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Literary Studies

Meeting Details

Meeting Day3rd Friday
Time2.00 (1.45 Tea/Coffee)
FrequencyMonthly
LocationCastle Street Centre
Co-ordinator(s)Clare Courtier

What we do

As a group we plan a programme of reading for up to about a year in advance. For each meeting a member introduces the chosen work, and this is followed by a discussion. The books we choose are mainly novels, both classic and modern, but, for variety, we may include a play, a selection of poetry, and/or a biography. We also have regular 'Own Choice' sessions at which members have an opportunity to discuss any book which has interested them.

We are not just a 'reading group'. We like to look in some depth at various aspects of the work in question, such as: How is it structured? What themes are explored? Is the description effective? Are the characters believable?

This is a friendly group and would appeal to anyone with a love of reading and lively discussion. We usually gather a few minutes before 2 pm and begin each meeting with tea/coffee and biscuits.

We try to keep down cost by borrowing sets of books from the County Library service, and by buying cheap, paperback editions.

Reports

November 2018

18 Jan - Own Choice

16 Feb - The Glass Room, by Simon Mawer

15 Mar - The Sea, the Sea, by Iris Murdoch

WED 17 Apr - Parrot and Olivier in America, by Peter Carey

At our October meeting 18 members enjoyed a lively discussion of All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr. Although not a comfortable read, it provided a wide range of different characters and situations that stimulated thought.

For November Carlisle Library sent us a “mystery” box of brand new books (the book we had requested had not been returned). It turned out to be “Uncommon Type”, by Tom Hanks, a selection of short stories. Perhaps not a book we would have chosen, but at least no one had read it before and, love it or hate it, I’m sure our group will make interesting observations about its contents.

August 2018

21st September A Doll’s House, by Henrik Ibsen

19th October The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood

19th November The Light Between Oceans, by M.L. Stedman

For the autumn we have a varied selection of books to read. It is some time since we have discussed a play, so we look forward to reading “A Doll’s House” in September. Although the sets of books from Carlisle only contain 12 copies, and we have 18 members, they are patient and good humoured and will wait for their turn to voice an opinion, knowing it will be accepted in a non judgemental manner, even if it disagrees with everything everybody else has said!

May 2018

20th April The Behaviour of Moths, by Poppy Adams

18th May The Cellist of Sarajevo, by Steven Galloway

15th June The Hare with Amber Eyes, by Edmund de Waal

20th July A God in Ruins, by Kate Atkinson

At the meeting in January we voted for the book that we had read in 2017 which we considered to be the “Best Read” of the year. The Vanishing Act of Esme Lawrence by Maggie O’Farrell received the most votes, but every book was voted for by at least one person. Although it is rare to discuss a book that everyone has enjoyed, most people conclude that they are pleased that they did read it and, after the discussion, it has even been said that they now view it in a different light and may return to read it again.

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