The Book Club usually meets on the 3rd Monday of the month at 4.30pm . Members take turn to host the meeting in his/her own home, where we have a discussion on the current book and choose the next one. At the moment we have only 7 members and we would welcome new ones. If interested, please send an email via the envelope symbol on this page
Our September meeting was held on 19th September at Margaret's house. We discussed The Angel Tree by Alex Dingwall-Main. It was not easy to obtain the book and therefore not read by all members. It was not a satisfying read, the author's habit of going off at a tangent, sometimes irrelevantly, proved rather irritating.
The next meeting was at Virginia's house on 17th October a and the book chosen was "Where My Heart Used to Beat" by Sebastian Faulks.
Sorry this hasn't been written up since October. However, after the Christmas break we met at Pat's home to discuss "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society". We had a lengthy discussion, everyone agreeing that it was a good read, informative, humorous, good story and very well written. The next book chosen is "The Tenderness of Wolves" by Stef Penney. We will meet on 20th February 2017 at Tony's house, usual time of 4.30.
"The Tenderness of Wolves", a superb book, beautifully written by Stef Penney was enjoyed and appreciated by us all, although one member didn't enjoy the book's setting in the Alaskan winter.
The next book chosen is "The Hare with the Amber Eyes" by Edmund de Waal, and the meeting will be 20th March at Angela's.
Apologies for the gap in Book Club news. Today, 15 May, we met at Jane's to discuss "The Girl who saved the King of Sweden". This is a book of fantasy, humour, violence and strong language. It brought out a variety of reactions, some thoroughly enjoying it, others regarding it as "rubbish" and one positively hating it. A good discussion, leading on to other related topics. The next book is "Labyrinth" by Kate Mosse and we will meet at Virginia's on 19th June at 4.30pm.
Only 5 of us present but we had good and thought provoking discussion. Verdicts on the book ranging from "great" to "rubbish". The book chosen for this month is "Fall of Giants" by Ken Follett. We also talked about reading "Conclave" by Robert Harris, his latest and just released in paperback, so may consider that for the next book. Our host on 17th July at 4.30 will be Angela.
It was decided not to have a meeting in August and therefore the next meeting will be on 18th September at Margaret's house when we will discuss "Conclave". As it is not always possible to obtain books at short notice, the books for the next two months have been chosen. October will be "River God" by Wilbur Smith and November "Keeping the World Away" by Margaret Forster.
In September we discussed Conclave, which we all found to be a very good read. It was not, at first, expected that a book about the election of a new Pope would be riveting reading, but it proved to be just the opposite. The next meeting will be hosted by Pat on 16th October.
At the October meeting we discussed River God. Several of the group could not finish the book as the description of the cruel and savage torture and killing was too sickening for our civilised stomachs to deal with. Those who did finish the book all said that there was a very good story there. Most of us had enjoyed Wilbur Smith's African books, but the Egyptian series were not for the faint-hearted. The next meeting will be hosted by Virginia on 20th November to discuss "Keeping the World Away". It was agreed that we would not have a meeting in December and the meeting on 15th January will be at Maureen's and meantime the chosen book is "Mothering Sunday" by Graham Smith.
We had a very enjoyable meeting hosted by Angela on 17th September. We discussed the chosen book Travels with my Aunt by Graham Greene. We all agreed that we enjoyed the book ‘in parts’, and especially the way it was written, fantastic as his aunt’s exploits were.
Next month’s book is Diplomatic Baggage by Bridgid Keenan and the meeting will be hosted by Margaret on 15th October .
We also chose the book for November - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night by Mark Haddon.
