Top Picks from the Get Active Bookclub

Our Get Active bookclub is organised by Temple Bar Cultural Trust as part of their Get Active programme for the active retired. Please see for more information. This group meets each month to discuss fiction and non-fiction books that catch their fancy!

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

Rene is the concierge of a Parisian apartment building.She maintains a carefully constructed persona as someone uncultivated but reliable, but beneath the facade lies a woman passionate about culture and the arts. By turns moving and hilarious, this unusual novel became a bestseller in France.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid

At a cafe table in Lahore, a Pakistani man converses with a stranger. As dusk deepens to dark, he begins the tale that has brought him to this fateful meeting. From American dream to disenchantmemt this is a powerful and disturbing novel that lingers long after its narrative ends.

I Was Vermeer by Frank Wynne

In 1945, a small-time Dutch art dealer was arrested for selling a forgery of a priceless national treasure – a painting by Vermeer – to Hitler’s right-hand man. This riveting account of greed, hubris, excess, treason and fine art is the story of a failed artist and the greatest forger of all time.

On Canaan’s Side by Sebastian Barry

‘As they used to say in Ireland, the devil only comes into good things’. Narrated by Lilly Bere, the novel opens as she mourns the loss of her grandson, Bill. The story then goes back to the moment she was forced to flee Dublin and follows her life to the new world of America, a world filled with both hope and danger.

Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese

From the 1940s to the present, from a convent in India to a cargo ship bound for the Yemen, from a tiny operating theatre in Ethiopia to a hospital in the Bronx, this is both a richly visceral epic and a riveting family story.

The Postmistress

It is 1940, and bombs fall nightly on London. In the thick of the chaos is young American radio reporter Frankie Bard. Listening to Frankie are Iris James, a Cape Cod postmistress, and Emma Fitch, a doctor’s wife. One night the fates of all three women entwine when Frankie finds a letter – a letter she vows to deliver.

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother is a story about a mother, two daughters, and two dogs. It was supposed to be a story of how Chinese parents are better at raising kids than Western ones. But instead, it’s about a bitter clash of cultures, a fleeting taste of glory, and how you can be humbled by a thirteen-year-old.

The Island by Victoria Hislop

On the brink of a life-changing decision, Alexis Fielding longs to find out about her mother’s past. Arriving in Crete, Alexis discovers her family’s village Plaka, close to the deserted island of Spinalonga and uncovers the story of her great-grandmother Eleni, her daughters and a history of tragedy, war and passion.

If you’d like to join one of our bookclubs do sign-up for our monthly newsletter – that way you’ll be first to hear when places become available! It’s also well worth asking at your local library or other nearby community organisations as many are now running local bookclubs.

Our Stores

Cow’s Lane,
Temple Bar,
+353 1 6799206

20 Railway Road,
County Dublin
+353 1 2859633