Walsham le Willows

Reading Group

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

Future Titles and Authors

(Dates and venues on request)

March 2015

Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe

This book, by Nigeria’s most famous writer, portrays the impact of British colonization on the life of a settled African community. The author not only informs the outside world about Ibo cultural traditions, but also reminds his own people of the value of their past.

April 2015

Disgrace – J M Coetzee

Winner of the Booker Prize and later awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, Coetzee’s novel follows a disgraced university lecturer, David Lurie, who is forced out of his post after an affair and is beginning to come to terms with his powerlessness. Bleak and powerful, with just a hint of the possibility of redemption.

May 2015

Do No Harm – Henry Marsh

What is it like to be a brain surgeon? How does it feel to hold someone’s life in your hands, to cut through the stuff that creates thought, feeling and reason? How do you live with the consequences when it all goes wrong? Do No Harm offers an unforgettable insight into the highs and lows of a life dedicated to operating on the human brain, in all its exquisite complexity. With astonishing candour and compassion, Henry Marsh reveals the exhilarating drama of surgery, the chaos and confusion of a busy modern hospital, and above all the need for hope when faced with life’s most agonising decisions.

June 2015

Good Wives – Margaret Forster

What is a 'good wife'? The bestselling author of Hidden Lives explores four marriages, including her own, in different times and societies to find the answer. In 1848 Mary Moffatt became the wife of the missionary and explorer David Livingstone – and her obedience and devotion eventually killed her. In 1960, Margaret Forster married her school sweetheart Hunter Davies in a London Registry Office – and interpreted the role very differently. Between these two marriages is a huge gulf in which the notion of marriage changed immeasurably.

Forster traces the shift in emphasis from submission to partnership, first through the marriage of one unconventional American, Fanny Osbourne, to Robert Louis Stevenson, in the late nineteenth century; and then through that of Jennie Lee to Aneurin Bevan in the 1930s. Why does a woman still want to be a wife in the twenty–first century? What is the value of marriage today? Why do couples still marry in church? These are some of the questions Forster asks as she weaves the personal experience of forty years through the stories of three wives who have long fascinated her.

July 2015

The King’s Glass – Carola Hicks

Each year more than 250,000 people visit the Chapel of King’s College, Cambridge, one of Europe’s best–known buildings. This book tells the untold story of the Chapel’s crowning glory, its stained glass windows, and of the people who created them – the triumphant culmination of a project completed despite wars, the death of kings and violent religious conflict. The glass symbolises the power of the Tudors, and is a mirror of their souls. Planned by Henry VII and continued by Henry VIII, the windows are dynastic propaganda, simultaneously blatant and subtle. The windows show how Henry commemorated his wives in art, then airbrushed them out when they fell from favour, and how he recruited leading artists to make this England’s response to the Sistine Chapel.

The great ‘King’s Glass’ also flaunts the skills of its makers, many of them innovative immigrants. It is a tale of guilds and artisans as well as of the court. It is, too, a history of England, reflecting change, conflict and modernity in the sixteenth century.

Previous Titles

Author Title
Joseph Conrad The Secret Agent
Willie Cather The Song of the Lark
Virginia Woolf Mrs Dalloway
. Poison Farm: A Murder Unmasked After 60 Years
Dashiell Hammett The Maltese Falcon
Mark Billingham Rush of Blood
Donna Leon Death at La Fenice
Iain Pears The Instance of the Fingerpost
Peter May The Black House
Sue Monk Kidd Secret Life of Bees
Kathryn Stockett Help
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
Colin Toibin Brooklyn
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
Alice Munroe Runaway
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
Tim Winton Breath
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
Jonathan Raban Badlands
Carlos Castaneda The Art of Dreaming
William Boyd Restless
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
Margaret Atwood Surfacing
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
Ian McEwan Atonement
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
Carol Shields Unless
Paullina Simons Tully
Dava Sobel Galileo’s Daughter
Abi Smith The Accidental
Manil Suri Death of Vishnu
Graham Swift Waterland
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

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