Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The First Book: The Northern Clemency

Welcome Blogging Bookworms! We are pleased to announce that our inaugural book will be The Northern Clemency by Philip Hensher. The novel follows a 20 year span in the lives of a group of suburban neighbors beginning in the 1970s. Hensher examines his characters, relaying the events of ordinary life, both large and small. Feel free to read the book review on Amazon here.

Photo from coverbrowser.com

Since we're just getting started, we want to give everyone time to get the book. You are welcome to start reading whenever you have it, but we will not start the official countdown until Monday April 6. If you’re ever curious how much time is left, just visit this page and check out the countdown in the sidebar. To help you save money and still be able to read with us, we’ve provided a link to a directory of libraries across the country. It’s the first link under Book Resources in the right sidebar.

Once you’ve decided to read with us, please send an e-mail to bloggingbookworms@gmail.com and become a follower of the blog using the widget on the left. We look forward to hearing your comments when the counter reaches zero. Enjoy!


  1. so excited to get started! purchasing the book this week :D

  2. @Narcs, we're so excited you're excited! I can't wait to get started on the book either. Looking forward to connecting and talking soon :)

  3. So, I just finished the book (no pressure;) and that was quite the long haul with all those pages. I just wanted to initially comment before we all gather here in five days, that I love Blogging Bookworms!

    Why? Because I wouldn't have finished this book, or it would have taken me much longer. It helped me wind down at night to read instead of staying online with work, Twitter, emails, etc. I won't have any spoilers here--but just wanted to say, I'm excited :)

  4. So, the countdown has reached zero, and now it's time to discuss the book. A few general questions to get us started:

    1) What did you think of the book overall?
    2) Was it easy to read? Did it keep you intrigued?
    3) Did you like author's style of writing/how he described the characters?
    4) What were your favorite and least favorite parts/aspects of the book?

    Looking forward to hearing what everyone has to say. I will post my responses too.

  5. 1) I think the book overall was interesting. I liked the character development and expanse over a long time period (~20 years) with the two families. However, it was slow at times and I really think a chunk of the book could have been taken out. I think it missed some pieces/links.

    2) The last half of the book, 100 pages were the most intriguing to me. Things were happening and I wanted to see what would happen. The rest of the book, not so intriguing and not always a page turner.

  6. 1) I agree with you, Grace. It was cool to see how the characters grew and changed over 20 years. It was slow at times though, and it didn't get exciting right away.

    2) When there was something worthwhile going on in the plot I found it easier to read. A lot of the every day life, in between stuff kind of started to sound the same after a while.

    3) I thought he did a great job of describing the characters. They were so complex and had a lot of issues and idiosyncrasies, and yet I felt like I understand them all pretty well.

  7. I think it's pretty amazing that a 600 pg character based book where not much happens could hold my attention long enough to finish it. I must admit, as Grace said after finishing the book, I don't think I would have devoted the same amount of time to it had I been reading it on my own.
    After reading the summary of the book I was expecting a dramatic climax "set off by two indelible acts of cruelty". Was this Tim's death? I thought, maybe, his conversation with Alex/Sandra at the end of the book brought together those two acts of cruelty. Still a little unsure on this point, would love feedback.
    I enjoyed the author’s style and getting to know these 9 characters, some of the secondary characters in their lives, and the times they lived in. I especially enjoyed the development of Katherine who I found I had a love-hate relationship with. By the end of the book I'd say I felt I had a good understanding of what made each character tick but didn't feel especially close to any of them. I was really intrigued by Katherine's relationship with Tim and how it potentially effected who he became by the end of the book.

  8. @Amy I think you bring up a really good point. I understood these characters and we read about them for a long time...however, I didn't feel close to ANY of them.

    I like to get to know characters and think that's an important aspect, but I didn't find that with Northern Clemency.

  9. @Amy I agree, I'm not really sure what they meant by acts of cruelty. I too was intrigued by how the characters developed, but didn't really connect with them. I wasn't on the edge of my seat wanting to know what would happen next, but I was interested in finding out.