Book Club Discussion

The purpose of this page is to provide a forum for discussion of the books read in the Costa Coffee Book Club which meets on the third Monday of each month in Costa Coffee, Chatham High Street. Interested readers should arrive at 2.00pm for drinks and a 2.30pm start. All are welcome.

Please use the comments box for this purpose stating which book you are discussing.


37 Responses to Book Club Discussion

  1. Jean says:

    Last month’s book ‘Hidden Figures’ was not enjoyed by us as, unless you had seen the film (which I had) it was rather technical in its language and difficult to understand. As an example ‘computers’ in the book referred to the women who worked in the statistics dept and not to a piece of machinery. The essence of the book does not come through as a major part of USA history whereas the film shows it brilliantly.
    This month we have chosen a much lighter read ‘Island of Secrets’ by Patricia Wilson.
    We have decided not to meet in December but look forward to sharing our thoughts on this book in January.

  2. Jean Jones says:

    It seemed a long time ago since we met last and, according to Pat’s diary it was in June when we decided to read ‘The Wardrobe Mistress’ and ‘Jesus: why the world is still fascinated by him’.
    The books for September are : ‘The Chilbury Ladies Choir’ and ‘Lost for words: this bookshop keeps many secrets”.

  3. Wendell E Mettey was a Pastor and he has described members of his congregation who have brought beauty into his life. He likens them to pots saying God uses even the most blemished vessels to bring beauty into the world. In ON WHICH SIDE OF THE ROAD DO THE FLOWERS GROW he shares funny and sensitive stories about many of his “flock” who are all very different and enhanced his awareness of God’s amazing grace.
    I found it a gentle read though some of the lives were not.
    My conclusion was that he could be describing our congregation and reminds me that he can use us all whatever our background.
    I can recommend this book.

  4. Jean says:

    Thank you Pat. That’s helpful and a reminder to us of the Book Club choices.

    Jean X

  5. Pat Phillips says:

    What side of the street do the flowers grow – by Wendell E. Mettey.
    This book contains stories of members of a church congregation. Each one of them showed how they lived their lives, showing love, compassion and inspiration to each other.
    The Boy made of Bricks by Keith Stuart
    This book was based on a real life family whose son was born with Autism. The family found it very difficult to relate to each other and their son, causing the father to leave the family home and live elsewhere. When the mother purchased a games consol and a game called Minecraft, life began to change. The boy became proficient at this game and together with his father’s help, they began to understand the difficulties that are experienced by everyone when a family member has Autism. This is a heart=warming story and compelling to read.

  6. Pat Phillips says:

    Book Club meeting Monday 16th January. – One small act of kindness by Lucy Dillon.

    I found this book very easy to read, its content could have referred to any typical family situation, and you wanted to continue reading to find out what happens. I have since read 2 more Lucy Dillon’s books, all beautifully written, and containing references to and including tales of pet dogs.

  7. Jean Jones says:

    We met this week after a Christmas break when we’d agreed to read the Lucy Dillon book ‘One small act of kindness’. This had been a heart-warming, well written book and had led to some of us reading another of Lucy Dillon’s books. Just four of us were able to enjoy coffee and discussion together. We decided to read ‘On which side of the road do the flowers grow?’ by Wendell E. Mettey on Kindle (free). As this is quite a short book, but thought-provoking, we agreed to read one of the Richard and Judy Book Club books ‘A Boy made of Blocks: a most uplifting novel of 2017’ by Keith Stuart. We next meet on Monday 20 February.

  8. Jean Jones says:

    Book Club this month (March) was hosted by Major Andrea as she wasn’t able to come to Costa Coffee in Chatham. We discussed ‘The Miniaturist’ and ‘The Hidden Daughter’, both with some very interesting reviews. This month we have chosen ‘Free Country. A penniless adventure the length of Britain’ by George Mahood. We all read Kindle books and this is a cheap option. Looking forward to finding out how to get from Land’s End to John o’Groats without spending a penny on clothing, food, accommodation and transport.

