Introducing the Cardiff Mummy Says online book club – four great books to read and discuss during the Corona crisis

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Online community is going to be more important now than ever before, as we all spend more time indoors, social gatherings are cancelled and public places are closed. With that in mind, I’m doing something I have been thinking about for a long time but which I have never had the confidence to do… starting an online book club.

I know so many of you love to read by the numbers of you who read and comment on my book round up posts and who respond whenever I post whatever new book I’m reading on my Instagram Stories. So I thought it might be nice to connect on social media in an online book club.

On the following four Thursdays at 8.30pm (please note the time has changed from the original 8pm due to the weekly Clap For Our Careers for NHS staff), I’ll be taking to my social media channels to share my thoughts on the books listed below. I’d love it if you would join in. I know some of you will have more time to read than others, in which case you may like to choose one of the later books. You can join in with as few or as many as you like. If you can’t make the dates below then you can still message me at any time with your thoughts on the book, or comment on the discussion via the social media posts.

Thursday 2 April, 8.30pm– Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Thursday 9 April, 8.30pm – The Binding by Bridget Collins

Thursday 16 April, 8.30pm – Messy Wonderful Us by Catherine Isaac 

Thursday 23 April, 8.30pm – How To Stop Time by Matt Haig

Getting to a physical book store may well be difficult for lots of you right now. If you don’t have a Kindle or similar device, you can download books via the Books app on Apple devices or GooglePlay books on Android, sometimes for as little as 99p. You can also download audio books via the Audible app or borrow books for free via the library app Borrow Box.

If you do order the books or e-books via Amazon, please consider using the affiliate link pasted below. This means I’ll receive a small commission fee at no extra cost to you (almost all of my work has sadly dried up now due to Coronavirus so it would make a huge difference to me.)

I’m finding reading a great comfort right now. It’s time away from the constant pinging on my phone and the never ending social media posts and news, and a little bit of escapism amid such unprecedented times. If you are reading on your phone, my advice is to turn your phone onto flight mode so you’re not distracted by new notifications.


Thursday 2 April, 8.30pm – Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Cardiff Mummy Says Online Book Club


I’m half way through Small Great Things so it made sense to choose this for our first online book club. I shared a picture on Instagram when I started reading it and was inundated with followers telling me how much they loved it. I’m around half way through and totally hooked; it’s very compelling.

What the publishers say:

The best books make you see differently. This is one of them. The eye-opening new novel from Jodi Picoult, with the biggest of themes: birth, death, and responsibility.

When a newborn baby dies after a routine hospital procedure, there is no doubt about who will be held responsible: the nurse who had been banned from looking after him by his father.

What the nurse, her lawyer and the father of the child cannot know is how this death will irrevocably change all of their lives, in ways both expected and not.

Small Great Things is about prejudice and power; it is about that which divides and unites us.

It is about opening your eyes.

What the reviewers said:

‘A thought-provoking and unputdownable novel about race and prejudice that shows Picoult at her very best.’ (Woman & Home)

No book could be more timely in its message than Small Great Things . . . The story prodded me to take a good, hard look at my own biases and preconceptions (Metro)


Thursday 9 April, 8.30pm – The Binding by Bridget Collins

Cardiff Mummy Says online book club

I am a member of two book clubs and both have chosen this book to discuss. The first book club, I ended up not being able to make the meeting. The second one we’ve cancelled due to Coronavirus. I hope I finally get the chance to discuss this, as it’s an incredible read. Such a great concept and so atmospheric.

What the publishers say:

Emmett Farmer is a binder’s apprentice. His job is to hand-craft beautiful books and, within each, to capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory.
If you have something you want to forget, or a secret to hide, he can bind it – and you will never have to remember the pain it caused.
In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, row upon row of books – and secrets – are meticulously stored and recorded.
Then one day Emmett makes an astonishing discovery: one of the volumes has his name on it.

What the reviewers said:

‘Truly spellbinding … readers will sink gratefully into the pleasures of its pages … Like a wonderful meal made from a few simple ingredients: the feeling in your chest when you hold someone in your arms for the first time; the sight of a host of bluebells. In recent years, the state of the world has threatened to make us forget the simple pleasures of kisses and bluebells and thick novels that tell stories of heartbreak. Here is a book to help us remember’ (Guardian)



Thursday 16 April, 8.30pm – Messy Wonderful Us by Catherine Isaac (Simon & Schuster)

Cardiff Mummy Says online book club

A little bit of escapism is just what I need right now. I saw this in my local supermarket and something about the cover drew me in. It sounds like an emotional and uplifting book.

What the publishers say:

In late 1983, a letter arrives, containing secrets so unthinkable that it is hidden away, apparently forever.

More than three decades later, it is found . . . by the last person who was ever supposed to see it.

When Allie opens an envelope in her grandmother’s house, it changes everything she knows about her family – and herself.

With the truth liable to hurt those she loves most, she hires a private detective to find out what happened to her late mother in the summer before Allie was born. Taking leave from her job as a research scientist, she is led far from home, accompanied by her best friend Ed.

But the secrets that emerge go far beyond anything they were expecting. Now, Allie must find the courage to confront her family’s tangled past and reshape her own future.

From Richard & Judy Book club author Catherine Isaac comes the emotional and uplifting story of love, loss, friendship and a letter that changes everything.

What the reviewers said:  

‘If you want a book that’ll keep you hooked, make you cry…this is the perfect read’ (Fabulous Magazine)

‘I adored it… a gorgeous sunny setting, exploring love, friendship and the twistiest of family entanglements’ (Jill Mansell)




Thursday 23 April, 8.30pm – How To Stop Time by Matt Haig

Cardiff Mummy Says online book c;lub

I’ve been meaning to read this book for ages. The reviews have been incredible and I love following Matt on Twitter. I’m looking forward to seeing if it lives up to the hype.

What the publishers say:

How many lifetimes does it take to learn how to live?

Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old history teacher, but he’s been alive for centuries. From Elizabethan England to Jazz-Age Paris, from New York to the South Seas, Tom has seen it all. As long as he keeps changing his identity he can keep one step ahead of his past – and stay alive. The only thing he must not do is fall in love.

What the reviewers said:

“An imaginative, ambitious novel by an author with an infectious passion for history and the human condition” (Sunday Express)

“Haig writes exquisitely from the perspective of the heart-sore outsider, but at their most moving his novels reveal the unbearable beauty of ordinary life” (Guardian)



This schedule may change if I become ill, but this is the plan for the moment. Do let me know if you’d like to join in and please share with all your bookworm friends.

Follow Cardiff Mummy Says on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We might be physically distancing but let’s have some social solidarity during these strange and worrying times.

You can see all my book recommendations and reviews for children and adults on the Books section of Cardiff Mummy Says.

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1 Comment to Introducing the Cardiff Mummy Says online book club – four great books to read and discuss during the Corona crisis

  1. Cathryn I’m a long term follower of your blog but I don’t always get time to comment. I’m sorry to hear your work is drying up but please seize this moment to develop your blog! You could come up with all kinds of helpful content to keep mums going through this tough time. Also, what are you doing with your running training now the marathon is postponed? Good luck and best of health to you and your family x

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