Cheshunt

BOOK CLUB - Group 1

For further details of Group 1's next meeting please see Carol at the Information Table at our monthly meeting or give her a call.

Contact details: Carol Hill : 01992 302722

As we already have two successful book clubs in Cheshunt U3A, it is clear that many of our members love a good read and also love meeting regularly to chat about what they have read. In the “Reading for Pleasure group” we each take it in turns to choose the book we discuss each month. Sometimes we love the book, sometimes we don't - but we always have a good conversation and we all agree that we have read and enjoyed books that we would never have chosen to read, had they not been recommended by other members.

If, like us, you love reading and enjoy a chat about books and other things, followed maybe by coffee or lunch or something, don't be disappointed if you find there are no places in the existing two groups. Why not set up a third book club? We will give you loads of help and support in getting things started, and the libraries are always very pleased to see us!!

The last book we read was Silas Marney by George Eliot. Many of you will have read this book at school as had some of our group. This beautifully written story of a simple linen weaver has a slow start, but emerges into a heartwarming tale of hope and redemption and the power of human love. This is the shortest of Eliot's books and is well worth reading for the first or second time.

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DECEMBER 2018
At our December meeting we looked back at the twelve books we read during the year. Our top choice was The Cleaner of Chartres. This was our most recent book and was enjoyed by everyone. The author, Sally Vickers is a writer of much imagination and vividly describes the wonders of Chartres Cathedral Her heroine is Agnes Morel, a beautiful, quiet and unassuming woman. Brought up by nuns she can now be found cleaning the cathedral each morning. Her story is one of love and tragedy and the strength of the human spirit.
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and Salmon fishing in the Yemen, by Paul Torday shared second place and Stephen King's The Green Mile was our third choice. We all agreed that we have had a happy and varied year of reading.

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SEPTEMBER 2018
This month we read “Don't stop me now” by Colleen Coleman. If you want a book for the beach or a sunny afternoon in the garden this is the one for you. With a PhD under her belt Poppy has no job, no relationship and has returned home to live with her mother and step father. This debut novel is full of wit and intelligence. Poppy is an endearing character and it is a delight to see how she overcomes her many problems. This is so much more than a chick lit novel. We are treated to some very thought provoking ideas. A good read.

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AUGUST 2018
This month we read The Sapphire Widow, by Dinah Jefferies. Louisa Reeve is a beautiful young woman happily married to good looking and charming Eliot who trades in sapphires. The couple live a charmed life in their colonial mansion in Ceylon in 1935. However, Eliot dies suddenly and Louise is left to solve the mystery of her husband’s other life and to endure the consequences. This is a well written and highly descriptive novel, but the storyline is very predictable, leaving the reader with few surprises. Sadly our group gave it the thumbs down. However, some of us had read The Teaplanters Wife by the same author and assured us that this is well worth reading as are the many other books by Dinah Jefferies.

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JULY 2018

This month we read Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, a debut comedy novel by Paul Today. Although written as a comedy there is a tragic underside to this story. Dr Alfred Jones, a civil servant at the National Centre for Fisheries Excellence is a shy, academic man living in a loveless marriage. An offer by a rich Yemen Sheikh to fund a scheme to introduce salmon fishing into the desert wadis of his country with Scottish salmon is initially dismissed as impossible by Dr Jones. However, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office are eager to spend the Sheikh's money and lend support to the scheme and Dr Jones begins to believe that salmon fishing in the Yemen could become a reality. The story is written in the form of letters, interviews and newspaper articles. Surprisingly this works very well. Altogether a very good read.

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APRIL 2018
For the April meeting the group read "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley. Written in the 1930s this describes a future when all children are created artificially, and programmed from before birth to be happy with their place in society; all problems can be solved by taking a wonder drug "soma" and personal relationships are forbidden as "everyone belongs to everyone else". The book provoked keen discussion in the group about the importance of free will, whether the consumer society was a good or bad thing and the purpose of life without any challenges or difficulties to be overcome. Surprisingly easy to read it certainly proved very accurate about some aspects of present day society, but failed to imagine, for example, computers or the effects of the Pill. So thought-provoking indeed that discussion continued over lunch in the pub!

