Friday, 24 December 2010

Books to Buy and Books to Avoid!

We did a quick poll of this years books to find out the best and worst of the year and here's what we came up with:

Best 3 book:
- Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
- Sacred Hearts
- The Boy in the Stripe Pyjamas

Worst 3 books:
- The Shack
- Dewey
- The Soloist

To Kill a Mockingbord - Questions


Here are some questions to get you thinking in time for our meeting on 16.12.10

- How do Scout, Jem, and Dill characterize Boo Radley at the beginning of the book? In what way did Boo's past history of violence foreshadow his method of protecting Jem and Scout from Bob Ewell? Does this repetition of aggression make him more or less of a sympathetic character?

- Scout ages two years-from six to eight-over the course of Lee's novel, which is narrated from her perspective as an adult. Did you find the account her narrator provides believable? Were there incidents or observations in the book that seemed unusually "knowing" for such a young child? What event or episode in Scout's story do you feel truly captures her personality?

- To Kill a Mockingbird has been challenged repeatedly by the political left and right, who have sought to remove it from libraries for its portrayal of conflict between children and adults; ungrammatical speech; references to sex, the supernatural, and witchcraft; and unfavorable presentation of blacks. Which elements of the book-if any-do you think touch on controversial issues in our contemporary culture? Did you find any of those elements especially troubling, persuasive, or insightful?

Interesting fact : Truman Capote and Harper Lee were friends during childhood and Truman is the inspiration for Dill.

Questions from Reading Group Guides.

Friday, 17 December 2010

To Kill a Mockingbird

This month everyone brought some treats in as a potluck while we discussed our book.

Considering the classic nature of this months book it was a surprise to find that not many people had read it previously. Also, not many people had seen the film, some people said they wanted to finish the book before they watched the film. Not everyone managed to finish the book this month, this was probably because of the time of year and we only had a short period since the last meeting.

First we discussed our general feelings for the book. Many people didn't understand why it was a classic as it didn't grab you as an interesting read. We thought maybe the reason was that is was such an unusual book for the time in which it was written. We can't see how amazing it was because we're looking at it with 21st century eyes.

We also discussed the issue or racism both in the time of the book and today. We feel that racism is still around today as is shown almost everyday in the papers. There are certain terms used in the book to discribe black people that we felt were shocking for our time but were used in context for the time the book was set. The central theme of the court case was felt to be a turning point for the people of the town, and especially for Jem who we thought might possibly have gone on to fight for racial equality.

The justice system was another point for discussion, we felt very unhappy with the complete lack of justice for Tom. We were also unsure about how he died, was he murdered because he had become a bit of a celebrity? Or had he really tried to escape? Maybe it was because the town felt guilty they had put him in prison for something they knew he hadn't done. This case made a little diffence to the attitudes held within the town that would eventually lead the way for racial equality.

Family seemed to be a big theme in this book with the differences between Scouts family, the Ewells and the Radleys showing how people can be brought up in very different ways. Atticus took a very unusual step by keeping his children with him when his wife died and he treated his children very differently be allowing them to be little adults. He made sure they took on responsibility very young, in contrast to Boo Radleys father who took away his responsibility by locking him away. The Ewells seemed to be the family no-one wanted to be attached to, which is not surprising from the undercurrent of information of familial beatings we get during the trial.

We seemed to have a split between people who liked Atticus and people who disliked him. Some people felt he was out of his time, a little too forward thinking for those around him to feel comfortable around. Others felt that he gave himself godlike characteristics, thinking himself better than those around him. Maybe the godlike attributes came from the fact that the novel was written from Scouts viewpoint and she, like many young children, thought of her father as the most amazing man alive.

We all found it interesting that people in the book often changed the way they behaved in order to fit in and to make people more comfortable. They changed the way they spoke, didn't admit to being able to read, or pretended to be drunk in order for others to accept them.

Despite all the strong themes there are also some humorous moments involving Scout, and also the moment in the church when they are all trapped unless the right amount of collection has been donated.

The character of the aunt we found to add an extra dimension to Atticus' family life. She seemed to be able to develop Scout into a well rounded young lady without her much noticing. While at the same time loving Scouts oddness.

Overall we gave this book 7.5 out of 10.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

To Kill a Mockingbird - Radio Show


Here's a link to an Australian radio show about "To Kill a Mockingbird", as a warning there are spoilers about the end of the book in this program.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

End of Year Survey

Please find a link to an end of year survey for the book club below:

Please feel free to have a look at it and complete it. The results will be used to create an end of year report.

