Book Club

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Book Club

Book Clubs are held monthly at both Blenheim and Picton Libraries.

Marlborough District Library (Blenheim) Book Club

The next Blenheim Book Club meeting will be Thursday 30 May at 6.30 pm where the theme will be: Recommended by a friend.

Picton Library Book Club

The next Picton Book Club meeting will be Thursday 6 June at 6.30 pm where the theme will be: Books by Stephen King.

All welcome, just drop by and join us.

Below are some of the books discussed at this month's Picton Book Club.

Book Club Reviews

The Witches of Vardo by Bergman

Adult Fiction

Norway, 1662. A dangerous time to be a woman, when even dancing can lead to accusations of witchcraft. When Zigri, desperate and grieving after the loss of her husband and son, embarks on an affair with the local merchant, it's not long before she is sent to the fortress at Vardo, to be tried and condemned as a witch.
Zigri's daughter Ingeborg sets off into the wilderness to try to bring her mother back home. Accompanying her on this quest is Maren, herself the daughter of a witch, whose wild nature and unconquerable spirit gives Ingeborg the courage to venture into the unknown, and to risk all she has to save her family.
Also captive in the fortress is Anna Rhodius, once the King of Denmark's mistress, who has been sent to Vardo in disgrace. What will she do and who will she betray to return to her privileged life at court?
These Witches of Vardo are stronger than even the King of Denmark. In an age weighted against them they refuse to be victims. They will have their justice. All they need do is show their power.

See if The Witches of Vardo is available on our catalogue or place a hold

The Library of Lost and Found by Phaedra Patrick

Adult fiction

Librarian Martha Storm has always found it easier to connect with books than people though, not through lack of trying. She keeps careful lists of how to help others in her superhero themed notebook. And yet, sometimes it feels like she's invisible. All of that changes when a book of fairy tales arrives on her doorstep. Inside, Martha finds a dedication written to her by her best friend, her grandmother Zelda, who died under mysterious circumstances years earlier. When Martha discovers a clue within the book that her grandmother may still be alive, she becomes determined to discover the truth. As she delves deeper into Zelda's past, she unwittingly reveals a family secret that will change her life forever.

See if The Library of Lost and Found is available on our catalogue or place a hold

Did I Ever Tell You This? by Sam Neill

92 Nei Biography

Actor Sam Neill's unmissable memoir is revealing, heart-warming and often hilarious, as he recounts the unpredictable turns of fortune that have defined his life and career.
In this unexpected memoir, written in a creative burst of just a few months in 2022, Sam Neill tells the story of how he became one of the world's most celebrated actors, who has worked with everyone from Meryl Streep to Isabel Adjani, from Jeff Goldblum to Sean Connery, from Steven Spielberg to Jane Campion.
By his own account, his career has been a series of unpredictable turns of fortune. Born in 1947 in Northern Ireland, he emigrated to New Zealand at the age of seven. His family settled in Dunedin on the South Island, but young Sam was sent away to boarding school in Christchurch, where he was hopeless at sports and discovered he enjoyed acting.
But how did you become an actor in New Zealand in the 1960 and 1970s where there was no film industry? After university he made documentary films while also appearing in occasional amateur productions of Shakespeare. In 1977 he took the lead in Sleeping Dogs, the first feature made in New Zealand in more than a decade, a project that led to a major role in Gillian Armstrong's celebrated My Brilliant Career.
And after that Sam Neill found his way, sometimes by accident, into his own brilliant career. He has worked around the world, an actor who has moved effortlessly from blockbuster to art house to TV, from Dr Alan Grant in the Jurassic Park movies to The Piano and Peaky Blinders.
Did I Ever Tell You This? is a joy to read, a marvellous and often very funny book, the work of a natural storyteller who is a superb observer of other people, and who writes with love and warmth about his family. It is also his account of his life outside film, especially in Central Otago where he established Two Paddocks, his vineyard famous for its pinot noir.

See if Did I Ever Tell you This? is available on our catalogue or place a hold

Cilka's Journey by Heather Morris

Adult fiction

The sequel to The Tattooist of Auschwitz, based on a true story of love and resilience.
In 1942 Cilka is just sixteen years old when she is taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp. The Commandant at Birkenau, Schwarzhuber, notices her long beautiful hair, and forces her separation from the other women prisoners. Cilka learns quickly that power, even unwillingly given, equals survival.
After liberation, Cilka is charged as a collaborator for sleeping with the enemy and sent to a desolate, brutal prison camp in Siberia known as Vorkuta, inside the Arctic Circle.
Innocent and imprisoned once again, Cilka faces challenges both new and horribly familiar. When she makes an impression on a female doctor, Cilka is taken under her wing and begins to tend to the ill in the camp, struggling to care for them under unimaginable conditions. Cilka finds endless resources within herself as she confronts death and faces terror, each day a battle for survival. And when she nurses a man called Aleksandr, Cilka finds that despite everything that has happened to her, there is room in her heart for love.

See if Cilka's Journey is available on our catalogue or place a hold

Wrens Under the Radar by Colleen Shipley

Adult fiction

War is declared on Germany, and Betty's fiancé Fred enlists. Desperate to do her bit, Betty signs up with the Wrens, hoping to venture overseas. Instead, she finds herself on a top-secret mission in a farmhouse near Blenheim, along with seven other Wrens. As the women settle into their roles as telegraphers and classifiers, monitoring transmissions from Japanese submarines in the Pacific, close friendships develop and they support each other through times of loss.

See is Wrens Under the Radar is available on our catalogue or place a hold

Oliver Kitten's Diary by Gareth Thomas

Adult fiction

Oliver Kitten was born in a fire truck and ends up living with a three-generation multicultural human family in a four-bedroom house. He keeps a diary of his own escapades and the things he hears and sees his family get up to. At once cute and funny, Oliver is a little naughty and sometimes downright wicked in his precocious observations of the things the humans in his house get up to. Oliver's family includes a Scottish grandmother (whose knitting wool has adventures of its own), Clint, a sometime unpredictable two-year-old boy, the father Richard, his wife Nicole, and Lucy, their 13-year-old daughter. Lucy thinks she is Oliver Kitten's owner and spends her life between the fridge and her bedroom, generally with Oliver in one hand and her phone in the other. Oliver is a diligent kitten and keeps a daily diary covering everything in his life including paper shredding, leaping, purring, meowing, kneading, scratching, grooming, hiding, escaping, finding sleeping places and giving licks and kisses.

See if Oliver Kitten's Diary is available on our catalogue or place a hold

I Seek a Kind Person by Julien Borger

Adult Non-fiction 940.5318 BOR


In 1938, Jewish families are scrambling to flee Vienna. Desperate, they take out adverts offering their children into the safe keeping of readers of a British newspaper, the Manchester Guardian. The right words in the right order could mean the difference between life and death. Eighty-three years later, Guardian journalist Julian Borger comes across the advert that saved his father, Robert, from the Nazis. Robert had kept this a secret, like almost everything else about his traumatic Viennese childhood, until he took his own life. Drawn to the shadows of his family's past and starting with nothing but a page of newspaper adverts, Borger traces the remarkable stories of his father, the other advertised children and their families, each thrown into the maelstrom of a world at war. From a Viennese radio shop to the Shanghai ghetto, internment camps and family homes across Britain, the deep forests and concentration camps of Nazi Germany, smugglers saving Jewish lives in Holland, an improbable French Resistance cell, and a redemptive story of survival in New York, Borger unearths the astonishing journeys of the children at the hands of fate, their stories of trauma and the kindness of strangers.

See if I Seek a Kind Person is available on our catalogue or place a hold