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The Book Club Review

Mar 7, 2023

Our bookshelf episodes are the ones where we kick back and talk about the books we’ve been choosing for ourselves outside of our book club reading. And so join us as we get swept away by the French Revolution and Hilary Mantel’s spellbinding book A PLACE OF GREATER SAFETY, consider myth and storytelling with a surprisingly feminist slant thanks to Salman Rushdie’s latest novel, VICTORY CITY, see another side to New York with our guest Phil Chaffee and Chang Rae Lee’s book NATIVE SPEAKER, plan an architectural tour of Norwegian Stave churches thanks to THE BELL AND THE LAKE by Lars Mytting, which Laura reports is a tale of love and drama set among a remote community in 18th-century Norway. We also catch up with Barack Obama’s summer reading pick THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD MOTHERS by Jessamine Chan – with a brief aside to celebrate Kate’s new-found love for Richard and Judy's book club here in the UK. Phil reports back on the FT’s business book of the year, CHIP WAR by Chris Miller, which turns out to be a thumping page-turner, plus we quick fire through a stack of other books we couldn’t bear not to mention.

Book list

A PLACE OF GREATER SAFETY by Hilary Mantel (Fourth Estate)

VICTORY CITY by Salman Rushdie (Penguin)

NATIVE SPEAKER by Chang Rae Lee (Granta)

THE BELL AND THE LAKE by Lars Mytting (Hachette)


CHIP WAR by Chris Miller (Simon & Schuster)


THE PEARL by John Steinbeck


CHARLOTTE by David Foenkinos

ROSES IN THE MOUTH OF A LION by Bushra Rehman (published in the UK in January 2023, from St. Martin’s Press)



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The article Phil mentioned is The 25 Most Significant New York City Novels from the Last 25 Years