13th September 2020
Update. - not enough group members said they could attend on Tuesday so I’m afraid its not on..please do pick up the book for next time, cross fingers as you do. I am thinking a WhatsApp group would be interesting. If you’d like to be included please let me have your mobile number. We could share any news and keep in touch that way.
We may not be able to hold our meeting as planned as the new rules say we can’t meet in groups greater than 6. I’ve tried to convince the library we are an educational group, which we are, but they say we’re categorised as a social group. I’m waiting to see how many people want to attend. In any case I’d encourage people to think positively and hope that all be well next month, the new reading book is available so please collect it ready to discuss then.
31st August 2020
Over the last few months our group has been using Zoom to stay in touch but at last we can meet together in the library in Washington town centre. Our first meeting has been scheduled for September 15th at 10.00. We will be able to collect new books provided by the library service. The books are quarantined before being handed out . It will be great to see as many members as possible. If youve never been before, now might be a good time to start, just turn up on the day
29th July 2020
I’ve had a message from the library service concerning the restarting of our group at the library rather than via Zoom. I have contacted all current members of the group asking for their views. If you would like to join our group could you let me know please and I’ll add you to my list. Looking forward to getting back to some sort of normal soon. The library has said they will begin reallocation of books in September.
In the meanwhile, if you have a library reading book please return it , there is a book drop box by the door, you don’t have to go in.
6th July 2020
What lies between us was pretty well liked but as usual some of the characters were less than appealing. Everyone finished it which is a good sign
The libraries are supposed to be opening for click and collect on 13th JUly so I’ll speak to them about getting reading group books soon. In the meantime I thought a memoir would be good. For various reasons we decided on
The Scarlett Sisters by Helen Batten. 99p on Kindle
We’re leaving a bit longer between our meetings as lock down has eased so people may well be busier. Our next Zoom will be Monday 3rd August at 11.05.
As always everyone is welcome. If you need details please contact me.
All the best
22nd June 2020
6 people met up remotely this week which is great. We had been reading Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
It was a pretty interesting 40 minutes or so. I really enjoyed the book but the title character had annoyed some of the group. I think the reader had to keep on to the end to discover why Queenie is as self destructive as she is. We acknowledged that because Queenie is a young black woman, we had not had her experiences in life. It was a very interesting and enjoyable discussion with everyone contributing and expressing their views, just as it should be.
Our next book is What lies between us by John Marrs which we bought for Kindle and is promising to be another interesting read.
We will be meeting on Zoom on July 6th at 11 o’clock to discuss it. Message me for details if you wish to join in.
I’d like people to think about the way forward when lockdown eases. We can I assume get books provided by the library fairly soon. We can then decide to continue to meet remotely as now or think about physical meeting when its safe.i know some don’t feel safe and prefer to meet online, others don’t like the online format but may still not want to meet in the library.
Not my decision so we’ll have to see.
6th June 2020
Another good meeting this morning. Our next meeting will probably be 22nd June at 11.00. If you’d like to join us please message me for the sign in details. We are looking into buying a cheap book that no one has read from Amazon to discuss another time. If you’d like to recommend anything please contact me and I’ll put it to the group.
Recommendations this month are as follows
The Bone Garden - Tess Geritson
A walk in the woods - Bill Bryson
Heaven and Earth - Frederick Raphael
In Order to Live - Yeomi Park
The Sudden Appearance of Hope - Claire North
Also - The End of the Day, Touch
Murder in Stained Glass - Margaret Armstrong
The mirror and the light - Hilary Mantel
Such a fun age - Killy Reid
The wayward Girls - Amanda Mason
Becoming - Michelle Obama
The Bee Keeper of Aleppo -Christie Lefteri
Educated - Tar Westover
Miss Austen - Gill Hornsby
Susan Gray has volunteered to prepare a quiz for a change. I’m only worried I can never remember who wrote what but do you think it would be interesting? We can discuss it next meeting.
We had our first Zoom meeting and it went well I think, one or two teething troubles but a good catch up. We will be doing this again - watch this space for details.
We talked about book recommendations and I really enjoyed that. I jotted down the what people suggested. Apologies if Ive missed any thing out. I was listening and writing at the same time, multitasking in lockdown!! This is the list, I haven’t included the person who recommended it
The Bad Fire- Quintin Jardine
The Mirror and the Light - Hilary Mantel
This is going to hurt - Adam Kay
‘Twas the night shift before Christmas- Adam Kay
The other Bennet sister - Janice Hadlow
Charlotte - Helen Mofffet
The Austen girls - Lucy Worsley
Little Disasters - Sarah Vaughan
The Millstone- Margaret Drabble
The Other Hand - Chris Cleave
Without you there is no us - Suri Kim
The first 15 lives of Harry August -Claire North
Big Brother - Lionel Shriver
Down among the dead - Damion Boyd
Also on the lists were books by Tess Geritsen and Mark Billingham
Thank you to all who joined in. I know Ive missed some suggestions, if you let me know I’ll edit the list
Pre Shutdown Information
Our group meets on the 3rd Tuesday of the month downstairs in Washington library. Occasionally it may be changed so please check each month. We meet at 10.00
We have a friendly group who get the chance to comment on the book we have read but there is no pressure to speak out if you’d rather not. We are given a book each month by the library team and again while of course we would like you to read it, there is no pressure to read it to the end if you hate it. Life is definitely too short. Please just come along to hear what is being said and join in if you feel you’d like to
I couldn’t attend the last meeting but as our book had been Without You There is no Us by Suri Kim set in North Korea Susan Gray was the ideal person to oversee the discussion as she recently visited the country. I am told it was a very interesting meeting with much discussion about the regime and what we learned from Suri Kim’s account of teaching in a university. She is in fact a journalist but pretended to be a Christian doing out reach work. I found it fascinating and it reminded me, not that i need reminding, how precious our freedom is. Susan I gather talked about her visit and afterwards forwarded a list of books that she read after returning. I have included that list on the next page. There was also some discussion about whether the format should be changed.. The consensus seems to be a general satisfaction, if there is anything that anyone is dissatisfied with I hope they will free to speak about it to the others, we’re a friendly group and will listen . I’m always saying this is not my group, I just do the paperwork..
Our next book is very different - According to Yes by Dawn French. We meet on he 18th February,
I really enjoyed our discussion of Do No Harm. There was a lot to say and although it was quite a small group this time, everyone contributed. We decided not to meet in December as its very near Christmas and thought many wouldn’t turn up. Our next meeting will be on January 22nd. The book is Without You There is No Us by Suri Kim. Ther are still copies at the library if you ask at the desk.
Ive been asked if anyone who has a reading group book from previous months if you could return them as quickly as possible as its becoming difficult for the librarians to get enough copies of some books to distribute to the many groups they have to look after. They’d be very grateful. I’ve seen the grid they work from and it must be a nightmare..
I mentioned to the group that someone who has now left had hoped for a social side to the group. It’s not something I want to organise but there’s no reason at all why members can’t arrange coffee afterwards. There’s no shortage of places to go.