Jamaica Inn

This week we had our last meeting of the year – this is our fifth year running! – to speak about Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier.  It was a page-turner for sure, but didn’t come quite as close in liking as Rebecca. I do think, though, that I will eventually finish the collection of Great Cornish Novels, which include the two mentioned above and Frenchman’s Creek (set in the 17th century, it tells the story of a love affair between an English lady and a French pirate) and My Cousin Rachel (a mystery-romance).

Our next meet will be:

Image result for wolf hall

25 September Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (a longish one) Continue reading

David Copperfield

Dear all,

We had our meet on David Copperfield this Monday in a small circle. Lots of laughs, as usual. I had a bit of a love/hate relationship with David. Love the beginning and the end, but the middle was trying. I might have given up but for the book club!! So, thanks, ladies for bearing with me on that choice.

It is also up to me to choose the book for the month of June (we are meeting on the 19th), so I thought I’d try my hand at setting up a poll where you can vote. (If no one votes, I will choose from among these at the weekend.)

See you next month for our last meet before the summer.

M.

 

April meet

Dear all,

my new year’s resolution to blog more regularly did not last very long, as this is only my second post this year – and it’s April already.

On Monday evening we met up to discuss David Copperfield –  the first half! With the exception of Eileen, we only made it halfway (who knew the book was 945 pages long?). We are all enjoying the read so much, though, that we decided to continue with the second half of the book for next time. In addition, we will talk about a few short stories, which you will find below. As the book originally chosen for May was also longish (over 600 pages) we will read it over the summer.  That leaves us with the following:

22 MayDavid Copperfield – the second half ; plus the following short stories:

19 June – 2B decided, so please bring some suggestions

SeptemberWolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Happy 2017

Warning: We’ve decided to change the dates – here is the updated version!

Dear all,

I’ve been sadly amiss with my posts recently. So, without further ado I will mention upcoming books and hope that this year my blogging will be more timely.

30 23 January The Girl on the Train  by Paula Hawkins

27 20 February* Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (download from Gutenberg.org here)

27  20 March Bridget Jones’s Diary  by Helen Fielding

24 17 April  David Copperfield by Charles Dickens  (download from Gutenberg.org here)

29 22 May Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantle

19 June – to be decided

September – to be decided

 

 

 

 

October meet

I’m running  late, but before the new meeting is upon me, just a quick note regarding our last meeting in October.

Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford was not every one’s cup of tea. I certainly enjoyed it. For one, some of the characters are modeled after her family members. The Mitford sisters (six of them, after which there came one boy) seem to have been a crazy bunch, often referred to as ‘Mad, Mad Mitfords.’ Their own mother, seemingly the inspiration for Sadie in the novel, lamented: “Oh, why do all my daughters fall for dictators?” (The reference is to Diana, who took up with Sir Oswald Mosley, leader of Britain’s fascist party; Unity, who became a close friend of Hitler’s, whom she worshipped. She shot herself in the head when Britain declared war on Germany but survived with some brain damage, Hitler paying her German hospital bills, according to Time Magazine from 20 April 2002. Jessica, a would-be-communist, eloped with Winston Churchchill’s nephew. Who needs novels with such a family?

In any case, here are some of my favorite lines:

  • I, Albert Edward Christian George Andrew Patrick David take thee, Leopoldina…
  • Polly on her dress: ‘Mine is liver lamé, it smells like a bird cage when it gets hot but I do love it.’
  • They all… had a thousand questions to ask about mutual acquaintances in Paris, fashionable foreign ladies with such unfashionable English names as Norah, Cora, Jennie, Daisy, May and Nellie. ‘Are all Frenchwomen called after English housemaids’? Lady Montdore said, rather crossly.
  • ‘The old French tart was telling me the whole system last night.’ Lady Montdore was famous for picking up words she did not quite understand and giving them a meaning of their own.
  • She said that the duke of Barbarossa (this may not be the name, but it sounded like it) had told her the inside story, in which case he must also have told it to the Daily Express, where I had read word for word what she now kindly passed on to me, and several days before.
  • Her curtsies, owing to the solid quality of her frame, did not recall the graceful movement of wheat before the wind. She scrambled down like a camel, rising again backside foremost like a cow…

I better stop there! Onto upcoming meetings:

21 November Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

19 December suggestion: Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie

See you there, hopefully!

 

A new year

We’re off to good start. This past Monday, 26 September, saw six of us discussing the summer read, Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie. The premise of this book is certainly an interesting one – the birth of the main character and narrator coincides with the independence of India, and the partitioning into two countries, India and Pakistan.

Rushdie’s novel falls into the genre of magical realism (the book has been compared to Garcia Marquez’s  A Hundred Years of Solitude, with respect to that). It is thus that all the children born within the hour after the birth of India (1001, to be exact, one of many references to the Arabian Nights, though only 581 are still alive by the age of ten) have special powers.

I won’t attempt to even summarize the plot, but if you paid close attention to my previous sentence, you will notice how it digresses more than once. This is probably the main problem I had while reading the book – the digressions made it hard for me to follow the plot at times.

All in all it was an interesting but tough read. Make sure you have some time on your hands if you haven’t read it and wish to do so. It is a read that I probably would not have chosen on my own. However, I think it is one of many pleasures of a book club, to read outside of one’s comfort zone. As usual, we had a fun time discussing the book and other topics.

upcoming books:

24 October Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford mitford

21 November Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

19 December  up for discussion

Please note our next meetings this term are not on the last Monday of the month. 31 October is school-free, so we decided not to have it that day, since people might opt for a long holiday with All Saint’s Day on 1 Nov. I then decided on 4 week intervals, because the December meeting is always early due to the holidays. I hope this suits everyone.

See you next month, and happy reading!