Everyone enjoyed the book - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night was enjoyed by all and was found to be very informative with regards to autistic children and the way they think. The meeting was hosted by Rosemary
Other books that have been read are Snow on Cedars which is beautifully written and a must read It was interesting reading about the affect the bombing on Pearl Harbour had on the Japanese people in America at that time The Hundred Old Man who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared was hilariously funny and light hearted On the other hand Wild Swans with over 500 pages was not a light read but well worth reading; giving details of the lives of three generations of Chinese women during the change to communism
Me before You by JJ Moyes was a moving fictional story tackling the issue of assisted dying and the impact this has on loved ones. Other books read include Goodbye to All That by Enest Hemingway and Fools and Mortals Many more books have been read since and our latest chosen book is The first Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North which we will discuss on the 20th May 2019 hosted by Margaret
Thank you Margaret for being a wonderful host as usual Most did not read all the book (the first fifteen lives of Harry August as it was found to contain torture scenes which were to explicit and perhaps in hindsight the book was not suitable Being more of a Sifi thriller similar to Stephen King Tony and I finished reading the book and found it interesting and different from what we have read before However it is not a book I would pick up and read again Our next book is any book written by Tom Hardy and we will compare our experiences of reading our book of choice at our next meeting on the 17June. Thank you Pat for agreeing to host and I trust you will have lots of interesting news of Australia
The chosen book Juke of the Obscure was discussed at our meeting on the 17th June I think in general most of us enjoyed reading this book but found some characters frustrating. iIt was difficult to finish the book due to small print and number of pages The language is very different being old English used in Dorset/Somerset and an explanation of words proved very useful at the back of the book. Our next meeting is on Monday 15 July at either Rosemary's or Jane’s and the chosen book is Trustee from the Toolroom by Nevil Shute
Everyone enjoyed reading Trustee from the Toolroom by Nevil Shute and commented on how nice helpful and polite each charter was We, as readers wondered if there was some connection between the main character and Nevil Shute as both had interests in mechanical engineering Thank you Jane for hosting our meeting. It was agreed the next book would be Washington Black by Efi Edugjan and our next meeting will be held at Angela”s on the 19th August
Only a small group attended the meeting held on the 19th August at Angela”s but those who read the book all agreed that it was a really good read The book relates to an 11 year old boy born into slavery and how he manages to become a freeman The book also covers the farm owners who had slaves and their family background The kindness of some and cruelty of others Our next book is Beloved by Toni Morrison and the meeting is to be held at Angela”s on the 16th September
Everyone had an enjoyable meeting at Angela”s house. Nobody said they had enjoyed reading “Beloved” by Toni Morrison The book hopped about to much and most did not finish the book It was decided that a list of books should be compiled and these are as follows
The Offing by Ben Myers suggested by Jane
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin suggested by Margaret
The Old Man of the Sea by Ernest Hemingway suggested by Tony
War of the Wolf by Bernard Cornwell suggested by Tony
A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalier suggest by Angela
The next meeting is at Pat”s on the 21st October at 4.30. New members welcome. The book we are reading is a Pride and Prejudice as there is a problem obtaining The Offing
We had a lovely meeting at Pat’s on the 21st October where we discussed Pride and Prejudice. Most of the group had read this book before but were happy to have read it again and renew their enjoyment Two of the group did not enjoy the book and it was interesting to hear all comments The next book to be read was The Old Man of the Sea by Earnest Hemingway which is a small easy read book as many of the group have trouble finishing a book of 300 pages plus The meeting will be held at Margaret’s on the 18th November
Thank you Margaret for hosting the meeting on the 18th November. You make a great cup of tea. So much so we have a second cup. We discussed The a old Man of the Sea and everyone agreed they enjoyed the good. The book itself was short and could be read in about two and a half hours. However the book was beautifully written and you almost felt you wherein the boat with the old man fighting to land his enormous fish The struggle was tremendous and the respect he showed for the fish was great. It’s a shame he had only the skeleton to show after the sharks had had their fill He did win the respect of his fellow fishermen and earned his rank within the fishing community as a good fisherman
The next book to be read is the War of the Wolf by Bernard Cornwall and our next meeting is at Angela,s on the 20th January Merry Christmas and happy new year to everyone
