The Library News-December 2023

Library News

By Pat Thompson

Have you been upstairs yet to see the new look library? We are getting a lot of new books in, something for everyone’s taste. If you have been reading the Seven Sisters books, we now have the last one, kindly donated by Micheline L.  Also books by Toshikazu Kawaguchi and Satochu Yagisawa, Japanese authors donated by Sarah Jacob. (Don’t worry, they have been translated). 

Looking forward to seeing more people visiting the library at the very good price of one book for €2 or 3 books for €5.

Happy reading to you all.

The BWC library

The BWC Library

By Sheila Hewitt, Librarian

If you are new to the Club, you may not be aware that there is a well-stocked library on the first floor.  The books are primarily fiction, though there are a few non-fiction and reference books.  We have a great variety of genres, ranging from chick-lit to thrillers by well-known authors.  There are even a few classics by authors such as Jane Austen.

It is run on a self-service honesty basis, so you do not need a member of the library team to check out your books.  Borrowers must sign them out in the blue exercise book on the desk, giving the details required, and indicating that they have paid (cash box on the desk).  Please write legibly.

Charges are very reasonable:

  • new books cost €2 for 2 weeks (these are on a separate shelf)
  • other books are €1.50 for up to 4 weeks
  • DVDs are €2.50 for 2 weeks and there is a separate book on the desk to sign them out.

Donated books that we already have are put out for purchase on the downstairs windowsills, as well as on the shelves in the library entrance when there is sufficient space.  These cost €1 and again, there is an honesty box on the windowsill, or you can use the library box upstairs.

Please do not put donations on the windowsill yourself; there is a box for them in the library.

For members who cannot manage the stairs, there is a link to a simplified version of the library catalogue on the website so that you can ask your more mobile friends to collect books on your behalf.  Link:

The library is a wonderful resource so I encourage you to make full use of it.  It is a very economical way of keeping up to date with some of the latest novels.

Book Reviews for March 2023

Book Review: Westwind by Ian Rankin

By Sheila H


‘Westwind’ by Ian Rankin is NOT a Rebus novel. It was published back in 1990, after ‘Knots and Crosses’ and ‘Watchman’, however Rankin’s career had not yet taken off and the book failed to sell. He revised it and it was eventually republished in the current version in 2019.

It tells the story of a scientist called Martin Hepton, who starts to suspect that something dubious is going on at a high level after one of his colleagues spots an anomaly to do with a communication satellite, at the same time as a space shuttle crashes on its return to Earth. The colleague is then found dead in suspicious circumstances. Martin decides to find out why and ropes in his ex-girlfriend and the sole surviving astronaut. They are pursued around London and to and from Lincolnshire by people trying to prevent the truth from leaking out and it is difficult to know who to trust; are top civil servants and members of the military involved?

The style is somewhere between Michael Crichton and Dan Brown and very different to a Rebus novel, but just as much of a page-turner.


BWC Golf Update

Wet Weather & A Special Thanks to Ester

By Carol J & Barbara B


We are delighted to announce that the draw for the Spring Knockout has been completed and we have 13 ladies taking part. They can choose when to play their matches, and the first round is due to be played by 16 April.  However, the weather was not kind to golf courses in March.  It has been so wet, that many were closed. Ravenstein even requires players to carry a special plastic mat and to play each shot from this mat.

Even so, the final Winter 9-hole competition at Ravenstein was a white-out, with heavy snow followed by rain, so that the course was unplayable, even with mats.  There were 20 ladies signed up – the biggest turnout for a long time – to say goodbye to Ester MG.  Everyone had a nice lunch and then Ester was presented with three framed pen and ink drawings of Brussels done by our Lady Captain, Carol J. 

Ester is taking on the job of Sports Director for a golf club on the Costa Brava and we are hoping to organise a few Away Days there in the autumn. A big “thank you “to Ester for all her hard work as Lady Captain, for all the baked goodies she brought to competitions, and for organising the Winter Trainings and Beginners Initiation Package: the latter just weeks before she moved to Spain!

After some extremely cold weather, the rain then affected our fixtures.  Because carts and trolleys were not allowed, nobody played at Louvain-la-Neuve on 14 March.

Our AGM at the Clubhouse on 16 March went very well, with 20 out of 38 members attending the meeting.  A new member, Gosia G, has taken over organising the Winter Trainings from Ester.  Sue M has very kindly offered to follow the progress of the beginners with their Initiation Package at Louvain-la-Neuve.  We hope to be able to welcome the beginners as full members once they have passed their Brevets.  We are very grateful to Gosia and Sue for offering their time.

