain.

That winter, at a concert orchestrated by Mengele, Pearl disappears. Stasha grieves for her twin, but clings to the possibility that Pearl remains alive. When the camp is liberated by the Red Army, she and her companion Feliks – a boy bent on vengeance for his own lost twin – travel through Poland’s devastation. Undeterred by injury, starvation, or the chaos around them, motivated by equal parts danger and hope, they encounter hostile villagers, Jewish resistance fighters, and fellow refugees, their quest enabled by the notion that Mengele may be captured and brought to justice within the ruins of the Warsaw Zoo. As the young survivors discover what has become of the world, they must try to imagine a future within it.

Please pick up your copy from Leeds Central Library. We will be meeting to discuss this book on the 26th March in the Portal Room on the Second Floor.

January 2019

This month we are reading Lisa Gardner’s thriller, ‘Right Behind You’.Image result for right behind you lisa gardner

Eight years ago, Sharlah May Nash’s older brother beat their drunken father to death with a baseball bat in order to save both of their lives. Now thirteen years old, Sharlah has finally moved on. About to be adopted by retired FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his partner, Rainie Conner, Sharlah loves one thing best about her new family: They are all experts on monsters.

Then the call comes in. A double murder at a local gas station, followed by reports of an armed suspect shooting his way through the wilds of Oregon. As Quincy and Rainie race to assist, they are forced to confront mounting evidence: The shooter may very well be Sharlah’s older brother, Telly Ray Nash, and it appears his killing spree has only just begun.

As the clock winds down on a massive hunt for Telly, Quincy and Rainie must answer two critical questions: Why after eight years has this young man started killing again? And what does this mean for Sharlah? Once upon a time, Sharlah’s big brother saved her life. Now, she has two questions of her own: Is her brother a hero or a killer? And how much will it cost her new family before they learn the final, shattering truth? Because as Sharlah knows all too well, the biggest danger is the one standing right behind you.

Please pick up your copy from Leeds Central Library. We will be meeting to discuss this book on the 26th February in the Portal Room on the Second Floor.

Dates for 2019

Date Room
29th January The Portal
26st February The Portal
26st March The Portal
30th April The Portal
28th May The Portal
25th June The Portal
30th July The Sanderson Room
27th August The Sanderson Room
24th September The Sanderson Room
29th October The Sanderson Room
26st November The Sanderson Room       Christmas/ end of year party
December Break  

December 2018

This month we are reading The House of Shadows by Pamela Hartshorne.

When Kate Vavasour wakes in hospital, she can remember nothing about the family gathered around her bed, or of her life before the accident. The doctors diagnose post-traumatic amnesia and say the memories should start returning. Which they do . . . but these memories are not her own. They belong to Isabel Vavasour, who lived and died at Askerby Hall over four hundred years earlier . . .

Returning to Askerby Hall to recuperate, Kate finds herself in a house full of shadows and suspicions. Unable to recognise her family, her friends or even her small son, she struggles to piece together the events that led to her terrible fall. Life at Askerby, it seems, is not as illustrious as the Vavasours would have the public believe. But before she can uncover the mysteries of the present, she must first discover the truth about the past … Was Isabel’s madness real, or was her mistake trusting the one person she thought would never betray her?

Please pick up your copy from Leeds Central Lending Library, ground floor.

Our next meeting will be Tuesday 29th January in the Portal. If you are unable to attend please feel free to post your comments below and we will look at them in your absence.

November 2018

In order to commemorate 100 years since the end of the First World War, we are all reading The Balloonist by James Long.

Lieutenant Willy Fraser, formerly of the Royal Flying Corps, has been delegated the most dangerous job on the Western Front – a balloon observer hanging under a gasbag filled with explosive hydrogen, four thousand feet above the Ypres Salient, anchored by a slender cable. Swept across enemy lines after his balloon is damaged, Willy is hidden by Belgian farmers, whom he grows close to during his stay. With their aid, he manages to escape across the flooded delta at the English Channel and return to his duties. But once he’s back in the air, spotting for artillery and under attack, Willy is forced to make an impossible decision that threatens the life of the woman he has come to love.

As well as The Balloonist, most members have also chosen to read another book based on the First World War. All of these can be borrowed from Leeds Central Library, or can be found on Borrowbox.

Please remember to bring something to share for our last meeting of the year on the 27th November.

Book for October 2018

This month we are reading The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen.

When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.

It’s about a jealous wife, obsessed with her replacement.

It’s about a younger woman set to marry the man she loves.

The first wife seems like a disaster; her replacement is the perfect woman.

You will assume you know the motives, the history, the anatomy of the relationships.

You will be wrong.

The Wife Between Us is the first collaboration between Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen; a gripping thriller with film rights sold to the creators of The Girl On the Train.

Read this book and join us for our next session in The Portal on the 31st of October.


Book for September 2018

This month we are reading The Olive Tree by Lucinda Riley.

A magical house. A momentous summer.

It has been twenty-four years since a young Helena spent a magical holiday in Cyprus, where she fell in love for the first time. When the now crumbling house, ‘Pandora’, is left to her by her godfather, she returns to spend the summer there with her family.

Yet, as soon as Helena arrives at Pandora, she knows that its idyllic beauty masks a web of secrets that she has kept from William, her husband, and Alex, her son. At the difficult age of thirteen, Alex is torn between protecting his beloved mother, and growing up. And equally, desperate to learn the truth about his real father…

When, by chance, Helena meets her childhood sweetheart, a chain of events is set in motion that threatens to make her past and present collide. Both Helena and Alex know that life will never be the same, once Pandora’s secrets have been revealed . . .


Book for August 2018

This month we are reading The truth and other Lies by Sascha Arango.