Thank you Angela for hosting the book club meeting. Most of us read the War of the wolf but not everyone liked the book due to the graphic portrayal of the violence of battles. Personally I enjoyed the book and although the writer describes battles; there is also some humour incorporated in the story The next book is A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalier recommended by Angela and the next meeting is on the 17th February at Pat’s
We had an enjoyable meeting at Pat’s and thank you Pat for hosting this meeting. Most members had had trouble obtaining the book “A Single Thread” so not everyone had read the book including myself (Thank you Tony for giving me your copy) so is was hard to discuss the story without spoiling the reading for others. Most of those who read the book said it was not her best writing and were therefore disappointed in the book Pat suggested that we all recommended a book to read for our future meetings which was a very good idea as we often struggle to decide which book to read so the following was decide
March -The Offing by Benjamin Myers with th meeting being at Jane”s on the 16th March at 4.30pm
April -The Far Country by Neville Shute
May - Requiem for a Wren by Neville Shute
June - The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
July - The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul by Deborah Rodriguez
September - The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
October - Hurst - Robin Crumby
Only two other people made the meeting at Jane’s on the 16th March. Jane was a very welcoming host and even provided wine with our biscuits. Thank you Jane. Because of the lockdown we are not meeting at each other’s houses but are continuing to read and review our chosen books. Although most have read the Offing now our opinion was not favourable with the storyline becoming tiresome and petering out The characters where not believable and the writer had not researched the background of the story Not a book to recommend to a friend
Our next book is The Far Country by Neville Shute and I look forward to your reviews as the last Neville Shute book we read was enjoyed by all Shall we aim for the 20th of April as a deadline
No one had read the chosen book The Far Country by Neville Shute but some had read the book previously and enjoyed the story A comment was made that this book was Neville Shute’s best work and been reread a number of times and always enjoyed Our next book is Requiem for a Wren by Neville Shute and our review on this book will be on the 19th May
Everyone who read Requiem to a Wren enjoyed the book but it was ver much a book of its time and typical of many books written by Neville Shute. An interesting story incorporating local history of the NewForest during WW2 and the life of a Wren during those times
During June the selected book to read was The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. I must say I struggled with this book and very nearly gave up a number of times wondering why and what purpose the story had. I believe others in the book club felt the same way In conclusion the book was poetically written by lacked a story and strength of the characters involved. It even lacked any cultural background. Not a book that recommend to other readers.
Our next book for July was The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul by Deborah Rodriguez was as the title suggests set in Kabul during difficult times and centres around 5 principle women characters of very different backgrounds. The little coffee shop is a central meeting point of the characters which manages to stay open during times of conflict. The writer had good knowledge of the area and restrictions placed on people residing in Kabul. It offers an insight to their lives and religious beliefs and their consequences of going against these beliefs. However the writer seemed to have little knowledge of life in England during those times. Everyone who read this book enjoyed and would recommend it to others.
The U3A closes all clubs until September and our chosen book for September The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes. Just a reminder that the AGM is on the 9th September at Lyndhurst Community Centre. See You then
We had a lovely meeting on the 21st September in the garden and luckily the weather was good We discussed the book Hurst by Robin Crumby who is a local writer. Many could not obtain the book and as such had not read it. I managed to get hold of a copy but had only read 73 pages so was not sure if I liked the read or not However continuing to read the book I found I could not put it down as every chapter left you on a cliff hanger making you want to read more to find out what happened to the various characters in the book. I will certainly be buying the 2 follow on books. I would not say that the book is well written and I found the beginning a bit disjointed. Our next book is the Children of the New Forest and we will be discussing this at our next meeting (Yet to be decided)
Following the government announcement of no more that 6 people can meet up outside at one time and our book club has 8 members it may be difficult for us all to meet up. Also with the weather changing it might be impossible to meet in the garden. We are looking to see if we can hold zoom meeting. We are also investigating the use of a room at St Michaels church and I will update you when I have further information. Please note that the U3A monthly meeting scheduled for the 14th October has been cancelled.
