Chepstow

Reading (Non-Fiction)

Convener

Alistair Wylie 0787 948 3489

Meeting
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.

Click here for group members' suggestions for books to read in future: Reading suggestions
Click here for an archive of the books we've read so far: Non-fiction archive

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
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Art Appreciation Art Club
AwayDays Badminton
Badminton Beginners Ballroom, Latin, & Sequence Dancing
Book Group Bookworms (1, 2, 3 & 4)
Bridge - Duplicate Bridge for beginners
Card Making Chess
Cinema - Drill Hall Classical Music Appreciation
Computer Group Conversation Française
Coronavirus Statistics Creative Writing
Cycling Cycling Easy Riders
Dancing In Line-Latin/Ballroom Deutsch für spaß
Discussion Group Drama
Dysgu Cymraeg Family History
Film Appreciation Flower Arranging
French Conversation French RONdezvous
Gardening Guitar
Handicrafts History
Latin Mah Jong
Meditation Natural History/Bird Watching
Norwegian Opera Appreciation
Oser Parler Français Painting & Drawing
Painting for Pleasure Philosophy
Photography Play Reading
Poetry Appreciation Psychology for Everyday Life
Reading (Non-Fiction) Real Ale Appreciation
Recorder playing Rock Music Appreciation
Scrabble Skittles
Social Bridge Spanish Beginners 1
Spanish Conversation Stress Rescue
Sunday Lunch Club Table Tennis
Taoist Tai Chi The Chepstow U3A Choir
Theatre Ukulele
Walking: Easy Walkers Walking: Hill Ramblers
Walking: The Hillwalkers Walking: The Striders 1
Walking: The Striders 2 Walking: The Strollers
Walking: The Strollers Too Walking: The Walking Weeks
Wine Appreciation Wyenotes