Sacred Hearts - Sarah Dunant

This months treats were brought by Sarah B, chocolate dipped shortbread petticoat tails.

Not everyone managed to finish this months book by the meeting, however, it was a larger book than we normally pick. There seemed to be a slight divide to the group with this book, some people dove straight into the story but others felt it took a long while to get to any kind of point. To some in the group the book was very slow moving, maybe this was a reflection of the convent life? However, this had the effect that not everyone could sit down to read much of the book without drifting off. Having said this the end of the novel was very fast paced with lots going on, but for some this was too little action too late.

We discussed how we would feel if we had been a woman in the age portrayed in the novel, whether we would prefer to go into the convent or be married off. Initially we all felt very sorry for the nuns being sent off to live this life, however, we changed our minds a little when we compared their relative freedom to that of married women. We decided we weren't able to really decide because we have the freedoms of today which don't compare to the times this book was set.

The life within the nunnery, we felt, was portrayed as very frivolous and political, more so than we would have at first guessed. Nuns were able to bribe various people in the nunnery to make their lives easier, they could also bring in "home conforts". We felt that it would have been more peaceful and religious than it was portrayed, maybe this would be so if the nuns had actually chosen to be there rather than been sold into the life. It seemed that one of the main jobs for the nunnery was to make money to ensure a comfortable life for the nuns and other religious people attached to it.

Not all the nuns were very religious in the book, for example, Zuanna tried her best but had more belief in her science background than in God. Umiliana was desparate to have some kind of religious vision but seemed unable to, so lived her religious fevour through the younger nuns. She was meant to be caring for them but it seemed she cared more for what they could do for her than about them as individuals. She wanted so much for a religious vision to occur that she may have instigated Serafina's anorexia. We found this particularly interesting because it is often felt that obsessions with food are a recent phenomenon, not so apparently.

We decided that the ending felt wrong, a little too happily-ever-after.

Overall we decided the book deserved 7 out of 10 and we were mostly glad to have read it but wouldn't have chosen to read it through otherwise.

Sacred Hearts - Sarah Dunant - Questions

Hello everyone,

Here are some questions for you to think about while you finish this months book in time for Thursday.

- What is Zuana's interest in Serafina? What are the differences between the two women...and in what way does the younger woman challenge the older one? Who changes whom in the process of this story?

- Do you see the sisters of Santa Caterina as prisoners confined within the convent walls or, given the harsh reality of life outside for women, do you believe they in fact enjoyed more freedom and creativity than women on the outside? If you were a woman living then and could choose to live inside or out, which choice would you make?

- Serafina suffers from holy anorexia. Many people today think of eating disorders as a product of contemporary fashion, celebrity, and pop culture, but what can holy anorexia teach us about the modern disease?

- Which of the characters do you think suffer in the restrictive environment and which of them thrive and learn to manipulate the system? How do you think you would have responded if placed in such an environment?

I hope you all enjoyed the book and i hope to see you all on Thursday. Don't forget to collect your January book during the meeting!

Questions from LitLovers and pph bookclub.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

The Heretic's Daughter - Kathleen Kent

Firstly we have to thank Sarah Rees for bringing in her Peanut Butter Blondies and Lemon & Almond Cake.

The strongest reaction we all had to this book was one of shock that this could happen in a civilised society. The people in this small community were turning on each other in a way we hoped should not be possible. We discussed the fact that this hysterical reaction could happen again today under a slightly different fear.

We all enjoyed the snippets of historical detail that the author put into the book, this helped us to ground ourselves in the period. Some people felt that the first part of the book took too long to get to the actual trials while others really enjoyed this part. The book was written not as an historical "misery memoir" but as actual facts laid out for the reader to make a judgement on, this was appreciated by the group.

The whole group felt a strong sense of injustice throughout the novel, we were unsure how civilised people managed to do this to members of their own community. We thought maybe they had to fear something they could control, rather than the sickness and the natives overwhom they had no control. It was also agreed that those people who were accusing the witches did so to be in a position of power over people they were jealous of.

Some parts of the book we felt were a little far-fetched for example, the young people were very grown-up for their age. Also, the age the father lived to seemed to be extraordinary even in todays society. There were also a few medical aspects such as checking for virginity, and the infections while in prison which did not ring-true to us.

In terms of recomending this book we would do so, but possibly not to a young adult because some scenes are a little graphic. Overall we would give this book 7 out of 10

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

The Heretic's Daughter - Kathleen Kent - Questions

Hello everyone,

Just to remind you that the book club will be held this Thursday 21st October.

