|Alistair Wylie||0787 948 3489|
On the 3rd Thursday of the month at 3pm.
We discuss non-fiction books we've recently read and would recommend. Usually we agree to read the same book over the coming month and compare impressions at the next meeting.
The next meeting is on October 21st at 3pm in the St Arvan's Memorial Hall
The book we will discuss is:
The Moth and the Mountain, by Ed Caesar
In the 1930s, as official government expeditions set their sights on conquering Mount Everest, a little-known World War I veteran named Maurice Wilson conceives his own crazy, beautiful plan: he will fly a plane from England to Everest, crash-land on its lower slopes, then become the first person to reach its summit—all utterly alone. Wilson doesn’t know how to climb. He barely knows how to fly. But he has the right plane, the right equipment, and a deep yearning to achieve his goal. In 1933, he takes off from London in a Gipsy Moth biplane with his course set for the highest mountain on earth. Wilson’s eleven-month journey to Everest is wild: full of twists, turns, and daring. Eventually, in disguise, he sneaks into Tibet. His icy ordeal is just beginning.
Wilson is one of the Great War’s heroes, but also one of its victims. His hometown of Bradford in northern England is ripped apart by the fighting. So is his family. He barely survives the war himself. Wilson returns from the conflict unable to cope with the sadness that engulfs him. He begins a years-long trek around the world, burning through marriages and relationships, leaving damaged lives in his wake. When he finally returns to England, nearly a decade after he first left, he finds himself falling in love once more—this time with his best friend’s wife—before depression overcomes him again. He emerges from his funk with a crystalline ambition. He wants to be the first man to stand on top of the world. Wilson believes that Everest can redeem him.
This is the tale of an adventurer unlike any you have ever encountered: complex, driven, wry, haunted, and fully alive. He is a man written out of the history books—dismissed as an eccentric, and gossiped about because of rumors of his transvestism. The Moth and the Mountain restores Maurice Wilson to his rightful place in the annals of Everest and tells an unforgettable story about the power of the human spirit in the face of adversity.
We have also chosen the book for the meeting on November 18th, which is
Open Secret: The Autobiography of the Former Director-General of MI5, by Stella Rimington
Stella Rimington worked for MI5 between 1969 and 1996, one of the most turbulent and dramatic periods in global history. Working in all the main fields of the Service's responsibilities - counter-subversion, counter-espionage and counter-terrorism - she became successively Director of all three branches, and finally Director-General of MI5 in 1992.
She was the first woman to hold the post and the first Director-General whose name was publicly announced on appointment. In Open Secret, she continues her work of opening up elements of the work of our security services to public scrutiny, revealing the surprising culture of MI5 and shedding light on some of the most fascinating events in 20th century history from the ultimate insider viewpoint.
Please note: The Chepstow Bookshop offer a 10% reduction on the cost of any book to read for our club. Just tell them you're a member of a U3A book club.
Contact Alistair for more details.
|Dates for your Diary|
|Thu Oct 21st||This month's book is The Moth and the Mountain by Ed Caesar|
|Thu Nov 18th||This month's book is Open Secret by Stella Rimington|