On 29 March, the French Ladies at the 7 Fontaines golf club entertained the BWC ladies for a Fun Format Competition.  Finally, to end March, we played 9 holes with only 3 clubs and a putter at Brabantse. This competition is sponsored by Janny Vrolijk and was to celebrate a big birthday.  Happy Birthday, Janny!

Book Reviews for December 2022

Book Reviews for December 2022



The author of The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared returns with another wild, hilarious and purely bonkers read, taking off on a madcap journey over five continents.  Meet Ole Mbatian Jr., a Maasai warrior; Kevin, his sort-of-son; Agneta, a wronged and penniless ex-wife; and Johan, an unscrupulous Stockholm ad-man whose company specializes in revenge services.  Agneta and Kevin seek revenge against Victor Alderheim, a gallery owner who has wronged them, and conveniently running into the man selling revenge services, they concoct a plan involving a goat, forged paintings, sex toys and a bag of flour.

Jonas Jonasson acts as a travel guide through time, drops in a few lessons on colonialism and art history, and pokes fun at capitalism and the art world, supplying plenty of laughs along the way.


THE DARK REMAINS by William McIlvanney and Ian Rankin

This is a well written murder novel set in early 1970s Glasgow.  The murder victim, lawyer Bobby Carter, always preferred to work for people on the wrong side of the law.  Thus there are no shortage of suspects when his body is discovered and his death seems to have been designed to spark a turf war between rival gangs.  The Investigating officers, D.C. Jack Laidlaw and D.S. Bob Lilley, make a brilliant pair.  With a few red herrings the story moves on at a good pace pushing you into conclusions that soon evaporate. This is a good enjoyable read.


THE HERON’S CRY by Ann Cleeves

This is the second book in the series by this author (Vera and Shetland). Once again we are in North Devon with Detective Matthew Venn.  He is called out to the murder of a popular doctor who has been stabbed with a piece of broken glass from a vase made by his daughter.  Then another body is found, killed in the same way.  Matthew has to tread carefully in this close-knit community where he lives with his husband Jonathan.


APRIL IN SPAIN by John Banville

When Irish State Pathologist Quirke is persuaded, by his wife, professional psychiatrist Evelyn, to take a holiday in Spain, against his better judgement he agrees.  However, once there he struggles to relax away from his usual routine, and San Sebastian is not quite what he expected.  For one thing it is raining the same as in Dublin, admittedly it is green, but the sun is not shining.

In the bar of Los Arcardas later that evening, Quirke suddenly sees a face in the twilight, a face of someone who was supposed to be dead, following a political scandal back in Ireland years ago.  Any thoughts of a peaceful holiday dissipate immediately.  After a call to a police friend, Detective Inspector St. John Strafford is dispatched to investigate.  But he is not the only one on the way to Spain.  A vicious hit man is also en route to eliminate his prey before she can tell any tales about the real reason for her disappearance.

This unusual and interesting novel is absolutely absorbing and often funny.  Definitely a Good Read.


APPLES NEVER FALL by Liane Moriarty

This fascinating and engrossing story of a seemingly successful family and their four children will have you turning page after page in an effort to discover the truth about this family saga.

Stan and Joy Delaney have four children and a successful business and seem to have everything going for them, that is, until Joy goes missing.  Not overly concerned at first, the police are eventually called and questions start to be asked.  Why wasn’t Joy reported missing sooner, was there an argument, who saw her last?  This brilliantly written story about a family with much to hide, both from themselves and their friends, is absolutely riveting and its twists and turns will keep you guessing until the very last page with its stunning, final revelation.


Book Reviews for November 2022

Book Reviews for November 2022


Better Off Dead by Lee and Andrew Child

This latest novel in the Jack Reacher series is as addictive as ever for Lee Child fans.  Reacher, walking on an empty Arizona road sees a jeep that has crashed into the only tree for miles around.  As usual, Reacher meets someone in dire need of help, Michaela Fenton, an army veteran turned FBI agent, searching for her twin brother, who might have got mixed up with very dangerous people.  In trying to find the lost brother and help his new friend, Reacher finds himself up against people so violent, that informants would rather die than reveal vital information.  Once begun, you will not want to put down this compelling and gripping novel with its complicated twists and turns and unbelievably detailed violence. But then, who would not want a “tough guy Jack Reacher” in their corner in a bad situation?


The Dream Weavers by Barbara Erskine

This is the new, gripping historical novel from the queen of timeslip historical fiction.  In 775 AD King Offa rules with ruthless ambition in the grand Saxon halls of Mercia.  Aggressive and relentlessly acquisitive, his three daughters are destined to marry advantageously in service of their country.  Eadburh, the youngest, is neither the cleverest nor the most beautiful of the three.  But, with her father’s ruthless spirit and the secret gifts passed down from her mother, she is determined to carve her own path in the world.