Here are some questions you might like to think about for the meeting:
- Identify and discuss some of the factors that contributed to the witch hysteria in seventeenth-century New England
- Discuss Mercy Williams' role in the tragedy that befalls the Carrier family. What motivates Mercy?
- Why do you think the magistrates, and the wider community of Salem so easily believed in and relied on "spectral evidence"?
- Are there any notable or notorious ancestors in your family tree? Did this book make you want to look into your ancestry?

Questions created by PPH bookclub.

Dewey the Library Cat - Vicki Myron

Most of the group started this book thinking it would be an enjoyable read, however, few finished it with the same view. In fact some readers didn't manage to finish the book and not many would recommend this to another reader.

The main disappointment with this book was the over sentimental way in which it was written. There didn't seem to be any real personality in Dewey the cat, he seemed to be used as a way for Vicki to write her life story. Unfortunately this story was only written about briefly with lots of areas glossed over. We felt that there should be more focus about the book, either more about Dewey or more about Vicki. The book didn't seem to go anywhere, each chapter seemed to be a little unrelated snippet.

Some members of the club thought the projecting of thoughts onto the cat was very similar to The Soloist. Many members were unhappy with the anthropomorphism of the cat by Vicki.

We felt that it was trying to say something good about small town America but it didn't come through clearly enough. Some points did come through though and they didn't seem to be very positive, for example, the rejection of the factory and the casino on the grounds that foreigners would then arrive in the town.

Overall the score for this book was 3 out of 10. We would not recommend this book to anyone else.

Dewey the Library Cat - Vicki Myron - Questions


I hope you enjoyed or are still enjoying this months book. Here are some questions for you to think about:

- Vicki Myron believes she had a deep connection with Dewey. For example, he knew when he was going to the vet before she even said the word. Do you believe people and animals can have such a connection? If so, how do they read us so well?

- Vicki Myron says: “In our society, people believe you have to do something to be recognized, by which we mean something “in your face,” and preferably caught on camera.” Do you agree? Is this a good or bad thing? What about Vicki’s belief that Dewey was special precisely because he wasn’t like that?

- Did this book change your opinion of cats? How would you answer the question posed at the beginning of the book: how much of an impact can an animal have? Is your answer different after reading the book?

- This book has been described as “a love letter to libraries.” Has it reinforced or changed your attitude about the importance of libraries? Has it changed your opinion of librarians? Would you like for your local library to have a cat?

Questions from Reading Group Guides.

Friday, 27 August 2010

The Girls - August Book Club

We were a very small group this month what with holidays etc. so only a few of us managed to sample Gaynor's lovely baking. This book provided a very frenetic discussion, especially to do with some of the practicalities of being a craniophagus twin.

We found there was very little description of the twins so it was very hard to imagine how they actually looked. This combined with the feeling that the characters weren't very well written to made us feel very little connection with the characters. We compared this novel with the previous book club book and found the reason we liked the previous one was because of a strong connection we felt towards the Guernsey characters. We all felt indifferent towards the characters in this book.

There were some shocking scenes to do with birth and sex within the book which we felt were only there to try to make the girls more human. These are things that "normal" people go through therefore the author made the girls go through them. We were all shocked by the impossibility of the girls birth, being medically inclined we thought this should have been handled more realistically. The scene between the girls and Frankie Foyle we found to be very strange and a little uncomfortable.

Not everyone managed to finish the novel this time this might be because the novel became very slow during the middle part with no real direction. It was also felt to be a little bit dry, not human enough to keep our attention. We discussed the end of the book and it was suggested that maybe Nick should have written a chapter at the end describing the girls last days just to neaten it all up. We felt Nick was the right person for the job because he had become so close to the girls. We also thought that maybe the girls chapters could have coincided a bit more often so we could see the same thing from different eyes.

Overall the book got 5 out of 10 with no marks higher than 6.

Monday, 23 August 2010

The Girls - Lori Lansens - Questions


Here are some question for you to have a look at before the bookclub meeting on 26/8/10

- The Girls is written as a fictional autobiography. Why do you think the author chose this format? Did you ever have to remind yourself while reading that The Girls is a novel rather than a memoir?
- The novel is, at times, endearingly funny. Do you have a favorite comedic moment?
- Did you find yourself forgetting that Rose and Ruby were joined at the head? In what way is the bond of sisterhood more important than their physical link?
- How did you respond to the scene with Frankie Foyle? Were you curious about the sisters’ sexuality before you reached this chapter? What other aspects of conjoinment fascinated you or helped you to see the world differently?
- Imagine that you were a neighbour or co-worker of Ruby and Rose. Which sister do you think you’d get along with better?

