Novel Reading III
NOVEL READING III
Coordinator: Judith Vernier 01246 418607
We meet in each other’s houses, a flexible, mutually agreed arrangement, on the second Friday morning of the month and adhere to this date unless there are fewer than 4 people available, (maximum group number is 10).
Our modus operandi is to have a list of future reads proposed by members and to select from that for the next two/three months ahead. Books are not selected in any rigid order – it depends on a mutual agreement as to whose turn it is to lead the discussion, how a particular book might contrast with a previous read and whether we feel up to a ‘long read’ – perhaps over Christmas (as we meet to eat in December). Though we concentrate mainly on novels ranging from contemporary award winners to classics, we occasionally add a biography to our list and also held one meeting at which each of us brought a collection of short stories and discussed the genre in general. We are also going to look at one particular author by each reading one of his/her works and comparing notes and maybe choosing a theme and considering how different writers have handled it.
When we meet, the member who has suggested the book gives a short introduction, giving reasons for having chosen it, some information about the author and setting off the general discussion of the theme, writing, characters, etc. We find the most lively discussions are those where not everyone has enjoyed that month’s read and there are widely diverging opinions about the book! It’s also gratifying to be introduced to a writer one has not come across before or a theme which leads one on to further reading and research. Members have particular likes and dislikes, e.g. historical fiction or ‘faction’ books, etc. but we are on the whole a tolerant lot and, rarely, if you really can’t stand getting to the end, you can just listen to why others think it is ‘a good read’!
Writers we have read, in no particular order: Maggie O’Farrell, Anita Shreve, Sebastian Faulks, Melvyn Bragg, Graham Greene, Hilary Mantel, Jean Rhys, Monica Ali, Gustave Flaubert, Khaled Hosseini, Robert Harris, Jon McGregor, Antonia Fraser, Graham Swift, Muriel Spark, Edmund Gosse, Charles Dickens, Jim Lynch, Poppy Adams, John Le Carré, Julian Barnes, Virginia Woolf, David Nicholls, Kate Atkinson, Jodie Picoult, Lionel Shriver, Ian McEwan, Daphne du Maurier, Helen Dunmore, J.D. Salinger, Nick Hornby ………………………………