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The Reading Group: A Novel

3.31  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,082 Ratings  ·  696 Reviews
The Reading Group follows the trials and tribulations of a group of women who meet regularly to read and discuss books.Over the course of a year, each of these women become intertwined, both in the books they read and within each other's lives.

Inspired by a shared desire for conversation, a good book and a glass of wine-Clare, Harriet, Nicole, Polly, and Susan undergo star
ebook, 464 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published January 1st 2003)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jul 14, 2007 K rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really need something light and fluffy now, but this book is giving me ADD. I just hope it turns out to be better than "Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons"...

Update: OK -- now I must rant.

Complaint #1: I have nothing against middle-aged or any other kind of chick lit. However, I feel that chick lit by definition should be both light and short. This book was neither. I found the process of reading it slow, and the book was way longer than it needed to be.

Complaint #2: This author tried to take
Hilary G
Dec 10, 2012 Hilary G rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ex Bookworm group review:

I tried to like this book, but I didn't. I tried not to be prejudiced against the sort of women who live in Surrey and who have the luxury of enough money and time to agonise at length about how miserable they are, but I was. I think this was Elizabeth Noble's failure not mine. I wasn't the one to keep mentioning Agas. If "Surrey women" are portrayed as caricatures, as cardboard cut outs, you can't blame me for not caring a damn about them. And I didn't. I didn't care a
Sep 14, 2007 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It did take a bit for me to get into this book, but once I did, I became very invested in the characters. The characters of the book are of all ages and at different stages in their life. I liked that aspect, and that the issues they dealt with were so different.

The book also made me want to be a part of a reading group and read all the books that they discussed.
Carol Vuillemenot
Nov 17, 2008 Carol Vuillemenot rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy reading stories from a feminist view. This novel is written by an English author in an English setting, but it could have been an American setting without any problem. Five women meet monthly to discuss one book each month. These five women are of different ages, background, and contrasting dilemmas -- transform themselves through the shared community of a book group and become a forum for each of the women's views, expressed initially by the book. As the months pass, these women's lives ...more
It took me a while to get this book, and I was attempted to abandon it early on.

I liked the idea of the book group and sharing the stories of the main characters, but I found it confusing in parts, especially during the book group as there was a lot of dialogue between more than two characters and I couldn't work out who was talking when.

The stories of all the characters were quite complicated and could almost have a whole book for each of them to get deeper into their stories as they were all d
Feb 09, 2009 Kass rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: British lovers of predictable, unfinished, boring reads
Recommended to Kass by: Book club
Read this one for, of all things, a book club. It's about several women who form a book club and follows each of their lives through a year of book clubs meetings and much personal drama.