I hope you're all enjoying the book. See you at the meeting.

Questions are from Reading Group Guides.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - July Book Club

Firstly we need to thank Anna for bringing along some delicious chocolate flapjacks, and white chocolate and macadamia nut cupcakes.

This book has to be the first one we've all been of one mind on, we all loved it! Most of the club were very apprehensive because they didn't think from the cover artwork and the title that this would be their type of book. However once the book was started everyone changed their mind about it and found themselves really enjoying it. One of our members loved it so much she started casting the roles if the book was a movie! This started the rest of us off as well.

Because the book is written in the form of letters there's not a lot of description of the characters in terms of looks etc. this made it a little tricky to identify them all as they popped in and out of the story. Even so Elizabeth made her presence felt through her strong personality without actually writing any of the letters. We found Dawsey to be a little confusing, was he an old or a young person?

The book gave us a lot of insight into the way people lived on Guernsey during the war without it being too much of a history book. There seemed to be the right amount of the horrors of war countered with the sweetness of the people and the love story running through the book.

We got into a bit of a discussion about whether we would be able to send our children away if we had been the islanders. I don't think there was a conclusion other than you don't know how you would react unless you're in the situation. We all thought it must have been a horrific thing to have to go through.

We also wondered whether the authors had any particular reason for choosing the books they did for the book club to be reading in the novel? We thought they were very odd choices, maybe because this was all that was left on the island? We weren't sure. Also, the names of the characters were very unusual, we wondered were they realistic or not.

We gave this book a 9 out of 10 overall with no-one marking it lower than a 7.

The Geurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Questions


Here are some questions and also a really interesting website about this months book.

- What was it like to read a book entirely made of letters? What do letters offer that no other form of writing can?
- Discuss the poets, novelists, biographers, and other writers who capture the hearts of the members of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. What does a reader’s taste in books say about his or her personality? Whose lives were changed the most by membership in the society?
- Numerous Guernsey residents give Juliet access to their private memories of the occupation. Which voices were most memorable for you? What was the effect of reading a variety of responses to a shared tragedy?
- Juliet rejects marriage proposals from a man who is a stereotypical “great catch.” How would you have handled Juliet’s romantic entanglement? What truly makes someone a “great catch”?
- Do you agree with Isola that “reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones”? - This website is entirely devoted to our current book of the month and has lots of interesting questions and information about the book and about Geurnsey.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

This Book Will Save Your Life - June Book Club

Firstly we discussed the new books chosen for the end of 2010, these are:

October - The Heretic's Daughter - Kathleen Kent
November - Sacred Hearts - Sarah Dunant
December - To Kill a Mocking Bird - Harper Lee

We also discussed ideas for the Christmas meeting which will be on 16th December to avoid being between Christmas and New Year. The following ideas were put forward - pot-luck food in the meeting, a secret santa with a book theme, an extra meeting in the New Year at a different location. Discussion of book of the month followed on from this discussion.

Everyone saw the book as not very plot driven, some people liked this driftiness whereas others felt a little adrift with it. It was thought that maybe the whole thing was just a dream because it felt so disjointed and some of the elements were very odd and almost dreamlike or nightmarish.

Everyone felt that the book had a smooth easy-to-read style, we wondered whether it was like this because the author was female. However, a lot of people were initially put off by the self-help style or the title, although the donuts on the front cover of some editions helped draw us in a little.

We discussed whether we felt that people were taking advantage of Richard, or whether they showed their gratitude to him enough when he helped them. We were particularly concerned with how Cynthia behaved towards Richard and whether she should have accepted everything she did from him. It was felt that although Richard didn't get any money or gifts in response to his original gifts maybe people repaid him in friendship.

There was a bit of a split over the ending of the book with some readers thinking that Richard had finally managed to become a better person, while others felt a little nervous at his precarious position at the very end. We discussed whether Richard would go back to his wife, or his original house, or do something completely different after the book ended.