From the outside, Henry Hayden has a perfect life: he’s a famous novelist with more money than he can spend, a grand house in the country, a loyal, clever wife. But Henry has a dark side. If only the readers and critics who worship his every word knew that his success depends on a carefully maintained lie. One he will stop at nothing to protect.

His luck must surely run out, and he simply can’t allow that to happen. In thrall to paranoia and self-interest, Henry makes a fatal error that could cause the whole dream to unravel and, despite his Machiavellian efforts, events swiftly spin out of control as lie is heaped upon lie, menace upon menace. And it turns out that those around him have their secrets too . . .

Read this book and join us for our next session in The Portal, 28th August 2018.


Books for May, June and July 2018

For the next couple of months we are taking turns to read a selection from the Richard and Judy shortlist. At the end we will discuss which book we think should win the prize.

Image result for richard and judy book club 2018Image result for richard and judy book club 2018The Party: The thrilling Richard and Judy Book Club Pick 2018

Next meeting is the 29th May 2018.

Book for April 2018

This month we are reading ‘The Rosie Project’ by Graeme Simsion.

Love isn’t an exact science – but no one told Don Tillman. A thirty-nine-year-old geneticist, Don’s never had a second date. So he devises the Wife Project, a scientific test to find the perfect partner. Enter Rosie – ‘the world’s most incompatible woman’ – throwing Don’s safe, ordered life into chaos. But what is this unsettling, alien emotion he’s feeling?

Pick up your copy today at Leeds Central Libraray and feel free to join us for our next meeting on the 24th April 2018 in The Portal.

Book for March 2018:

This month we are reading The Taxidermist’s Daughter by Kate Mosse.

The clock strikes twelve. Beneath the wind and the remorseless tolling of the bell, no one can hear the scream . . .
1912. A Sussex churchyard. Villagers gather on the night when the ghosts of those who will not survive the coming year are thought to walk. And in the shadows, a woman lies dead.

As the flood waters rise, Connie Gifford is marooned in a decaying house with her increasingly tormented father. He drinks to escape the past, but an accident has robbed her of her most significant childhood memories. Until the disturbance at the church awakens fragments of those vanished years . .

Welcome to a new year of Reading!

Image result for nicola cornick house of shadowsBook for February 2018:

This month we are reading House of Shadows by Nicola Cornick.

London, 1662:
There was something the Winter Queen needed to tell him. She fought for the strength to speak.
‘The crystal mirror is a danger. It must be destroyed – ‘
He replied instantly. ‘It will’.

Ashdown, Oxfordshire, present day: Ben Ansell is researching his family tree when he disappears. As his sister Holly begins a desperate search, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to an ornate antique mirror and to the diary of Lavinia, a 19th century courtesan who was living at Ashdown House when it burned to the ground over 200 years ago.

Intrigued, and determined to find out more about the tragedy at Ashdown, Holly’s only hope is that uncovering the truth about the past will lead her to Ben.

Pick up your copy today at Leeds Central Libraray and feel free to join us for our next meeting on the 27th February 2018 in The Portal.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Leeds Literati.

We wish you all the best and happy reading throughout the holidays. Please join us again in January.

Book For December 2017:Deeds of Darkness (The Home Front Detective Series)

This month we are reading Edward Marston’s Deeds of Darkness .

In June 1916, a young woman is found murdered in a cinema. Harvery Marmion and Joe Keedy set out to find the killer who so elusively fled in the dark. Before long, two more victims, of striking similarity but differing backgrounds, are found dead around the city. Meanwhile, miles from home, Marmion s son Paul prepares for life on the front line as he marches towards the Battle of the Somme. Suffering a vicious blow in No Man s Land, Paul is left blinded for the rest of his life. Marmion must come to terms with the permanent darkness of his son s life, while continuing to search for the brutal killer who only strikes in the dark.

Our next meeting is on the 30th January 2018 in the Portal. If you are unable to attend please feel free to post your comments below and we will look at them in your absence.

Please collect your copy for free from Leeds Central Library.

Book For November 2017:

This month we are reading Carlos Acosta’s Pig’s Foot‘.Pig's Foot by [Acosta, Carlos]

Oscar Mandinga, great-grandchild of the founders of a small hamlet deep in the Cuban hinterland, is a sardonic teller of tales – some taller than others. But one day Oscar wakes to find himself utterly alone, the sole descendant of his family line. He is not sure what to do or where to go, but in the midst of this uncertainty, he holds fast to what his grandfather always told him: ‘No man knows who he is until he knows his past.’ So Oscar sets out to find his ancestral village and the meaning of the magical pig’s-foot amulet he has inherited.

Please pick up your copy from Leeds Central Lending Library, ground floor.

Our next meeting will be Tuesday 28th Novemeber 2017 in the Portal. If you are unable to attend please feel free to post your comments below and we will look at them in your absence.

Book for October 2017:

The wacky manThis month we are reading Lyn G. Farrell’s ‘The Wacky Man‘, winner of the Luke Bitmead Bursary Award.

Amanda secludes herself in her bedroom, no longer willing to face the outside world. Gradually, she pieces together the story of her life: her brothers have had to abandon her, her mother scarcely talks to her, and the Wacky Man could return any day to burn the house down. Just like he promised.

As her family disintegrates, Amanda hopes for a better future, a way out from the violence and fear that has consumed her childhood. But can she cling to her sanity, before insanity itself is her only means of escape?

Please pick up your copy from Leeds Central Lending Library, ground floor.

Our next meeting will be Tuesday 31st October 2017 in the Portal. If you are unable to attend please feel free to post your comments below and we will look at them in your absence.


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