  9. Jean Jones says:

    The Book Club met this afternoon and were pleased to welcome a new member to the group who just happened to be reading the book which we had chosen as our book of the month, ‘I am Malala. The girl who stood up for education and was shot by the Taliban’. We reflected on life in Pakistan, especially in the Swat Valley, as depicted in the book. We tried to understand the ‘pull’ of the country to Malala and her family who at present are unable to return. They had grown up with the special traditions of the area and treasured them. We noted that Malala had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
    The book we agreed to read this month is ‘The Miniaturist’, a debut novel by Jessie Burton, and is a literary thriller set in 17th-century Amsterdam. It has been announced as Book of the Year 2014 by Waterstones.
    The next meeting of the Book Club is in Chatham Costa Coffee on Monday 12 February at 14.00 hrs for 14.30hrs.

  10. Jean Jones says:

    Book Club this month, January, is on 19th and not the 12th as quoted in my previous comment.

  11. Jean Jones says:

    We had a little meeting of the Book Club on Monday, 17 November and discussed ‘The Vow’ which was the October book of the month. Decided to choose two books to read during the period till Jan 12th – our next meeting. These books are: A Faraway Smell of Lemon – a Christmas short story, and ‘I am Malala. The girl who stood up for education and was shot by the Taliban’. We hope other people will join us in reading these books and let us have their comments.

  12. Jean Jones says:

    Looking forward to Book Club this Monday, 20 Oct. I haven’t actually finished the book we chose for this month, My animals and other family by Clare Balding.

  13. Jean Jones says:

    There was no Book Club meeting this month, April, as it fell on Bank Holiday Monday and therefore was family time. The book we chose to read at our last meeting was A Wartime Wife by Lizzie Lane. We thought it would give us an insight into how life was for young families during the war. Personally I had to persuade myself to continue reading after the first chapter as the style of writing really didn’t appeal to me – a bit too simplistic in approach. However, I’m glad I persisted as the personalities in the book developed and the storyline became really interesting.
    This month, although not a Book Club choice, I’ve also read ‘The Book Thief’ by Marcus Zusak which coincidentally has come out as a film, and ‘Journey to the Well’, a Christian novel by Diana Wallis Taylor. Although very different, both of these books were well written and ‘unputdownable’.
    Just started a Tracy Chevalier book, ‘The last runaway’. Hope it comes up to her usual standard – going well so far.
    Looking forward to the next Book Club meeting on 19 May.

  14. Jean Jones says:

    There was no Book Club meeting in February due to unforeseen circumstances but we are planning to hold our usual meeting at Costa Coffee this Monday, 17 March.

  15. Jean Jones says:

    The Book Choice for our next discussion on 17 February is Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup. I’ve just finished reading it. Once I got into it I couldn’t put it down. I find it hard to imagine how such cruel treatment was used on innocent people.

  16. Jean says:

    Sorry there’s been a break in publicising our Book Club. We have been meeting and reading. Our next meeting is on Monday 20th January 2014. We’ll be discussing ‘Street cat named Bob’. Wonder what we’ll choose for our next book?

  17. Jean says:

    Well, we had a good time at Book Club and enjoyed the coffee and chat. We agreed to change our choice of book to ‘Humble by Nature’ by Kate Humble as sourced by Isabel who is enjoying reading it on her Kindle. Look forward to discussing next month on Nov 18th.

  18. Jean says:

    I’m disappointed in our book choice this month. I really can’t get into it at all. I suggest we change the choice to ‘Humble by Nature’ by Kate Humble. A real story about real people and a more reasonable choice.
    We may have to cancel this month’s Book Club meeting as 50% of our number can’t come.

  19. Jean says:

    Enjoyed Book Club this afternoon, including the coffee. Had a good discussion about our last book choice ‘The White Queen’ by Philippa Gregory and realized what a lot of research goes into writing a book such as this which revealed so many interesting facets of life at the time. Our next book choice is a more humorous, light read by Marina Lewycka, ‘Various Pets Alive and Dead’. Look forward to more people joining us at Costa Coffee in October, third Monday, 21st.

  20. Trish hall says:

    We decided to read a book off the popular book list in May and chose ‘A Family Affair’ by Mary Campisi. Well it wasn’t a difficult heavy read but certainly had some twists and turns.
    Well we met today in Costa and had a nice chat about a number of books but Jeans enthusiasm about a book she had just commenced reading made the decision to make it our book for this month fairly easy. ‘The Grace Outpouring’ by Roy Godwin & Dave Robinson, Becoming a People of Blessing. Watch this space for the report next month on this title.
    We will meet on the 17th June and again on the 15th July which will sadly be my last Bookclub meet. Please support us and come along to Costa even if you just like books you do not need to be an avid reader.

