2019 Book Group News
Hello and welcome to the Book Group Page
If you are interested in reading and discussing books, please do come along to our book group. We do ask that if you are going to come along you really should have read the book.
The De Beauvoir WI Book Group
We meet once a month and discuss the book we chose between us at the previous meeting. We try not to stick to a particular genre or type, and suggestions from all members are welcome – and more importantly – acted upon.
The next meeting of the Book Group will be at 8 o’clock in Bavo on Southgate Road, on Tuesday, 23rd April. If you live in or around de Beauvoir, I am sure you will know Bavo – it is a Turkish restaurant with a Mediterranean twist, but you are not obliged to have your dinner there.
At the last book group meeting we discussed Transcription by Kate Atkinson, and although the critics loved the book, our reading group were more guarded in their approval.
This month (April 2019) we shall be discussing Normal People by Sally Rooney. Sally Rooney took the world by storm with her first book Conversations with Friends … so young … so natural … tour de force … witty … glittering …winner of the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year … etc, so, because none of us had read her second book, we chose that. It is a slighter book than Conversations and there are two protagonists only; the spotlight is brighter on these two, and everyone else is just a little darker and more blurred, the families have are more vague and gothic and the well-drawn, contemporary villains do not stay in the story for long. Again, excellent reviews … a future classic … “it shows what it is to be young and in love at any time”. It is not an immutable law that the second book cannot be as good as the first, and I think Normal People shows this to be so.
Yet again, we have managed to break our rule about waiting for the paperback to come out so, again, apologies; we really shall be more careful in future. However, you can get a cheaper copy from Waterstones and the Book Depository. RRP is £14.99.
We chose our books each month from suggestions from the members, so if you have a book you would like to suggest, please do bring along some information on it to persuade us. You shouldn’t have read this beforehand.
We would really love to see on 23rd, but you really should have read the book.
Dogs are welcome
Some of our 2018 reads
Jagua Nana by Cyprion Edwensi. This was republished in 1975 as part of the Heinemann African Writers Series. Although Edwensi has been compared to Dickens, the book was not a richly textured interweaving of many stories and it got a thumbs down from us, mainly for its two dimensional depiction of its main character – and the other characters too. And far too many mentions of buttocks.
Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie, which is a loose contemporary reworking of Sophocles’ Antigone, without the incest. Sophocles’ simplest message was that older generations do not always know better than their children and that natural law is more important than man-made law. It has had excellent reviews … “elegant and evocative prose” and “pulls off a fine balancing act; it is a powerful exploration of the clash between society family and faith in the modern world, whilst acknowledging the same dilemma in the ancient one”. It was shortlisted for the Costa Best Novel Award last year.