The Reading Group was formed in early 2003 by a group of people who were interested in discussing with others the books they had been reading and extending the range of authors and genres they were familiar with. The group now has in excess of one dozen members and a large back catalogue of modern fiction, classic novels, science-fiction, biography and travel books that have been shared. Monthly meetings are held on a Friday evening in various members' houses where they discuss the last month's book and choose new titles over a drink or two and nibbles. The format of the meeting is very informal with everyone free to speak as little or as much as they wish and of course it is always more lively when opinion is divided on the merits of the book under discussion. The books are either bought individually or they may be borrowed from the local library. The reading group does hold a library card which entitles them to borrow books for an extended period. There are no fees but every member takes a turn in hosting one of the monthly meetings and with the present membership this would then occur roughly once each year. New members are always welcome, and for more details contact Jeanette:01359 259186
(Dates and venues on request)
Poison Farm: A Murder Unmasked After 60 Years.
In this true crime story, investigative journalist David Williams unravels the 60-year old mystery of who murdered wealthy Suffolk business-man and womaniser William Murfitt.
The Maltese Falcon – Dashiell Hammett.
The Maltese Falcon is a detective novel by Dashiell Hammett, originally serialized in the magazine Black Mask. Sam Spade is a private eye in San Francisco who ends up in the middle of the strangest mystery he's seen. His partner has been murdered, but so was the man the partner was shadowing for a new client. The new client just so happens to be a beautiful woman who goes by many different aliases and hardly ever tells the truth. The cops are breathing down Spade's neck, and he keeps meeting more players in the chase the client is in - the chase to find The Maltese Falcon. Who will find it first? How many will be killed for it first?
Rush of Blood – Mark Billingham.
Perfect strangers. A perfect holiday. The perfect murder... Three couples meet around the pool on their Florida holiday and become fast friends. But on their last night, their perfect holiday takes a tragic twist: the teenage daughter of another holidaymaker goes missing, and her body is later found floating in the mangroves.
When the shocked couples return home, they remain in contact, and over the course of three increasingly fraught dinner parties they come to know one another better. But they don't always like what they find: buried beneath these apparently normal exteriors are some dark secrets, hidden kinks, ugly vices...
Then, a second girl goes missing.
Could it be that one of these six has a secret far darker than anybody can imagine?
A brilliantly plotted, utterly gripping thriller about the danger of making friends on holiday, Rush of Blood is Mark Billingham's most ambitious and accomplished work to date.
Death at La Fenice – Donna Leon.
The twisted maze of Venice's canals has always been shrouded in mystery. Even the celebrated opera house, La Fenice, has seen its share of death. But nothing so horrific and violent as that of world-famous conductor, Maestro Helmut Wellauer - poisoned during a performance of La Traviata. Even Commissario of Police, Guido Brunetti, used to the labyrinthine corruptions of the city, is shocked at the number of enemies Wellauer has made on his way to the top - but just how many have motive enough for murder? The beauty of Venice is crumbling - and evil can seep through its decaying stones...
The Instance of the Fingerpost – Iain Pears.
Set in Oxford in the 1660s - a time and place of great intellectual, religious, scientific and political ferment - this remarkable novel centres around a young woman, Sarah Blundy, who stands accused of the murder of Robert Grove, a fellow of New College. Four witnesses describe the events surrounding his death: Marco da Cola, a Venetian Catholic intent on claiming credit for the invention of blood transfusion; Jack Prescott, the son of a supposed traitor to the Royalist cause, determined to vindicate his father; John Wallis, chief cryptographer to both Cromwell and Charles II, a mathematician, theologian and master spy; and Anthony Wood, the famous Oxford antiquary.
Each one tells their version of what happened but only one reveals the extraordinary truth. Brilliantly written, utterly convincing, gripping from the first page to the last, An Instance of the Fingerpost is a magnificent tour de force.
The Black House – Peter May.
A brutal killing takes place on the Isle of Lewis, Scotland: a land of harsh beauty and inhabitants of deep-rooted faith.
A MURDER. Detective Inspector Fin Macleod is sent from Edinburgh to investigate. For Lewis-born Macleod, the case represents a journey both home and into his past.
A SECRET. Something lurks within the close-knit island community. Something sinister.