I had a hard time reading and finishing it because it's just no mytype of book. It's British Chick Lit, and well, now that I'm married and a mom I just have a hard time relating. Then again, most of the characters were married moms so you'd think I could relate to at least one. The problem was I couldn't relate
Jun 20, 2015 Xene rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
i wanted to throw this book across the room several times while forcing myself to finish it. i am a little bit mad at myself for wasting hours of my life reading it, and am pretty sure i've developed new scowl lines from actively giving the book dirty looks while reading it. i should have followed the sage advice of nancy pearl and quit at 100 pages minus my age. i will stop short of listing all my grievances and move on with my life.
Jul 07, 2008 Melinda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Once I got into this "chic lit" novel, it kept me interested. The quibble I have is that all the women in the novel are either a) mothers or b) soon-to-be mothers. The one character who doesn't have children (but, of course, she wants to) is banished to helping children at an orphanage in Roumania. Come on. Not all women want or have children. It would have been nice to read a novel that didn't make the assumption that all women do.
Jul 11, 2015 Meghan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, I actually really loved this. The book switches perspectives often as it explores the lives of the women in this book club. Though some of the women were not previously friends, they become very close over the year in which the book takes place, mostly thanks to the book club. Nothing particularly earth-shattering happens, but the difficulties of real life definitely hit home: infidelity, frustration with kids, unplanned pregnancies, complicated relationships, infertility, aging parents, sib ...more
Jun 03, 2010 Karen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: could-not-finish
Oh, I so wanted to just love this book! There was even a point, once I could keep the various characters and spouses straight without having to refer to the author's "cheat sheet", where I started to care about some of them and looked forward to how their stories each unfolded. But that was short-lived. At page 216, I had to make a decision to either suck it up and finish the book, or cut my losses. Frankly, I couldn't bear another 200 pages. It just didn't matter to me how things turned out, I ...more
Apr 14, 2012 Juliette rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
My biggest issue with this book is that Miss Noble took it upon herself to give away some pretty big spoilers from the books that are discussed in the reading group. So if you have any desire to read any of the books on the list (which I did) and don't like spoilers (I don't). Don't pick this book up until you've read them. And yes, I know that this is a book about a book club, but I've read three other books about book clubs and the other three authors managed to have thier characters have very ...more
Sep 18, 2012 Andrea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My opinions on this book changed as I read it. At first, there were too many characters to keep straight in my head. Fortunately there is a cheat sheet at the beginning of the book that helped a lot. The layout of the book bothered me in the beginning also. It seemed like really long chapters with few clear stopping places and choppy stories. After a while I got used to changing story lines and could see how it benefits the story. I also realized that the choppiness created many stopping places, ...more
May 12, 2008 BoekenTrol rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to BoekenTrol by: Found it in the library
Shelves: stories-of-life
I was interested by the book, because the text on the back side of the cover intrigued me.

The book itself was good, but for me not more than the 3 stars I gave it initially.
Somehow, in the course of the story, it became more and more predictable. The daughter of one having an affair with and having the baby of another friend that is unwantedly childless is one.
But, if it is a book about LIFE, why does there have to be a happy or good ending to everything in this book? I think that is too const
Izetta Autumn
I would have said simply, that this is a book best for a summer read, when you've run out of the books that are "serious literature," and that it would be an escape. There are a few laugh out loud moments - a wife desiring that her husband be shanked while he waits outside a gas station bathroom for her. But the other jokes, I don't think are actually intended to be funny - like the way grown womyn over 35 behave and the now cliche dramatization of harried housewives of a certain means.

Let me s
Jun 03, 2009 Christi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
First, this was written by a Britsh author... she uses the word leant instead of leaned and other interesting British grammar.That bugged me at first, but then I got used to it.

OK, I really wasn't expecting much from this book. I mean, just look at the cover. It really looks ridiculous! I've read some other reviews that complained that this book took cliches to the next level, but I really didn't feel that way. For some reason this book gripped me and I kept reading. I wasn't looking for somethi
Apr 15, 2008 Teresa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: other-fiction
This book took me forever to finish. It was such a slow read for me. I enjoyed the stories, but there were so many characters right off the bat that I had a hard time keeping them all straight. Fortunately there is a character guide in the front, so that helped.

I enjoyed all the subplots. I think that it is a very cleverly written book. It was interesting to read about their reviews of the books that they chose for their book club. There were several books that I'd like to read because of their
K. Osborn
May 26, 2016 K. Osborn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you liked Angry will LOVE this book! Couldn't put it down. Sad, but triumphant and so very believable because the characters were so flawed! Good read for sure! :)
Stealthilicious Stacie
Yawn. Snore. I kept waiting for this book to get more interesting. It did not. The one character I was most interested in was shuffled to the back of the book and forgotten about. Yawn indeed.
It wasn't bad. I had trouble keeping everyone straight at first (even through they give you a list up front of who is related to whom). Lots of characters to remember and care about. By the time I got to the end I had them all figured out. Some of the characters were more interesting than others and of course they all became loosely intertwined as the women were all members of a book group. Each main section starts off with them talking about the book they are reading, then veers off into discus ...more
Victoria Hill
Mar 29, 2016 Victoria Hill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Reading Group was Elizabeth Noble’s first novel and, as sometimes happens, it is her best, the novel with the most heart. I have read several more of her books, and this is the only one that has passed the packing test (although in that post I said I was going to pass on all my Elizabeth Noble novels, in the end I had to keep this one).

