Our books of the year

Posted by Beth Pickard on

The book club at Talking Tables is a tradition that has been running for several years now and it’s always been a great opportunity for the booklovers among us to get together and celebrate our love of literature. This year we thought we’d share a roundup of our personal highlights of 2022.


William Evenden – Product developer – games

Young MungoDouglas Stuart

“My top pick was Young Mungo. Although not a sequel, it could almost be read as a spiritual successor to last year’s excellent Shuggie Bain. The novel explores another young boy trying to navigate early adolescence against a background of poverty and neglect. Unlike Stuart’s first novel, this one is structured more like a thriller and has a more propulsive plot that drives the story forward. It’s a raw, beautiful, and dramatic story filled with humour and tenderness amidst the violence and threat.”


Melanie Watt – Senior designer

 The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida - Shehan Karunatilaka

“My favourite was The seven Moons…. I loved the combination of fable, horror, comedy, philosophy, and murder mystery and will definitely be reading again.”

Astrid Martland – Senior product developer – party and lifestyle


A Little Life - Hanya Yanagihara

“While this is not a book I would recommend to others lightly, it was one of the best books I have read this year. I became invested in the characters and their stories; I particularly appreciated that I got to follow their lives over an extended time frame. While many parts were difficult to read, I feel the theme of the power of friendship woven throughout the book made it a joy to read at times.”


Clare Harris – Director & founder

Young Mungo, Lessons in Chemistry & Sea State

Douglas Stuart, Bonnie Garmus, Tabitha Lasley

“I also liked Young Mungo as thought provoking and earthy, Lessons in Chemistry for more humour, but with a message.

I enjoyed the contemporary, Aberdeen setting of Sea State… I don’t think I have read a book about life in the oil rigs before.”

We all seemed to miss the ‘point’, of Lucy Barnton by Elizabeth Strout – but I did buy another by the author as so many people recommend her. On my book pile, as yet to read, however.”


Kelsang Shakya – Customer service manager

Young MungoDouglas Stuart

“Young Mungo was a really engaging story and had some brilliant characters. As dark as the subject matter can be at times its characters are filled with warmth and heart and there are some genuinely touching moments. Like Stuart’s last book there are also moments of levity and humour. I’d definitely recommend.”



Jo Jeffery – Head of brand development

I Do Not Come To You By Chance

“I loved this book. Through the eyes of engineering student Kingsley it provides an insight into a world that affects some of us (Nigerian fraud scammers) but we really know very little of. Through Kingsley’s plight it touches on the pressure on a first-born Nigerian son to provide for his family and the unfairness of the labour market that rewards according to nepotism. If that sounds heavy, it’s very witty throughout, many of the best moments involving Kingsley’s master scammer uncle, the beautifully named Cash Daddy (he has a friend called Pound Sterling). As Kingsley gets drawn into his uncle’s world, we begin to see things aren’t that simple and sometimes the scammed are more unsympathetic than the scammers.”


Sophie Elliston – Head of sales

Lessons in Chemistry - Bonnie Garmus

“I loved Elizabeth Zott as the protagonist. An icon of female empowerment, her relationship with the dog and as a role model for her daughter. The book was beautifully written by Bonnie Garmus, and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing her speak at Cheltenham Literary Festival this year.”

It's been a great year for the club with a really diverse and interesting selection of books. Our January choice is The Trees by Percival Everett, a detective thriller that investigates the dark side of American history and its legacy of racially motivated violence. Here’s to another year of new authors and engrossing books. Happy Reading in 2023 from the Talking Tables book club.


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