A TRAP. As Fin investigates, old skeletons begin to surface, and soon he, the hunter, becomes the hunted.
|Friday, July 26th||Sue Monk Kidd||Secret Life of Bees|
|Also on Friday, July 26th||Kathryn Stockett||Help|
The next meeting will be in September 2013, when we will be concentrating on Crime Fiction. (As detailed above)
|Andy Waldman||The Submission|
|P. D. James||Death Comes to Pemberley|
|Julian Barnes||The Sense of an Ending|
|J.D.Salinger||The Catcher in the Rye|
|Edith Wharton||Ethan Frome|
|Mohsin Hamid||The Reluctant Fundamentalist|
|W.G. Seebald||Rings of Sarum|
|Charlotte Bronte||Jane Eyre|
|Simon Sebag Montelfore||Jerusalem|
|Mitch Albom||The Five People You Meet in Heaven|
|Nick Hornby||Juliet, Naked and How to Be Good|
|JG Farrell||The Troubles|
|Roma Tearne||Brixton Beach|
|Iain Banks||The Steep Approach to Garbadale|
|A.S. Byatt||The Children's Book|
|Haruki Murakami||Norwegian Wood|
|Patrick Gale||Notes from an Exhibition|
|Markus Zusak||The Book Thief|
|Janice Frey||A Million Little Pieces|
|Sarah Dunnant||In the Company of Others|
|Kate Atkinson||Case Histories|
|Amos Oz||A Tale of Love and Darkness|
|Anton Chekhov||Lady with Lapdog and other stories|
|Adrei Makine||Le Testament Francais|
|Fyodor Dostoyevsky||The Gambler|
|Bruce Chatwin||Song Lines|
|Peter Carey||The True History of the Ned Kelly Gang|
|Miles Franklin||My Brilliant Career|
|Doris Pilkington Garimara||Rabbit Proof Fence|
|Khalid Hosseini||A Thousand Splendid Suns|
|David Mitchell||Black Swan Green|
|William Boyd||Brazzaville Beach|
|Ann Tyler||Breathing Lessons|
|Amitav Ghosh||The Glass Palace|
|George Orwell||Burmese Days|
|Emma Larkin||Secret Histories: Finding George Orwell in a Burmese Teashop|
|Chimamnda Ngozi Adichie||Half of a Yellow Sun|
|The Book of Illusions|
|Carlos Castaneda||The Art of Dreaming|
|Sarah Waters||Night Watch|
|A.M. Holmes||This Book will Save your life|
|Anthony Trollope||The Way We Live Now|
|Stef Penney||The Tenderness of Wolves|
|Carlos Castaneda||The Art of Dreaming|
|Claire Tomalin||Samuel Pepys|
|Joseph O’Connor||Star of the Sea|
|Peter Ackroyd||English Music|
|Monica Ali||Brick Lane|
|Simon Armitage||Little Green Man|
|Beryl Bainbridge||According to Queeney|
|Justin Cartwright||White Lightning|
|Tracy Chevalier||Girl with a Pearl Earring|
|JM Coetzee||Waiting for the Barbarians|
|Michael Cunningham||The Hours|
|Louis de Berniere||Birds Without Wings|
|Charles Dickens||Great Expectations|
|Sebastian Falkes||Human Traces|
|Karen Joy Fowler||Jane Austen Book Club|
|Jonathan Franzen||The Corrections|
|Mark Haddon||The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time|
|Khaled Hosseini||The Kite Runner|
|Kazuo Ishiguro||When we were orphans|
|Henry James||The Bostonians|
|TE Lawrence||Seven Pillars of Wisdom|
|Ursula Le Guin||Left Hand of Darkness|
|Andrea Levy||Small Island|
|Anne Marie Mac Donald||The Way the Crow Flies|
|Yann Martel||Life of Pi|
|Alexander McCall Smith||No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency|
|Jon McGregor||If Nobody Speaks Of Remarkable Things|
|Ann Michaels||Fugitive Pieces|
|Julie Myerson||Something might happen|
|Audrey Niffenegger||The Time Traveller’s Wife|
|Orhan Pamuk||My Name is Red|
|Ann Patchett||The Magician’s Assistant|
|Jean Rhys||Wide Sargasso Sea|
|Salman Rushdie||Midnight’s Children|
|Dava Sobel||Galileo’s Daughter|
|Abi Smith||The Accidental|
|Manil Suri||Death of Vishnu|
|Amy Tan||The Kitchen God’s Wife|
|Rose Tremain||Music and Silence|
|William Trevor||The Hill Bachelors (short stories)|
|William Trevor||Lucy Gault|
|Ivan Turgenev||Fathers and Sons|
|John Updike||Beck is Back|
|Jill Paton Walsh||Knowledge of Angels|
|Virgina Woolf||Mrs. Dalloway|