The premise of the novel is simple, yet clever. Five women, who know each other with varying degrees of intimacy, meet to form a reading group. Each month, th
Feb 03, 2016 Beverly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was suggested reading for our library's summer reading program and I finally got around to reading it. It took me a little while to get into this book, mostly because in spite of the list of characters provided at the front, I still had trouble keeping up with all of them. Some of the British jargon slowed me down but I stuck with it and finally settled in for the rest of the read and enjoyed it. Five diverse women come together to start a book club with each suggesting various reads f ...more
Jan 13, 2016 Carrie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chick lit, for sure, but pretty well-written, and British which makes it a little more charming and less trite. Plus, a unique structure: Centered around a year in the book club, each month is paired with a book and while the members' lives and activities don't fit exactly, they often relate to the book that is being read and discussed. Book list is included -- made me want to try some of them! and sections of their fictional book discussion are also included, which I thought was rather well-don ...more
Sonia Luscombe
Jul 20, 2015 Sonia Luscombe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The main strength of this book is that it was about friendships between women and how they support and understand one another. It is not great literature nor does it come up with any particularly original story lines but is more an overview of contemporary life and the struggles of the modern middle class. The reading group theme could have been expanded more, I would have liked to know more about the books they read, maybe including some excerpts because it was hard to get the parallels between ...more
Jul 21, 2014 Saraya rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Echt de moeite waard om te lezen, leest vlot, is ontroerend.
Kelly Fitzmaurice
Aug 01, 2014 Kelly Fitzmaurice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun, easy beach read.
Dana Al-Basha
Jan 19, 2016 Dana Al-Basha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read some pages and they were very good, I am looking forward to see how the characters will change their story.
The Reading Group follows the trials and tribulations of a group of women who meet regularly to read and discuss books.Over the course of a year, each of these women become intertwined, both in the books they read and within each other's lives.

Inspired by a shared desire for conversation, a good book and a glass of wine-Clare, Harriet, Nicole, Polly, and Susan undergo startling revel
In reality I'd give this 2.5 stars

I had the great good fortune to be part of a really great book club when I lived in Virginia. We had a lovely group of women (though our membership fluctuated a great deal more than the one featured in this book), but we never really got to be as close as the ladies in The Reading Group grew to be. Perhaps it's because we met at the library instead of a person's home, but also perhaps it's because most of the members didn't have the major issues that these lad
Christine Blachford
Plot: The loves and lives of a group of women who get together once a month to discuss their book of choice, and get together more frequently to discuss their families. Lots of different situations, lots of twists and turns along the way, but most importantly, a happy ending.

Characters: There’s Harriet who is clever but unsatisfied, Nicole who’s dealing with a straying husband, Polly who’s daughter is about to become a mom herself and Susan who is losing hers.

Style Of Writing: Really, really, fo
Dec 11, 2015 Every rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
So... I wasted two weeks on my life on this book, and I demand my two weeks back.
I can't help it, I need to finish every book I start, but for crying out loud why did I want to read this thing in the first place?!
It was terrible. I mean come on, woman like this actually exist? Yeah? There are woman so daft they think a baby will stop their cheating husbands? For real? There are woman that just decide they don't like the man they have been married to for so long and see that as an excuse to be a
I’ve been meaning to read The Reading Group for ages, as the premise of the novel is what I like the most: it’s a book about books. Well, more precisely, it’s a book about five women forming a reading group and discussing a different novel each month – five women, who are in very different places in their life, and end up in even more different – and sometimes surprising places. What could be more interesting, right?

And it was interesting, I have to admit it: although the actual discussions abo
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.
(1)literature & fiction

Elizabeth Noble was born in High Wycombe, Bucks, and now lives in New York with her husband and two daughters. She studied English at Oxford University and after graduating embarked on a career in publishing before taking up writing full time. She is the author of seven novels, The Rea
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