Book club reads

Two of the most delightful books we’ve read in ages … we recommend every book club has these two on their must-read list.

The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman is pure joy. It’s tender, gentle, poignant, and touching. And madly, madly funny. Which it shouldn’t be. Since Norman is a painfully awkward preteen. Short, covered in scaly, painful psoriasis, and then there’s his name! Plus his best – and only – friend, Jax (‘the bloody Rolls-bloody-Royce of bloody best friends’) has just died. There goes their five-year plan to perform their duo comedy act at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2023. But ‘one never knows’ … and a trio of delightful characters – Norman, his wonderful, scatty mum Sadie, an elderly pensioner co-worker Leonard, along with a host of people they meet along the way (one of whom may or may not be Norman’s dad) travel from Cornwall to Edinburgh to make dreams come true. Obviously, not much goes according to plan. Massively inspiring, uplifting, wise … a hugely enjoyable read by Julietta Henderson. We loved it!

More warm-hearted humour in The Great Escape from Woodlands Nursing Home. For those of you who’ve read Joanna Nell’s The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village and The Last Voyage of Mrs Henry Parker, you’ll know what you’re in for. And if you’re new to this author, you’re in for a treat. A roller coaster of fun and laugh-out-loud moments as nearly 90-year-old Hattie Bloom (retired nature writer and lover of birds) has a fall which lands her in a nursing home, where she meets fellow ‘inmate’ Walter Clements (a gregarious would-be comedian) who’s also longing for escape, at The Night Owls – a clandestine club run by Sister Bronwyn and her dog, Queenie. Funny meets moving … a delightful, feel-good book that proves it’s never too late to laugh or to love.

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