  21. Trish hall says:

    the Bookclub regular meeting was another victim of the snow. However we still decided on a book for the month: Awakening to Messiah, a supernatural Discovery of the Jewish Jesus by Rabbi K A Schneider. This book came recommended to us by a fellow Christian, avid reader, and Chairman of the Kent Branch of Christian Motorcyclist Association who is often interested in what we read as a Bookclub. Our next meeting will be held on Monday 18th February @ 2pm Costa Coffee, High Street, Chatham.

  22. murray says:

    Having read ‘Dreams from my Father’ some time ago I can confirm it is well worth taking the time to read.

  23. Trish hall says:

    The book club ladies were pleased to welcome two visitors to our meeting in October and are also pleased that they wish to continue coming. Gentlemen readers please consider taking part we are not an exclusive club. We do hope any reader can share with us here online, even if you are unable to come along.
    The book we have just read ‘The Last Telegram’ by Liza Trunow generally received a thumbs up from the group. Although not particularly well written, a very informative account on how silk is produced and how it was used to make parachutes during WW11. The author weaves a romance through the facts with an unexpected ending.
    When we met this week we had a lengthy discussion around what type of book we wished to read during Advent. A Christmas classic? A Christian author? We finally came to the decision, that as a group we had not yet read any biographies, so we would give it a go. Our chosen book for December is: ‘Dreams from My Father’ Barack Obama. Reviews from the Amazon website: ‘This may be the best-written memoir ever produced by an American politician’ Joe Klien, Time. ‘Extraordinary… Truly moving… Obama is a born narrator, with a mastery of colour, scene and personality’ Simon Jenkins, Sunday Times. We do hope you enjoy it.
    There will be no book club meet during December, however, on 2nd January 2013 we will be going to the cinema at Chatham Dockside to see The Hobbit for the afternoon showing. Everyone welcome (especially our men and young people).
    Happy reading and blessings to everyone for Christmas. Trish Hall x

  24. Jean Jones says:

    Hi Murray, The Book Club is held on the third Monday at 2pm. Can’t remember when it was changed so sorry if we forgot to let you know.

  25. Trish Hall says:

    The next book to be read is: ‘Elephant Whisperer’ by Graham Spence and Lawrence Anthony: learning about life, loyalty and freedom from a remarkable herd of wild elephants. We invite you to join us at Costa Coffee on Monday 16th July at 2pm. We are very relaxed and there is no pressure whatsoever to purchase books, drinks or achieve reading the titles in any given timescale.

    In August we will be reading two shorter books – ‘They Gave Their Lives’ by Alan Bateman together with ‘For Such A Time’ by Jenty Fairbank: The story of the young Florence Booth.

    Our aim in September will be to visit IHQ coffee shop for a special book club meeting. Anyone who would like to join us and have a guided tour of the glass building that is 101 Queen Victoria Street is most welcome. Please let either Trish Hall or Major Andrea know in advance or email us at

    On behalf of the book club members, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Costa Coffee for their hospitality and use of their premises. Happy reading.

  26. Trish Hall says:

    I can only re-iterate what Jean has already said about ‘Elephant Whisperer’ and I have been inspired such that we will be suggesting their next book ‘Babylon’s Ark’ as our book for September. As an aside, since Elephant Whisperer was published Lawrence Anthony has died and those same elephants knew and sensed his demise and stood vigile at his home – how incredibly amazing these animals are!

  27. Jean says:

    I’ve just finished reading the July book, The Elephant Whisperer’ by Lawrence Anthony and Graham Spence. This is an excellent read and gives an amazing insight into how wild animals communicate with each other and, in this case, with human beings. Well written and unputdownable.
    The August choice is for two short books published by the Salvation Army. In ‘For such a time’ Jenty Fairbank has cleverly drawn together writings from the diary of Florence Booth and publications of the day to create an easy to read story of the amazing first days of the SA in France. Also, of major importance is how she instigated the rescue of women/girls from prostitution and the creation of the Mother’s Hospital. Not read the other book yet ‘They gave their lives’ by Alan Bateman. Looking forward to the discussion on 16 July – and the coffee.