There was a 50/50 split between the group as to whether they would recommend the book to friends or not. This was also reflected in the marking out of 10 with 7 being the overall score but there was a large gap between the high and low marks.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

This Book Will Save Your Life - Questions


Just a few questions today to think about for Thursday:

- This books title makes a grand claim, do you think the book could change you life? Why?
- Do you think A.M. Homes, a female writer, convincingly portrays a middle-aged male narrator? Are there any points you found particularly convinsing?
- What has precipitated Richard's mid-life crisis? Have you experienced a similar turning point in your life?
- "Richard thinks of the house on the hill, of moving back, of being alone. He cannot bear the idea of going back to what was, spending the days home doing nothing." Instead, at book's end, we find him "floating, waiting to see what happens next". What do you think happens to him?

See you all on Thursday!

Questions from PPH bookclub.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie - May Book Club

First we have to thank Kathryn Williams for bringing a very delicious cheese cake which was enjoyed by everyone!

Almost everyone got through this months book, some people have even read it twice! On the second reading and after having watched the online bookclub it was felt that more could be found in the book.

We all thought that Jean Brodie was an "interesting" character, she seemed to have some very odd relationships with the men and also the girls in her life. We weren't sure why she seemed to have lots of holiday romances but the two men in the school with whom she could have a proper relationship with she shied away from. We weren't sure if this had anything to do with her first romance, and the fact that he had been killed in a situation outside her control. This lack of control could have then created the creature Jean Brodie became in this novel.

Jean Brodie seems to have been very egocentric, setting up situations to please herself not caring about the lives of those around her. In some cases she seems to be actually living through the girls, especially when it comes to a sexual relationship with the art teacher.

When it comes to the "betrayal" we were sure it wasn't actually a betrayal, but really a protection of the new Brodie set. We felt that the girl who let Miss MacKay know about Jean Brodie's facist side was doing so for the right reasons.

It was felt that the writing style was very sparse with no waste. Some people enjoyed this style along with the lack of a strong plot structure. Others felt they didn't get on with this style.

Overall we gave this book a 5 out of 10 with a pretty even spread of marks from 2-7 out of 10.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

May Book Club


Here are some questions to get you thinking about this months bookclub choice.

- What is Miss Brodie's "prime"? What does she mean by the term and why is it so significant?
- We know Miss Brodie through the eyes of the girls, primarily Sandy. How does their perception of her change by the time they're 17 years of age ... and also when they are even older?
- When she is finally betrayed, was the one who did so right or wrong? What prompted the girl to tell Miss MacKay what she told her? Was it a betrayal?
- In the final analysis, how do you come to think of Miss Brodie? Is she a noble figure? A tragic one? A visionary? Is she silly? Is she dangerous or well-meaning? What impact did she have on her girls, lasting or short-term?

See you all next Thursday!

Questions from LitLovers.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie


Here's a quick video discussion on our book of the month for you to look at and think about:

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

The Shack - April Book Club

Firstly we made some decisions regarding the choosing of books after September when the current choices run out. We have decided that three months before the books are due to run out we will choose three more months worth. So for example, in June we will pick the next three for October, November, and December. We also decided that everyone who wants to should suggest a book, then we'll vote on the list and the three with the most votes will be the next three books to read. I hope this is ok with everyone, if it doesn't work out we can choose another method!

Secondly we discussed what i think was the least enjoyed book so far!

Having said that some people would reread The Shack to get a little more out of it having read and discussed in in bookclub. We also decided that this might only be a book we recommend to people we know have religeon of some kind because it would be more likely to appeal to them.

We all thought the message was essentially good, but the book was not very well written and felt a little preachy. It was felt that as with religeon people find what they need within this book, so we all had very different opinions on it.

We felt that Nan was the person God wishes us all to be, she was loving and open and forgiving. We wondered why Mack chose not to bring her with him to the Shack given his knowledge that she was very religious.

Our average mark was 5 out of 10 with marks ranging from 0 to 7.

April Book Club

Hello everyone,

I hope you're all well into the next bookclub book! Here are some questions you might like to think about:

- Were you drawn in by the plot?
- How is Young's description of God different from your concept of God? What parts of his description did you like and what parts didn't you like?
- Does the theological incorrectness bother you, or does it even matter since it is a work of fiction?

I'd also like to say thank you for all the suggestions for books for the months after September. I need to collect them all together, then we can have a discussion about them later on.

Questions from PPH bookclub.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas - March Book Club

This book divided the bookclub into those who read it as a book that should be historically accurate, and those who felt it was more about friendship. It was said in the meeting that it could be read with the head or with the heart.

Some readers thought it would be read differently by people who had prior knowledge of the topics in the novel, like Auschwitz and the Nazi's. We weren't sure if prior knowledge would have a positive or negative effect on how you felt about the book. In fact it might be a prompt to younger people to talk about the war, so might be a good idea for school children studying the war to start with something like this.

