Winter 2024 | Regulars

Get reading with Rotary

Get reading with Rotary

A warm welcome to the Rotary Book Club where we will travel the length and breadth of the Earth, move through space and time, solve mysteries, and laugh and cry together.

I am Becky Turner, and I am very excited about our new book club – let me tell you a little about me and the clubs that I belong to, and I’ll then explain how Rotary Book Club will work.

Unsurprisingly, I’m a Rotarian and a founding member of Kings Hill Rotary Club (KHRC). I’ve always loved reading, and some 13 or so years ago was introduced by a friend to a book club at a local library.

The experience of reading the same book as others and then discussing it was far more powerful than I could ever have imagined; it is fascinating what different people make of the same story.

I discovered authors I’d never heard of, read others I thought I’d have no interest in, and can honestly say that the experience broadened my perspective, changing the way that I read.

Becky Turner is a member of Kings Hill Rotary Club who has always had a passion for reading.

When I realised several fellow Rotarians were keen readers, I had the idea to form our own KHRC book club, which I’m proud to say turned 10 years old in May 2023. It has become a much-loved social activity and to date we have read 83 books, spanning many genres and authors. Everyone’s opinion is valued, and it’s often been the case that a book has caused us to reflect on our lives and challenge our views.

It is no exaggeration to say that being a member of a book club is a journey of discovery; not only about the subject matter of the book but also about yourself.

I’m delighted to share this wonderful activity with you all.

I can see tremendous potential to expand it in many ways, but let’s get the basics right first. Rotary Readers will evolve over time with your feedback; this club belongs to us all and I hope that you enjoy being part of it.

So, how will Rotary Book Club work?

Each edition of the magazine will announce a new book for us to read – this time, I’m releasing the first and second for those of you who like to take your time over a book or wish to borrow it from the library – you’ll always know the next two books.

Candidates for your votes for the third book are given below and your choice will be announced in the April magazine. We’ll all read the same book, and I’ll be waiting to hear your views and score out of ten either by email to I’ll then sum up everyone’s views for you to read in the next edition of the magazine. Simple!

Please send me your book recommendations for us to read and I’ll produce a shortlist of three books for you to vote between each time. You can either vote by email or on the social media pages. We will only be reading books that are also available in an audio version to make our club as inclusive as possible for those who have sight issues.

‘The Day The World Came To Town’ by Jim DeFede

Most of us will remember where we were on September 11th, 2001, and saw images we will probably never forget.

What we won’t tend to think of is what happened to the planes that were midflight at the time when US airspace was closed – where did they go?

This book tells the story of how the small community of Gander, Newfoundland, came together to look after the people on no less than thirty-eight aircraft.

A quote on the back of the book states “An inspiring true story that spotlights acts of kindness in a world shocked and saddened by unimagined violence”.

Let me know what you think! Please send me your feedback by February 15th for the April magazine.

‘The Lamplighters’ by Emma Stonex

We move from true events to a story inspired by real events. The following synopsis is from the back cover of the book:

“Cornwall, 1972. Three keepers vanish from a remote lighthouse, miles from the shore. The entrance door is locked from the inside. The clocks have stopped. The table is set for a meal left uneaten. What happened to those three men, out on the tower? Can their secrets ever be recovered from the waves?

“Twenty years later, a writer approaches the women they left behind, determined to solve the puzzle.

“Helen, Jenny and Michelle should have been united by the tragedy; instead, it drove them apart. But only in confronting their darkest fears can the truth begin to surface…”

Please let me have your feedback by May 15th for the July magazine. Let me know if you guessed the ending!

Please vote for one of the following for our third book:

  • ‘The Secret History’ by Donna Tartt – Widely considered a modern classic.
  • ’10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World’ by Elif Shafak – Profound and highly rated.
  • ‘The Madness of July’ by James Naughtie – The first Will Flemyng thriller.

Send in your vote to


Rotary Magazine