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MARCH 2018

Leah Fleming is a much loved and prolific author. She was born in Lancashire and emigrated to Yorkshire. This month we read her book “The Postcard”. On his deathbed Melissa's father begs her to research the source of a postcard. She embarks on a long and far reaching journey and the reader is drawn into a complex story. Our Reading Group was very critical of this book and we found much to talk about.

For those of you who have young grandchildren (ages 5 to 11) to entertain over the Easter hols, it may give you a couple of hours peace if you take them to the Cheshunt Library on April 10th between 10.30am and 12 where they can learn to make puppets.

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JANUARY 2108

At our first meeting of the year, we kicked off with Monsoon Summer by Julia Gregson. This story is predominantly set in India in the late 1940s when the country had newly acquired independence.
Kit, a midwife in training, marries Anto, a trainee Indian doctor, and they begin married life in a troubled India.
Kit faces prejudices of every sort firstly from her mother in law and then when she joins a women's hospital as a midwife. We are given an insight into the world of Indian women as they cope with married life and motherhood and of an India that is corrupt and struggling with new found freedom. An excellent book.
We looked back at twelve months of reading and decided that the book we enjoyed most is The Reader on the 6.27, by Jean Paul Didier Lauren and chosen by Jean Wardrop. This and many, many more books can be borrowed from Cheshunt Public Library.

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NOVEMBER
This month we read “One Good Turn”, by Kate Atkinson. Set in Edinburgh during the Festival people queuing for a lunchtime show witness a brutal road rage incident that changes the lives of those involved. Plot wise this is a challenging book, but the humour that is generated by the various characters make it an enjoyable read.

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Cheshunt Library is open at the following times: Monday and Tuesday 9am to 6pm. Wednesday closed. Thursday 9am to 5.30pm. Friday 2pm to 5.30pm and Saturday 9am to 4pm. Please use it or lose it.

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October
William Trevor, Irish novelist, playwright and short story writer, was one of Ireland foremost authors. This month we read Trevor's "Fools of Fortune", a book about a Protestant Irish family drawn into a conflict between Irish Republicans and the British Army. This is a tale of love, courage and murder and of the futility of revenge.
Not everyone in our group enjoyed this book finding it disjointed and in places incoherent. However I recommend it as a beautifully crafted story and one that will inspire an interest in the troubled history of Ireland.

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This month (August) we read “A Year of Marvellous Ways”, by Sarah Winman. Marvellous Ways is in her ninetieth year and for most of her life has lived alone in a remote Cornish Creek. Drake, a young soldier, meets Marvellous and an enduring bond is formed between them leading to unusual revaluations. This is a magical story and beautifully written, however most of our group found the style irritating and the prose overly descriptive. If you like something different this is the book for you.
On October 10th between 11am and 1pm, Cheshunt Library is holding a Health Event. Make this the date you change your library books; it should be interesting and informative.

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Did you know you can join your local library online? Go to www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/libraries and choose Online library services. A whole new world will open up for you.

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In August we read a book by the great man himself, Thomas Hardy. The “Mayor of Casterbridge” is Hardy's most loved novel and my personal favourite. This is the story of a man who famously sells his wife at a country fair and then rises to become Mayor of Casterbridge. However, the past catches up with him and he lives to regret his earlier mistakes as he descends into oblivion. A great book.
Did you know you can borrow a book from any Hertfordshire library and return it to a different branch? So next time you are in Hoddesdon, visit their excellent library, borrow a book and return it to Cheshunt library. So easy!

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In June we read 'A tap on the Window'', by Linwood Barclay. Linwood Barclay is an American born Canadian who has written thirteen thrillers and is an international bestseller. His books are scattered with colourful characters and his plots are full of intrigue and suspense.

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We had an interesting meeting in May as we each brought along a book we had enjoyed since we last met. There was a good variety of books and amongst those talked about were “Granchester” by James Runcie, “At the edge of the Orchard” by Tracy Chevalier, “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens and “Knowledge of Angels” by Jill Paton Walsh.
Did you know that you can borrow up to 30 books from your local library? You can keep them for 3 weeks at a time and renew books up to 4 times as long as they are not reserved for another reader. So make use of your local library; it’s there for you.