We were also uncertain about the naivety of Bruno, we came to the conclusion that it was necessary for the story and could be realistic given that children from earlier generations were naive for longer.

Overall we would recommend this book to other people and we gave it an average of 8 out of 10!

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

World Bookclub Interview with John Boyne

I've just been looking for some bookclub discussion questions about our book of the month and i found this radio programme which might be interesting:

Monday, 22 March 2010

March Book Club

Hello everyone,

Hopefully you will all have read the book for this weeks bookclub. Here are some questions to get you thinking about what we might discuss on Thursday.

- What did you think of Bruno’s character? What did you like about him? What didn’t you like?

- How would you describe Elsa? Were you surprised that Elsa (Bruno’s mother) was unaware of the true nature of the camp? How would you have responded to this situation if you had been in her position?

- How do the characters in The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas exemplify Hannah Arendt’s notion of ‘the banality of evil’, that evil arises out of the tendency of ordinary people to follow orders, to accept what they’re told by authorities, to conform to the prevailing opinion? How easily could such evil arise in our own society? What might lead to it? What could prevent it?

- What would you identify as the most important messages from The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas?

I'll see you all on Thursday!

The Soloist - February Book Club

The cakes were kindly supplied by Anna Evans, and they were enjoyed by everyone!

This novel proved to be not such a hit with the bookclub. We all agreed that it felt like a series of articles rather than a flowing novel. We also had the impression that a lot of the very complex issues dealt with in the book were only really skimmed over. There could have been a lot more depth to the book which would have engrossed us a little more.

I'm not sure if this was the librarians in the group but we thought that having an appendix with fulltext or references of the actual articles which created the base for this novel would have been interesting.

Most of the group felt very bored with the novel and would not recommend it to a friend. Overall we gave the book an average of 4 out of 10.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

February Book Club

Hello everyone,

I hope you're all enjoying or about to enjoy reading The Soloist. I thought i'd send out a few questions for you all to think about:

- Are you a fan of classical music, do you think you need to be to understand this book?
- How did you feel about the relationship between Steve & Nathaniel? Did this change as you read the book?

Also, i've recently found out that everyone can join the public library service in Swansea by taking along a piece of ID. You don't have to live in Swansea to be a member as i previously thought.

Monday, 1 February 2010

First Book Club Meeting

We had our first bookclub meeting on January 28th and it was felt by all to be very successful! We had a full house in terms of members, we very nearly ran out of chairs.

Discussion on the book started with everyone having enjoyed it to varying degrees. Some people (myself included) found it hard going for the first 50 pages or so, but we all felt pulled along by the story at the end. We then went on to discuss the many inconsistencies we felt were in the book.

Lots of situations happened in the book which we felt were very contrived on looking back, but when you're reading the book they all seem to be appropriate and you don't notice them. We felt that the fact that the inconsistencies aren't noticable on first reading is because the language in the book is so well written.

We all felt that Vinnie was a lovely character, we weren't impressed with Jeremy or Cynthia. We discussed whether their character was a product of their upbringing, we decided this was probably true especially when you look at Grace as well.

We took a vote at the end of the evening and marked the book out of 10. The marks ranged from 1 to 9 out of 10 with most people voting for 8. At least three members of the bookclub have recommended the book on to friends and family.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Allergies and cake preferences

Hello everyone,

I've just started to think about the first cakes/cookies i'll be bringing along to the meeting and i wanted to check whether there are any allergies or real hates for flavours amongst us. This will hopefully help me to bring something along that most people will enjoy eating.

I've also been asked if different people will be bringing things to each meeting. I'm happy for this to happen but i don't want to put pressure onto already busy people or those who don't enjoy baking. We'll have a talk about this at the meeting to organise things a bit more.

I hope everyone is getting on with the book, i started reading my copy yesterday and i can't wait to finish it and start talking about it!

Monday, 11 January 2010

January Bookclub!

Hello everyone!

Just a quick reminder that the first bookclub meeting will be on 28th January. We'll be looking at "No Time for Goodbye" by Linwood Barclay.

Here are a few questions you might like to think about when reading the book:

- When Cynthia woke up in the morning to find her family gone, what did you first suspect had happened to them? Did you think they had left Cynthia behind as Cynthia initially thought?

- Did you like the way the story progressed and how it ended?

- What did you enjoy about the story & what did you find not so enjoyable?