Posts Tagged 'reading'

Daughters of Iowa

The King Lear story rewritten – well, not exactly, but the echoes ae there – the three daughters, the maddened King sent out into a storm. I don’t think it really mattered though if you knew nothing of the original Shakespeare – a story about daughters and inheritance, Alzheimer’s and sibling rivalry, marriage and motherhood will probably always have resonance.
There were many things I enjoyed: the slow revelation of the central character’s hidden (eve to herself) dark secret, the interplay of sisters and their husbands and lovers, and the horrible limitations of living within a patriarchy which seems reinforced by the demands of running a farm. All that cooking and scrubbing, without any thanks or value attributed to it or you as a human being. That said, it’s hard not to get frustrated with Ginny. I have been doing a course on How To Read A Mind with FutureLearn, looking at fictional minds and characters, and how we create them in our own heads and love or hate them as if they were real. So many things come into play – my own family background, my position in the world, my likes and dislikes. In this case, just felt a big cheer when G left home but wondered why she wanted to be a waitress – more serving and being nice to people. Sigh. P1020285
Anyway! Looking forward to the discussion. We are also planning a relaunch of the book club, and a publicity drive to get some new members in so bring ideas along.


Poetry please

Hey everybody hope you are all well and getting as excited as I am about having Mark Robinson at book group next Monday. He is both an excellent poet and an excellent reader of his work, (and many other things besides see his fascinating blog) so it will be a treat.
We won’t be at Voodoo as they are hosting a comedy night this Monday, but instead, we will be meeting at the lovely home of Mary in Darlington. Let either me or Tammy at New Writing North know if you need the address.
Following this, in March, we have agreed to read The Weather in The Streets by Rosamond Lehmann, one of my most favourite authors (true, there are a few of these) with the ability to convey the experience of emotional pain second to none. I understand i his is not a selling point to some of you! But for me she reaches into the depths with elegance and beauty, both heart rending and compassionate. Sh is a wonderful writer, take my word for it.

And in April, we will read A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley, as this author is coming to the north east and we will be able to attend various events such as this one at Tyneside cinema. P1020111

Sunny Days in Darlo

Hi gang – hope you are enjoying the sun and the uncanny feeling that this might be how people in hot countries feel – sort of warmed through and relaxed. It’s like we have finally managed to defrost thoroughly, and it feels good, book lovers.
Thanks for the last group (welcome to our new members) in lovely Sloan’s – such a nice bar, isn’t it, especially with all that light streaming in. It was good to hear all your recommendations and I have made a list:
Rachel Joyce: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
James Bowen: A Street Cat Named BobP1010330
Jonas Jonasson: The 100 year old man (…)
Richard Ford: Canada
Eva Rice: The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets
Markus Zusak: The Book Thief

So loads to choose from – but I think we decided we would start with Barbara Kingsolver’s Flight Behaviour. It’s not a short book, so might be something to get in for your summer read – I am currently trying to whittle down a pile I am taking to Latitude and a week in Suffolk can’t wait.
ook forward to seeing you all in September – I’ll put proper details on the blog. Think it will have to be the second week rather than the first but will confirm.


So I have finished the book and thought it was an excellent read. Good to discover a new writer, even though it seems that very few of his books are translated. I found this one very moving, mainly because it felt so authentic and because of the character of the narrator – his interior life clearly at odds with the image he presents to the world – the village idiot. The comradeship of the team of loggers is beautifully portrayed. Also it has035 several of the ingredients that I love – set in Finland, wood chopping and men in uniform of various kinds. The historical aspects of what happened in Finland during the war are so complex and fascinating – hope this will be one of the things we discuss on Monday.
I haven’t managed to organise another venue so hope it will be OK to give the Forum another go. We can have a rethink or move on somewhere else if it is noisy. Look forward to seeing you all.

How are we doing, dear readers?

Happy New Year to all. Hope you don’t feel too lumbered with the great tome that is 1Q84. Remember I do not require you to have finished it – started would be good – but even if you have just managed to lift it, that’s sufficient.
Really, it’s a great book, and I would hate it to feel like a burden – so have a taste and let’s chat about it – you can always go back and finish another time. I am nearly through the third volume now, and am glad to have persevered. As my mum always said – you’ll like it when you get there. Also made me think of other trilogies I have read – Lord of the Rings, for example? Doris Lessing’s Children of Violence (4 or 5?) Then there were those 8 volumes of Clarissa. I was younger then – there was more time. DSCF1884
Look forward to seeing you all at The Forum next Monday.


Thanks to those who made it to the last Darlo bookgroup where we discussed the wonderful Patrick Hamilton among other topics. I hope that we are all decided that we will stick with The Forum as a venue into 2013? I think it’s probably the only remaining community (ish) space we have and so should support it – and maybe the film club will also become part of what we do sometimes.
Our first book of the New Year is 1Q84 – a big one, so I hope there is a chance of some reading time among all the festivities and conviviality – sometimes sneaking off with a book is the best thing to do when surrounded by people. Apparently a lot of books get sold in January – interesting! I will be giving and very possibly receiving books this year as always. Still rates very highly with me as one of the greatest pleasures on my life – so thanks to my lovely mum for taking me to libraries since I was knee high, and to all my lovely book group friends for introduciFunny-Christmas-animals05ng me to many new writers, and for sharing monthly Mondays with me. All the best to you, and look forward to seeing you all in the New Year.


Monday 2 March
Hello from the Gillespies by Monica McInerney

Monday 6 April
Life after Life by Kate Atkinson

All meetings take place on the first Monday of the month at 6.30pm. We are currently meeting at:

Voodoo Cafe
84 Skinnergate

Photo by Moody Mammoth

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