'Chapter & Verse' News 2009

Winter 2009 News

The joy of belonging to a Book Club is not only being able to meet at regular intervals to swap views and expressions in relaxed surroundings, but also to be exposed to such a variety of stories, some of which you would never choose yourself but which turn out to be such a fascinating read

Our September book “Notes from an Exhibition” by Patrick Gale was very well received. The presentation was unusual as it started with the death of the main character – an artist – followed by the story of her life gradually revealed retrospectively by connecting each important episode concerning her family with a piece of art being displayed. The artist’s struggle with Bi-polar Disorder was perceptively dealt with and provoked much discussion on the nature of mental illness. The story was set in far west rugged Cornwall and beautifully described.

Many of us had not encountered Patrick Gale before and this was so enjoyable we were encouraged to read more.

In October we tackled “Darwin’s Garden” by Michael Boulter which had been postponed from June. The book went into some detail regarding Darwin’s experiments, describing his ‘eureka’ moments, his relationships with his fellow scientists of the time who were all intent on pushing the boundaries of Knowledge and it gave a warm insight into Darwin’s family life in the Kent countryside. The last part of the book supplied the missing links by bringing the reader up to date with current scientific theory on the subject of evolution, Although all agreed that this was not an easy book to read, the book certainly promoted some excellent discussion concerning the very basis of life and man’s position in the world.

Our Christmas meeting will be a departure from the norm in that we were unable to find our choice of “Babette’s Feast” in suitable book form so we will be viewing the film instead with appropriate festive cheer.

The future line-up is:-

“Babette’s Feast” DVD after the book by Karen Blixen - Wednesday 2nd December
“Night Train to Lisbon” Pascal Mercer - Wednesday 13th January
“Germinal” Emile Zola - Monday 1st March

If you would like to join us please contact Heather on 812118 or Maggie on 812621

Autumn 2009 News

Our major 'good read' for the summer has been 'When will there be Good News' by Kate Atkinson. This was a pacy page-turner: a detective story where fascinating characters were introduced and left hanging, only to be slotted into the jigsaw at a later date. We all enjoyed the conversational but sharply observed style as well as the humour (often drawn out of grim situations). Perhaps a book to be read quickly rather than picked up and put down over a long period, it makes an ideal holiday read.
The reading of ' Darwin's Garden ' has been postponed from June to October, consequently our Autumn line up is as follows:-

' Notes from an Exhibition ' Patrick Gale
Wednesday 2 September

' Darwin's Garden ' Michael Boulter
Thursday 15 October

Christmas meeting
Early December

For further information please contact Maggie on 812621 or Heather on 812118

Summer 2009 News

Two enjoyable reads and discussions have taken place since our last entry. Both books described an interesting and vanishing time in British social history but were poles apart within society.

'How Green was my Valley' by Richard Llewellyn vividly described life in the coalmining valleys of South Wales in late Victorian times where life was hard but well ordered and community was all. The creeping menace of the slag heap seemed to embody the sense of powerlessness against change and loss of livelihood.

At the other end of the social spectrum, 'Brideshead Revisited' by Evelyn Waugh described priviliged characters far removed from the daily grind and yet still struggling to make sense of it all in their rarified atmosphere which was also under threat of change. The fascinating story promoted long discussion - and universal agreement as to the quality of Waugh's superb prose.

Our next books are:-

'Darwin's Garden'
Michael Boulter Tuesday 2 June

'When will there be Good News'
Kate Atkinson Tuesday 14 July

'Notes from an Exhibition'
Patrick Gale Wednesday 2 September

For further information please contact Maggie on 812621 or Heather on 812118.

Spring 2009 News

Since our last report in the winter issue we have met on 3 occasions, the most recent one being when we discussed the biography of Thomas Hardy by Claire Tomalin. This was a most enjoyable evening when 12 of us sat around a roaring fire and were made very welcome by our hostesses. The format we use is that we each take it in turn to choose a book which everyone reads and then we meet in the proposer’s home to discuss it. We all agreed that it was a beautifully written biography, if a little too detailed, which gave us a much better idea of Hardy as a person, whereas before we only really knew about his novels; he emerges as a mild and likeable man surprisingly enough, and he has his supporters and detractors, which makes for a very lively discussion. We learnt about Hardy the poet too. On 3rd December we had more poetry at our Christmas party, where we all read our chosen poem and fortified ourselves with excellent nibbles between readings! At the meeting prior to that, in November, we found that ‘My Sister’s Keeper’ by Jodi Picoult provoked a very stimulating debate on the subject of having a designer baby to treat to a sibling. It is always very good to be introduced to new authors, or be stimulated to read an old classic which we might have missed, or enjoy the chance to re-discover one.

Our next books are:-

‘How Green was my Valley’
Richard Llewellyn Mon 9th March

‘Brideshead Re-Visited’
Evelyn Waugh Thurs 23rd April

A biography of Darwin
(to be chosen) Tues 2nd June

For further information please contact Maggie on 812621 or Heather on 812118

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Last updated: 28 December 2009