In 2021 Simon Armstrong has escaped to a secluded cottage on the English-Welsh borders, desperate to finish his book about King Offa. But he soon finds himself disturbed by a woman’s voice calling at night.  Simon calls in local expert Bea for help but soon she is as embroiled as he is, feeling increasingly connected to a ghostly presence that is growing ever stronger in its desire for revenge.


The Judge’s List by John Grisham

This recent John Grisham novel revolves around a serial murderer and one woman’s dedication to bringing him to justice for the murder of her father, amongst others.  She involves the Bureau of Judicial Conduct, as the man is a judge who has remained undetected by the law for many years. The judge was abused as a child and kills those that have crossed him during his lifetime.  Although you know who the murderer is from the outset, the way Grisham brings all the threads together is very cleverly done.  A page turner with a surprising ending.


Distant Lands by Santa Montefiore

Santa Montefiore once again takes us into the dramatic and often tumultuous lives of the Deverill family which she says, again, is the last in the series.

The Deverills have lost their Castle, which has now become a luxury hotel.  Writer in residence, Margot Hart is determined to make the Deverill family the stars of her new biography but to do that she needs help, that of the current Lord Deverill — JP as he his known.  He is notorious for being a recluse but Margot Hart is not one easily put off.  She decides to take herself to the home of Lord Deverill, introduce herself and see what happens.  She is surprised to be admitted and, unexpectedly, a deep friendship grows between them.  You will not want to put down this very readable book once begun.  It is a deliciously good read.





HOME STRETCH by Graham Norton

THE JANUS STONE by Elly Griffiths


THE FALLEN by David Baldacci

Book Reviews for October 2022



The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

This epic novel is set against one of the darkest periods of the Great Depression of the 1930s and the Dust Bowl era.  In this uncertain and dangerous time, Elsa Martinelli must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or go west, to California, in search of a better life for her and her children. Fearful of the future, Elsa must make the hardest decision of her life.  This is an incredible journey of survival, hope and what we do for those we love.






OLIVE, AGAIN by Elizabeth Strout


CAPITAL by John Lanchester



Book Reviews for September 2022



Monogamy by Sue Miller

This captivating and interesting novel will certainly ring a few bells with some readers and possibly raise as many questions as the book tries to answer.  When Annie’s husband suddenly dies, she is overwhelmed with grief, but takes some comfort in the fact that no-one knows the love of her life as she does.  However, this view changes when she starts to discover truths about Graham she had never considered.  Things he’d shared with others but not with her.  She is devastated and asks herself “how well can we truly know the people who love us”?  This is an engrossing good read, possibly to be read twice.




Lockdown by Peter May


This prescient, suspenseful thriller was written over fifteen years ago, set against a backdrop of a capital city in quarantine and explores human experience in the grip of a killer virus.  Sounds familiar?

London is in lockdown under martial law.  A temporary hospital is being urgently built by the River Thames to contain the thousands of victims of the flu-like epidemic.  Construction is brought to a sudden halt when a leather holdall containing the bones of a child is unearthed from the rubble.  A psychopath has been at large in the city; his mission is to take all measures necessary to prevent the bones from being identified.  But why are he and his handlers determined to go to such murderous lengths to hide the origins of the body?  DI Jack MacNeil is facing his last day on the force, his career is in ruins, his marriage is over and his son is dying from the virus.  He has only hours to prevent the killer from eliminating all witnesses to a conspiracy, whose evil effects are beyond belief.




The Autumn of the Ace by Louis de Bernieres


This novel is the last part of the trilogy about flying ace Daniel Pitts, who served with the Royal Flying Corps in the First World War and flew Lysanders for SOE into Occupied France in the Second.  It tells the story of Daniel’s extended family and friends starting in 1945 and covers the following half-century in an easy, meandering style.  Death plays a big part in the novel with much speculation about the survival of some sort of consciousness.  Daniel visits the graves of family and comrades and occasionally feels there is some sort of communion.  Love and death are themes that rarely fail to interest in a novel, and de Bernières asks good questions about both.







A GIFT FOR DYING by M.J. Arlidge

MY ONE TRUE NORTH by Milly Johnson

SISTINE HERESY by Justine Saracen


THE FOREVER GIRL by Alexander McCall Smith


We are looking for a new Library Co-ordinator! The hours are flexible, on the job training will be given and support is provided by a small, friendly team. If you are interested, please contact Caroline van Middelkoop at: