Category Archives: Reading Group

News from the reading group

Reading Group

Our set book for October was “Commonwealth” by Ann Pratchett. Commonwealth is the seventh novel by American author Ann Patchett, published in 2016. The novel begins with an illicit kiss that leads to an affair that destroys two marriages and creates a reluctantly blended family. In a series of vignettes spanning fifty years, it tells the story of the six children whose lives were disrupted and how they intertwined. It was not to everyone’s taste; some enjoyed it, others did not.

Our set book for November was The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George which tells the story of a heart-broken bookseller who makes a journey in his bookshop-barge all the way from Paris to Provence. The protagonist in The Little Paris Bookshop, Jean Perdu, runs a ‘literary apothecary’, where books are prescribed for their medicinal properties. No matter the ailment, Perdu can find a novel to ease the pain of his customers and provide them some much-needed perspective. Who doesn’t want to read about a benevolent bookseller with a book-cure for every malady?

The December set book is ‘Becoming’ by Michelle Obama which we will review in January.

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Reading Group

This month we discussed which were our favourite books we read when we were young and these included anything by Enid Blyton, Louisa M. Alcott, H.G. Wells, Robert Louis Steven-son, amongst others.

Our set book was “Those Who Are Loved” by Victoria Hislop, which had mixed reviews. Most of us have read her other books and in the main really enjoyed them. A favourite was The Thread which also includes political division in families. Those Who Are Loved covers the time from the 1930s – The political changes. The story follows a family through this time, the division, the brutality, the fear of various political regimes including the Nazi invasion. Two of the family left home to fight for Greek freedom from oppression, which follows are harrowing stories. We thought much of the first half was a list of misery and ill treatment. It is more a book to inform, not enjoy.

Our set book for this month is “Com-monwealth” by Ann Pratchett which we will review in the next newsletter.
Just for fun, what was the strangest book you were ever given or ever read? Please contact Sandra, the group leader, using the form below:-

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Reading Group

Unfortunately this month, I thought I had sent out the Reading Group notes but I hadn’t; consequently group members didn’t know what set book to collect from the library – many apologies. The set book was to be “Those Who Are Loved” by Victoria Hislop, whose previous books we have very much enjoyed. If the library is open, then could Reading Group members please ask the librarian for this book which they have put aside for us. The set book we hope to read for November should also be available for collection – to save yourself an extra journey during these virus restrictions.

To contact Sandra, the group leader, please use the form below:-

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Reading Group

Because the Library was closed, we had not been able to pick up a set book to read during August so the suggestion was for another Classic book from our personal bookshelf. Those who chose to read a Classic again included the following books:-

Cider With Rosie – Laurie Lee; Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte; The Old Man & The Sea – Ernest Hemingway; Persuasion – Jane Austen and although not really a classic – Forever Amber – Kathleen Winsor, which was one of the first of its type many years ago.

This month, if the library is open, then we hope to read any Alan Bennett book or if not, our favourite crime writer. Reports on these next month.

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Reading Group

We discussed the Travel books we had read in June, which covered interesting places to visit in Derbyshire, Britain in general and a Bill Bryson – Down Under which covered Australia. Two other interesting books emerged; Notes on a Nervous Planet – Matt Haig – Looks at how to stay sane in an ever increasingly crazy, technological world. How our addiction to modern technology is making us anxious and affecting the quality of life we lead. There is a lot I agree with in this book, we spend too much time on computers and mobile phones, spend too much money on ‘stuff’ we don’t really need, spend too much time on social media, compare ourselves to others (enhanced digital retouched photos) which is totally unrealistic, spend too much time at work, we chase bigger and better goals, the latest holiday, a new car, a bigger house but for what? We are being propelled towards being a species of stressed and anxious humans but why? We are losing what it means to be human His book is a thought-provoking insight into present day life He is not anti-technology but looks at the ways in which it is harming us as a species and how we need, collectively to look at how we need to address this and change our behaviours. He predicts a very scary future if we continue the way we do.

Another book was Peter May’s LOCKDOWN – he wrote the book in 2005 but could not get it published until after he had his other books published. He predicted everything that has happened over the C19 pandemic. The difference was that the outbreak is confined to London and everyone is corralled behind the M25. However, he obviously could not predict the scale of what we are having to deal with today.

Because the Library was closed, we have not been able to pick up a set book to read during July so the suggestion was for another Classic book from our personal bookshelf. I will report on these in our August Reading Group notes which I will send out to members at the beginning of August.

To contact Sandra, the group leader, please use the form below:-

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