Banned books were the focus of this month. We read Maus by Art Spiegelman.
On the suggestion of one of the Book Clubbers, we read The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carre and had an interesting chat about comparisons with Bond, the perspectives of those who were alive and remembered the time and what we thought about the ending.
Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid was our September book. This fictional band documentary script gave us a lot to talk about. Some Book Clubbers loved the concept, others found it more challenging. We look forward to the television adaptation.
As many Book Clubbers had only read one of the options in the June shortlist, we decided to use August to revisit the list and discuss historical fiction more widely. It’s a genre we will return to in the future as it’s popular with many of our members.
Keen to explore a local author over the summer, we read Exit, the newest release by Belinda Bauer. Sadly, a Q&A with Belinda isn’t possible at the moment but Book Club would love to host some talks with local writers in the future after the success of our April sessions.
This month we wanted to focus on historical fiction so had a shortlist of three: The Goshawk Squadron by Derek Robinson, The Alice Network by Kate Quinn and The Last Enemy by Richard Hillary (which is a war memoir rather than historical fiction but we added it to the mix). With all three books set during war times in the twentieth century, the discussions were interesting.
We read a recent release that many other book clubs had enjoyed, The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman. Many of the group are fans of mystery and crime novels, so this was a chance to read a novel that interweaves a whodunnit with humour.
We were thrilled to win copies of Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro and The 24-Hour Cafe by Libby Page through The Reading Agency. Books were circulated to Book Clubbers to review and come along to virtual book discussions with the author Libby Page or Kazuo Ishiguro’s editor Angus Cargill in late April and early May.
Our blossoming Virtual Book Club have been reading Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo, which follows the lives and struggles of twelve very different characters. Mostly women, black and British, they tell the stories of their families, friends and lovers, across the country and through the years. If you want to join in with our monthly book club, drop us an email – hopefully we can meet up in person soon but in the meantime we’re on Zoom!
The Dig by John Preston was our first focus book in Book Club, sparking interesting conversation around the adaptation of novels into films and around writing about factual events and real people through fiction.
Remember our Virtual Book Club? We had planned to launch a real life book club this month but due to the restrictions we can’t. Until we can invite you back into the building, join us for a monthly book club on Zoom.
Our first gathering of the year will be 8pm on Thursday 28th January. Just bring along your favourite book, it could be something you enjoyed in 2020 or the best book you’ve ever read. It’s a chance for a chat and recommendations of what to read next.