Posted in Monthly Reports

December 2019 Meeting

The book chosen for our December meeting was Mr Dickens and his Carol by Samantha Silva. An imaginative account of how Charles Dickens came to write his much loved Christmas novel, rich in Dickensian atmosphere and cleverly including details of the famous author’s life, all our members enjoyed this festive read. We liked the author’s style of writing, which mirrored that of the great man, but was much more accessible than Dickens is to present day readers, who often find his novels too densely written. We also enjoyed the portrayal of Dickens, which was not always sympathetic, the humour and the clever twist at the end. Highly recommended.

As this was our Christmas meeting, we all enjoyed some seasonal refreshments, a Christmas quiz and plenty of chat! 

There will be no meeting in January, so the date of our next meeting is Thursday 6th February and the book we will be discussing is New Boy by Tracey Chevalier, which is based on Shakespeare’s Othello. 

Cath

Posted in Monthly Reports

October 2019 Report

Our theme for October was ‘A book set on the Isle of Man’ and members read ‘Safe House’, a fast moving thriller by Chris Ewan, and ‘The Secret Purposes’ by David Baddiel, which is set in one of the Island’s internment camps during World War 11.

We have chosen a festive read for November, ‘Mr Dickens and his Carol’ by Samantha Silva, which is a fictional account of how Charles Dickens came to write his much loved Christmas tale.

We will be discussing this at our next meeting on Thursday 5th December, at which we’ll be enjoying some seasonal refreshments including (we hope) Elizabeth’s famous mince pies! 

Posted in Book Reviews

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

This has become my favourite all time read, given the space of time it covers from 1922 up to the 1950’s. It’s so well written.
The Count (who just wraps you round his finger) is just the supreme gentleman, and the picture in the back of the book just puts me in the mind of how he should be.
He was a thoughtful, caring person who was denied his freedom and kept under house arrest in a hotel for over 30 years. Even under these circumstances, he stretched his thoughts to do what he could to help others.
The final chapters left me reeling – it was so practical that he and Sophia came to the happy conclusion they deserved.

Reviewed by Elizabeth

Posted in Book Reviews

The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner

The book group recently read a classic children’s book of their own choice …The title draws you in. This takes you to places not dreamed of, with Elves,Tree Creatures who only appear at night, and Svarts with eyes that cannot bear light. 
The adventures that engulf Colin and Susan take them beyond mortal earth into the dark underworld, not knowing which path to take and how to escape the pitfalls around each corner.
Cadollin, the wizard they met up with, warned them of the dangers ahead, but can his help bring them safely back to their Aunt and Uncle’s home?

Reviewed by Elizabeth

Posted in Book Reviews

Raven Black by Ann Cleeves

This is the first in a quartet featuring D I Jimmy Perez. He’s rather a reluctant investigator, unearthing information that locals would prefer to remain hidden.

It’s set in the Shetlands and gives some familiar glimpses of life in a small Island community. There’s a kind of hierarchy depending on how long you’ve lived there, and open secrets that are never discussed. 

There’s an interesting insight into life in a bird observatory on the Island, and Ann Cleeves captures the sometimes claustrophobic and isolating nature of an enclosed community. 

The icy cold of New Year’s Eve adds to the atmosphere when a young girl is found strangled. The reclusive Magnus Tait is the local scapegoat, but D I Perez is not so sure… 

Posted in Book Reviews

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is a debut novel by Gail Honeyman that went on to win a Costa award and has just been crowned Book of the Year at the British Book Awards.

Eleanor is an outsider who relies upon ritual to get her through. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meals… and buys two bottles of vodka to stave off the loneliness of the weekends. 

One small act of kindness shatters her routines, and gives her the courage to face the darkness of her past. But this is far from being a dark read. It’s laugh out loud funny in places, touching and has a real feel good factor. Highly recommended!