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News from the reading group

Reading Group

We discussed the biographies we had read in May, which varied widely from a Yorkshire Daleswoman Hannah Hauxwell, to author Susan Hill, newscaster John Suchet, vet Noel Fitzpatrick, actor David Jason, and Mary Ann Walker, Jack the Ripper’s first victim! Quite a variety!

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

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Reading Group

Because the Library is closed we have not been able to pick up a set book to read during May so I took the decision to suggest we all choose a biography which we might already have on our shelf and perhaps read before and would like to read again or just recommend to our fellow members. I will report on these in our June Reading Group notes which I will send out to members at the beginning of June.

We discussed our favourite poetry in April and the poems suggested varied widely in style and content, ranging from A. E. Houseman’s “A Shropshire Lad”, Alfred Lord Tennyson’s “The Lady of Shallot” to Pam Ayres “The Crackly Packet” amongst many favourites. The following VE Day poem written by Danny Kilkullen seemed appropriate for VE Day.

Remembering VE Day 8th May 1945
75 years since the gun fire was out on mute,
No more blood spilt through battle and brute.
75 years since the agreement of surrender,
A lifetime ago but one we will always remember.
75 years since the parties began down every street,
A nation united celebrating the Nazi defeat.
75 years since the war in Europe had come to an end,
A joyous moment for all the world’s family and friend.
75 years since May 8th 1945,
Being thankful & remembering those who sacrificed their lives.
75 years since the days turned brighter,
Winston Churchill paying tribute to each brave British fighter.
75 years since red, white and blue filled each and every town.
A young princess Elizabeth danced with the people, our heir to the crown.
75 years since many turned to God, to thank him for this day,
Soldiers would begin returning after some many years away.
75 years on, Grandads still tell you their stories of war,
You can listen to it every week and it never becomes a bore.
75 years on, we stand together in another worrying time,
But as the past has taught us, the sun will once again shine.

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Reading Group

Because the Library is closed we have not been able to pick up our set book to read during May so I took the decision to suggest we all take the time we have on our hands to choose a poetry book and each pick our favourite poem which I will include in the Reading Group Notes for May. Sadly, we lost two of our members this month and of course we were not able to attend the funerals but we did think of them on the day.

Robert Browning’s poem, Home Thoughts, from Abroad, written in 1845 when the poet was visiting Northern Italy, has been voted one of the UK’s most popular poems. The speaker is clearly longing for England (which for British colonial civil servants always remained home, no matter how long they were away), and imaginatively seeing and hearing the beauty of an English spring as unsurpassed by any other. And this is still relevant today despite the problems we are experiencing; the seasons know nothing of the virus and nature continues as normal and in fact, seems to be thriving.

Oh, to be in England
Now that April’s there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England—now!
And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark, where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops—at the bent spray’s edge—
That’s the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children’s dower
— Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!

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Reading Group

Because the Library is closed we have not been able to pick up our set book to read during April so I took the decision to suggest we all take the time we have on our hands to choose a poetry book and each pick our favourite poems which I will include in the Reading Group Notes for May. For those of you on Facebook there have been one or two very touching poems such as the one below, which in time we will look back on no doubt with some sadness.

The Rainbow Children 🌈❤️
The history books will talk of now,
That time the world stood still.
When every family stayed at home,
Waved out from windowsills-
At those they loved but could not hold,
Because they loved them so.
Yet, whilst they did
they noticed all the flowers start to grow.
The sun came out, they can recall,
And windows, rainbows filled.
They kicked a football in their yards,
Until the night drew in.
They walked each day but not too close,
That time the world stood still.
When people walked straight down the roads,
That once the cars did fill.
They saw that people became ill,
They knew the world was scared.
But whilst the world stood still they saw,
How much the whole world cared.
They clapped on Thursdays from their doors,
They cheered for the brave.
For people who would risk their lives,
So others could be saved.
The schools closed down, they missed their friends,
They missed their teachers so.
Their Mams and Dads helped with their work,
They helped their minds to grow.
The parents used to worry that,
As schools were put on hold,
Their children wouldn’t have the tools,
They’d need as they grew old.
But history books will talk of them,
Now adults, fully grown.
Those little boys and girls back then,
The ones who stayed at home.
They’ll tell you that they fixed this world,
Of all they would fulfill.
The RAINBOW children building dreams,
They’d dreamed whilst time stood still

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

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Reading Group

The Reading Group is made up of a maximum of ten members. This enables time for every single person to tell us what books have been read that month. I liaise with the Hucknall Library staff to get ten copies of a set book each month for everyone to take away to read and then discuss at the following month’s meeting. After that we take turns to say what other books have been read that month. It amazes me how many books some members can read in one month! Our most recent book was ‘Life on Air’ written by David Attenborough which was a great tome of a book, quite heavy to hold and with small print, but the majority of the group thought it was “brilliant” and thoroughly enjoyed it. One member has the CD version of the book and it must have been lovely to have David Attenborough read to her!

We also occasionally attend talks put on by Hucknall Library with guest authors, which can be very enlightening. The Library also has a ‘Crime Café’ on the second Tuesday of each month, with guest speakers as well as discussions. Quite often we take their choice of set book the following month and it’s amazing how much we all love a juicy murder!

At this time of self-isolation members are reading their books then emailing their reviews to me and I will then send out the Monthly Reviews. Unfortunately we cannot do our usual “swaps” of books but I’m sure we all still have a pile of books by our bedsides waiting for us to read. The time has come folks! Get reading.

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

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