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April 2017 we read George Orwell's 'Down and out in Paris and London.' Orwell's style of writing is plain speaking and yet he gives us a graphic picture of his experiences among the poorest and most disadvantaged people in Paris and London in the 1930s. Many of the situations of which he writes are alien to us but we still understand and visualise his many characters and vividly descriptive stories. A good read.
At our December meeting we reviewed the twelve books we have read during 2016. The most enjoyed books were “The Beginners Goodbye” by Anne Tyler, “Notes from a Small Island” by Bill Bryson, “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck, “The Pursuit of Love” by Nancy Mitford and “Without a Trace” by Lesley Pearce. All of these books may be borrowed from Cheshunt public library.

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The Reading Group, with help from two members of the Quiz Group, took part in a Herts Network Quiz at Chorleywood. This was a large undertaking with 174 people taking part in teams of six. Chorleywood must be congratulated on the organisation of a very enjoyable afternoon. No, we didn't win; we came 17th out of 29, however we had a lot of fun!

More Group Pages
*BOLIVIA/CANASTA* AFTERNOON TEA + QUIZ ALMOST LOOSE WOMEN ALMOST LOOSE WOMEN GROUP 2
ART APPRECIATION AWAY DAYS BADMINTON AND TABLE TENNIS BIRD WATCHING
BOARD GAMES AFTERNOON BOOK CLUB - Group 1 Canasta/Cribbage Chess
CHRISTMAS & SUMMER EVENTS COMPUTERS FOR ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS CONCERTS CRAFT - CARDS
CRIBBAGE CURRY CLUB CYCLING GROUP - CHESHUNT & WARE U3A eBuddy Project
Excercise - Keep Fit EXPLORING LONDON 1 EXPLORING LONDON 2 EXPLORING LONDON 3
Exploring London 5 EXPLORING LONDON GROUP 4 FAMILY HISTORY GARDEN VISITS
LINE DANCING MODEL MAKING MOTO (Members on their own) MUSIC in the AFTERNOON
MUSICIANS all that Jazz New Members Group OUT TO LUNCH PHOTOGRAPHY
RETAIL THERAPY RUMMIKUB SAILING SATURDAY/SUNDAY LUNCH GROUP
SCUBA DIVING FREE TRY DIVE SEW KNIT PATCH & CHAT SHORT MAT BOWLS SINGING FOR FUN
SOCIAL HISTORY SPANISH TAI CHI TAP DANCING
THEATRE GROUP WALKING FOOTBALL WALKS - MORNING WALKS - SHORT
WATERCOLOUR & OTHER MEDIUMS WATERCOLOURS WHITE WATER RAFTING
More Group Pages
*BOLIVIA/CANASTA* AFTERNOON TEA + QUIZ
ALMOST LOOSE WOMEN ALMOST LOOSE WOMEN GROUP 2
ART APPRECIATION AWAY DAYS
BADMINTON AND TABLE TENNIS BIRD WATCHING
BOARD GAMES AFTERNOON BOOK CLUB - Group 1
Canasta/Cribbage Chess
CHRISTMAS & SUMMER EVENTS COMPUTERS FOR ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS
CONCERTS CRAFT - CARDS
CRIBBAGE CURRY CLUB
CYCLING GROUP - CHESHUNT & WARE U3A eBuddy Project
Excercise - Keep Fit EXPLORING LONDON 1
EXPLORING LONDON 2 EXPLORING LONDON 3
Exploring London 5 EXPLORING LONDON GROUP 4
FAMILY HISTORY GARDEN VISITS
LINE DANCING MODEL MAKING
MOTO (Members on their own) MUSIC in the AFTERNOON
MUSICIANS all that Jazz New Members Group
OUT TO LUNCH PHOTOGRAPHY
RETAIL THERAPY RUMMIKUB
SAILING SATURDAY/SUNDAY LUNCH GROUP
SCUBA DIVING FREE TRY DIVE SEW KNIT PATCH & CHAT
SHORT MAT BOWLS SINGING FOR FUN
SOCIAL HISTORY SPANISH
TAI CHI TAP DANCING
THEATRE GROUP WALKING FOOTBALL
WALKS - MORNING WALKS - SHORT
WATERCOLOUR & OTHER MEDIUMS WATERCOLOURS
WHITE WATER RAFTING