The Unconventional Book Club

“The first rule of the unconventional book club is you do not talk about the unconventional book club”…just kidding.

To set the scene, we’re a group of “HR professionals” (generally) who read a lot of books, and after much talk about setting up a book club, we actually set up a book club.

There was some discussion about using The Times or the BBC’s Top 100 book list, but in the spirit of unconventionality we decided to each select 5 books; a mixture of our favourites, books we wanted to read, current popular fiction and some complete randoms.

Each month, a new book is drawn from the hat, and all members must read the book before the end of the month discussion, which takes place in various eating and drinking establishments in Birmingham. We then review the book in detail, our likes, dislikes and our rating out of ten.


Rachael Houlston (the chair)

Ameesha Green (the blogger)

Fiona Costley (the secretary)

Becki Jay (the actress)

Zoe Kirk (the one who WILL read the books before the meeting)

Lorna Muir (the one who’s read nearly everything)

Theresa Edwards (the one with the kindle)

Claire Glover (the one who loves a traybake)

Susan Drake (the essex bird)

Sue Atkins  (the one with a great story for every situation)

Clare Griffin (the eternal optimist)

The Book List

The Help -Kathryn StockettWar Horse – Michael MorpurgoRoom – Emma Donoghue

When God was a Rabbit – Sarah Winman

Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier

The Raw Shark TextsSteven Hall

A Partisan’s Daughter – Louis de Bernières

The Post-Birthday World – Lionel Shriver

The Bride Stripped Bare – Nikki Gemmell

The Art of Racing in the Rain – Garth Stein

The Bell JarSylvia Plath

The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde

Love in the time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

WutheringHeights- Emily Bronte

A Room with a View – E.M Forster

Tommys Tale – Alan Cumming

The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky

One Day – David Nicholls

Let the Right One In – John Ajvide Lindqvist

The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

American Gods – Neil Gaiman

Tiny Sunbirds Far away – Christie Watson

Three men in a boat – Jerome K Jerome

Alone inBerlin- Hans Fallada

The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows

Wide Sargasso SeaJean Rhys

Cereus Blooms at Night – Shani Mootoo

Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks

One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest – Ken Kesey

Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh

Skallagrigg – William Horwood

The Woman in Black  – Susan Hill

Before I Go to Sleep – SJ Watson

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox – Maggie O’Farrell

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

I Capture the Castle – Dodie Smith

Oryx and Crake – Maragret Atwood

Never let me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro

Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Interview with a Vampire – Anne Rice

 Into The Darkest Corner Elizabeth Haynes

We need to talk about Kevin – Lionel Shriver

Tuesdays with Morrie – Mitch Albom

Afterwards – Rosamund Lupton

Before We Say Goodbye – Louise Candlish

The Prime of Miss Jean BrodieMuriel Spark

Room at the Top – John Braine

War of the Worlds – H.G.Wells

Toast – Nigel Slater

A Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

The Unconventional Book Club
Book Reviews, Plot Synopsis, Books