Although the meeting was cancelled for October some members managed to read children of the New Forest and many remembered reading this book previously Most found the book charming having been written in the 1800's about evens 200 years previous As such in language is very old English It is about survival of children in the new forest and the simple lives they led after a privilege upbringing. Their survival was helped by the guidance of kind and knowledgeable adults In comparison our next book 'Lord of the Flies' was about the survival of a group of boys stranded on a remote island after a plane crash No adults survived and therefore the boys where left to their own resources The election of a natural leader and then the challenges presented to him in trying to organise working parties to carry out various duties within the camp was perhaps the cause of him becoming out of favour when children just want to play and have fun. The book had a very poignant message about what can happen without rule and order Angela commented that she wondered what would have happened had these been girls. Worth a thought. Enjoyed reading both books but found Lord of the Flies quite sinister and shocking Our next meeting will be the 16th November and on Zoom unless rules change
Update of St Michaels Church was the original cost was to be £20 however this later went up to £30 so I do not think this is a viable option considering only 6 can meet
Everyone has been busy reading even though they are reading different books Tony has read A Suitable Boy and though it is a long read has recommended it to the group. Angela read Troubled Blood and has recommended this book. I have bought both and read Troubled Blood (this being a shorter read) before I tackle A suitable Boy Troubled Blood is about the developing relationship between Strike and his assistant Robin whilst working together in a. Detective agency There are often a number of cases to be solved but one main one which seems impossible to resolve. Obviously they solve the mystery and receive their just credit All this while they juggle with their personal life’s problems which draws Strike and Robin closer
A number of recommendation were put forward but our next read is The Salt Path and we will be discussing this book on the 15th February at 4pm on zoom.
We have also had two chat meeting on zoom which everyone enjoys and we put the world to right and catch up with local news The following are a list of chosen books
February The Salt Path. Raynor Winn
March. Let me tell you about a man I knew. Susan Fletcher
April. Small Pleasures Claire Chambers
May. Girl, Women, Other. Bernadine Evaristo
June. Agent Zig Zag. Ben MacIntyre
July. The Christmas Train. David Baldacci
August. Clock Dance. Anne Tyler
September. On the Beach. Neville Shute
We discussed the book "The Salt Path" at February zoom meeting and although the book was interesting by the fact that most readers had visited the locations mentioned and it was amazing how people can overcome what life throws at them the actual writing was more a documentary/diary of events Apparently there is a second book due to be publish
In March we read "Let me tell you about a man I knew" by Susan Fletcher Some had read this book or listened on Audio books This book may translate better depending on who is reading the book. I thought I may have learnt more personal details about Van Gough but he played only a small role in this love storey It is worth a read though
In April we managed to meet outside at Angela's house and we all sat around a fire pit There was just the 4 of us and we welcomed a new member, Linda Rush. Thank you Angela for hosting this meeting We discussed many things, not all related to books and it was more like enjoying getting back to normal. The book under discussion was small pleasures. I think all that read this book enjoyed it
Linda kindly invited us to Northerwood House for the next meeting in May and the book under discussion was Girl, Women, Other. Thank you Linda for the lovely sandwiches and cake which we all enjoyed very much. The weather was not to accommodating us to enjoy the rooftop garden but Linda's hospitality made up for this. I don't think everyone read this book and those that did did not enjoy it
I hosted our June meeting and the book under discussion was Agent Zig Zag which is a true story of a double agent during world war II I think it takes a special person with nerves of steel to be able to act in this way. However his loyalty showed through in the end and it was an interesting read I'm not sure if you met this person you would like him but then again he may just win you over with his charms. He certainly seems to have done this with many female companions
Pat is hosting our next meeting on July 19th at 4pm and the book under discussion is the Christmas Train
We did not meet in August as most members are on holiday but we did meet up in September at Betty's house However there where only the 3 of us. We discussed which books from the many that had been read since book club started, we enjoyed reading and why Surprisingly we chose the same books
We arrange to meet in October and November but unfortunately for one reason or another were unable to meet up
Our next meeting will be on Monday 20th December at Pat's subject to nothing going wrong We will discuss Becoming by Michelle Obarma. Other suggested books are Solar by Ian Ewan, The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Leferri, Woman on the Green Bicycle by Monique Roffey, The gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng, Truckers by Terry Pratchett and Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell.
We did not meet up for some time due to not everyone being available and worries about covid. Our next meeting was in January and was hosted by Pat who always makes us feel so welcome We discussed Becoming by Michelle Obarma and I think most of us enjoyed reading about her life and living in the White House In the book it became quite clear that her children were very important to her and she endeavoured to raise awareness to a number of causes It was also made clear that she did not share the same passion for politics as her husband the next meeting is on the 21st February at Linda's at 4pm and the book we will be discussing is "The Late Train to Gipsy Hill" recommended by Linda Happy reading everyone
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