  28. Irene Maycock says:

    One Tuesday Morning is another gripping book. It follows the lives of a New York fireman and a business man. They met on the stairs of the north tower and were incredulous of how alike they were. One survived and was in a coma. We are able to discover how one influenced, in a wonderful way, the other, by a journal he’d kept. I can recommend the book. “It is a love story….tender,poignant,commemorating the tragedy and heroism of September 11 and portraying the far-reaching power of God’s faithfulness and a good man’s love.”

  29. Jean Jones says:

    This month’s Book Club was held at Costa Coffee in Chatham at 2pm on the revised 3rd (not 4th) Monday of the month. A new member joined us for a lively discussion of ‘Call the Midwife’ and ‘The Sugar Girls’ – both set in the East End of London, although at different times. The next book chosen for the book club to read is ‘One Tuesday Morning’ by Karen Kingsbury. ‘Strangers with the same face. Only one will leave the Twin Towers alive.’ Why don’t you join us in reading this and commenting on the website! Or, come to the next meeting on Monday 18 June, 2pm at Chatham Costa Coffee.

  30. Trish hall says:

    We met on Monday evening though a last minute venue change found us at The Quarters. The second meet in March meant that only Jean had managed to finish ‘Over the Dale’ by Gervase Phinn the 2nd book of this month.
    However we had a good discussion around plans and would like to announce the next two books. The first being a fairly short book we were encouraged to read by Jess Boughton in her review of the same in ‘the Salvationist’ entitled ‘Shopping’ by Michelle Gonzalez. Our other suggested read is Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth.
    We will meet next on the 23rd April2012 at the revised time of 2pm everyone welcome.
    In the meantime, having read ‘The Help’ in February we are holding a film viewing of this at Trish & Dons on Friday 13th April @7.30pm all readers welcome to join us. For further information please speak with other book club members.
    Happy Easter, happy reading, enjoy!

  31. Trish Hall says:

    The Book Club currently meets on the first Monday of the month (5th March 2012 being the next meeting) @ Costa Coffee, High Street, Chatham 6.30pm for refreshments with the meeting commencing at 7pm. We do aim to finish promptly at 8pm. However, due to circumstances beyond our control we need to alter the day in the month we meet to the 4th Monday in the month. Therefore, on Monday 26th March we will meet again and then on the 23rd April.
    Everyone is welcome, and we do have a number of people who cannot make the meeting but do read the books we choose as our monthly read. Likewise if you are one of these people, please make yourself known to either Trish Hall or Major Andrea and you too can have an opinion shared and a chance to choose the monthly book.

  32. the Help – an “unputtable down” book, sadly with a lot of truths in it. I can only hope and pray that these prejudices have gone and do not resurface at any time in the future. The book also highlighted yet again how brave people are to “voice” their opinions, even with the risk of retaliation.

  33. Margaret & David Sutton says:

    I have just finished January’s book…. The Help.
    A really good read and I am sure there will be a great amount of discussion about it…. Most people would have a view about the stories with in it. It is fictional but very factual.

  34. Trish Hall says:

    We read “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett and I would like to thank Jean for recommending this book to the group. It took me a little while to get into, I persevered and so glad I did. It opened my mind and re-affirmed my opinion that there is never an excuse for discrimination and I found myself embarrassed to be white.

  35. “I dared to call Him Father” – This is my second reading of this book. These are my comments:
    1. Amazing way that God still communicates through dreams.
    2. Bilquis’ obedience to God, otherwise the “Presence” left her.
    3. Bilquis took everything to God in prayer.
    4. Bilquis’ bravery in becoming a Christian and opposing generations of her family’s beliefs.
    5. The emphasising at the end of the book that more tolerance is perhaps needed by everyone in understanding the differences between east and west, i.e. cultures, customs, etc.

  36. Trish Hall says:

    December’s book in deep contrast to Nineteen Minutes is I Dared To Call Him Father by Bilquis Sheikh. An inspiring personal testimony by Bilquis of her conversion and baptism in the Holy Spirit from Muslim to Christianity. Profound and passionate I found the book to remind me of my First Love experience with Jesus. Not a heavy book to read and one I would sincerely recommend. A great source of encouragement.

  37. Jean Jones says:

    Nineteen minutes by Jodi Picoult. Had an interesting discussion about bullying and the relationships between parents and children. One comment in the early part of the book which has stayed with me is that when a baby is just born you can see the holiness in their eyes!

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