Category Archives: Reading Group

News from the reading group

Reading Group

Some of us are devouring as many books as possible during this pandemic whilst others seem to have lost their motivation! So, many thanks to those who have passed on their comments about the books they have read and let’s hope once we can get back together as a group we will hopefully become more enthused.

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Reading Group

Due to the Library closure we did not have a particular set book this month but the librarian had been helpful in that she had put together at least three sets of books which we could collect and which hopefully would cover our January, February, March reading needs. But then the next lockdown came along and the Library closed! So we have all been dipping into our own bookshelves and also have been swapping bags of books to tide us over.

I was given a book as a birthday gift which took me right back into my childhood – “Growing up in the 1950’s” by Paul Feeney. Memories of outside toilets, tin bath in front of the fire on a Sunday listening to “Sing Something Simple”, toasting fork, stone hot water bottle, fur coat and my dad’s old Army coat on the beds as extra blankets, frost on the inside of the bedroom window, bread and dripping, no telly; the list is endless. I wouldn’t want to go back to all that but people’s general attitudes and ethics would be welcomed back these days – no mobiles at the dinner table, you ate what you were given or starve, no striving for the latest clothes or gadgets; even the Teddy boys were not really as violent as they were portrayed compared to the knife wielding yobs today. The Teddy boys spent a lot of money on their draped coats and wouldn’t want to damage them! I wonder if today’s youth will look back with fond memories of present day activities and attitudes? Oh well, back to the books.

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Reading Group

The December set book was Becoming by Michelle Obama which has been reviewed by Goodreads website as follows; In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her — from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it — in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations and whose story inspires us to do the same.

I personally enjoyed the first third which covered her upbringing the most but got a bit bogged down in the rest but still enjoyed the book on the whole.

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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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