Monthly Book Group
Each month I host an open meeting in Woodbridge in Suffolk. We used to meet in the town's bookshop but now gather together in a nearby hall. We usually focus on modern fiction and the discussion regularly attracts around 20 people, men and women, of all ages. Everyone is welcome to join in but please let me know you are planning on coming along. Sign up to the e-newsletter here to receive details. Scroll down to take a look at the titles we've read over the year, and view the archive for past discussions.
Book Group List for 2023
Buy the book and join in the discussion on Monday 30 October at 8pm.
This is a book about memory and the impact of being able to return to our past. 'Written in a masterful and totally unpredictable style,' it is described as 'powerful and brilliant' and won the International Booker Prize 2023. What will we think of it?
While there were moments of wry humour, it was generally agreed, this novel presented a bleak picture of life in a boarding house during the war. Some felt the book too dated to be enjoyable, others appreciated the style of writing, characters who at times seemed as caricatures, and the sense of hope.
Though some didn't like this book as much as others, our spirits felt lifted by our discussion. Lots of funny moments to share in the author's very particular take on everyday events and characters. There were serious themes to consider too about marriage, loyalty, parenting and...origami.
A snapshot of a climate catastrophe in a small community, many related this to our pandemic experience, finding it a challenging and claustrophobic read with many themes to explore regarding violence, control, family and relationships. Some liked the sparsity of this short novel, others wanted more detail about the characters and the town. A lively, wide-ranging, thought-provoking discussion.
This was considered a resounding success for a book group discussion with so many themes and facets to explore. Great characters, a quirky story and plenty of humour juxtaposed with powerful messages of redemption, family and racism. Set in a bookshop, there are reading lists, unusual customer demands and a resident ghost. With events taking place over just one year, the inclusion of the Covid pandemic and the killing of George Floyd make this a very contemporary and poignant read.
Everyone took something different away from this book about grief, entrapment, isolation, community, friendship, coming of age, all set in the icy landscape of Norway. Deceptively simple, slim novel about a moment in time. It prompted a great discussion.