Warwick Books Book Group

December 17th, 2014

9781408842454We met at the Old Punch Bowl Inn on Wednesday November 5th at just after 6.00. This time, mainly due to illness, we were a very small band, but nevertheless had an interesting discussion.

the book we had read was Khaled Hosseini’s “And the Mountains Echoed”

This book seems at first a collection of individual short stories, but as it develops, the stories begin to weave together. We start off with a father and his two small children walking from their rural village in Afghanistan across miles of tedious landscape to Kabul. Usually a very taciturn man, the father weaves magical stories to help pass the long journey. What neither of the children, Abdullah or Pari realise is that the journey will change the destiny of both of them in a very profound way.

Each chapter concentrates on part of the story of each of the individuals in the narrative. The chapters also range across time and it takes quite a while before a glimpse of the whole story becomes visible. There are many characters and some readers found this rather confusing. We all felt that the first part of the book was much stronger than the second part and there were some details which were not really necessary to the whole. This was a small criticism, though as Hosseini is a master story teller. He uses beautiful language and draws memorable characters. The smells and dust of the desert, the sudden colours of gardens within compounds, the cruelty and the love among family members, all of these add to the magic of his writing. Definitely one to recommend.

9780552996006Next month we are discussing Bill Bryson’s “Notes from a Small Island” The meeting will be held on Wednesday 3rd December. We would like to repeat last year’s December meeting’s theme of Christmas and have a meal at the Punch Bowl after the meeting. To give them an idea of numbers could everyone interested please e-mail us (keith@warwickbooks.net) as soon as possible.

Enjoy Bill Bryson’s view of England and the English from the 1970s onwards. Who doesn’t remember dragon-like seaside landladies (the stories about them even if we didn’t actually meet any), the turmoil of the three day week and trains with proper meals available. Looked at from the perspective of one who supposedly shares a language but certainly not a culture, the reader is drawn to the charm of Britain which many of us overlook.

Kenilworth Books Book Club

September 27th, 2014

Kenilworth Books
BOOK CLUB9780860685111

Meets at the Virgin and Castle Pub, High Street, Kenilworth,
4th Tuesday of every month 7.30 p.m. till about 9.30 p.m. 9780007367757

23rd Sept: I Know Why the Caged Birds Sing (Maya Angelou)
All the Pretty Horses (Cormac McCarthy)

28th Oct: A 9780349116150h (Eric Newby)
Flight Behaviour (Barbara Kingsolver)

25th Nov: An Awfully Big Adventure (Beryl Bainbridge)
The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat
(Oliver Sacks)

16th Dec: A Child’s Christmas in Wales (Dylan Thomas)

We are an informal and friendly group. Do come along and join us! Ring/text Victoria Lee on 0791 3369274, or Kenilworth Books on 01926 855784 or see www.warwickbooks.net for more information.

Warwick Books Book Group

September 15th, 2014

9780099285663We met at the Old Punch Bowl Inn in Warwick on Wednesday 2nd September. The book under discussion was “Cider With Rosie” by Laurie Lee. Coincidentally “The Times” that day ran an article about the countryside where the book is set, which is now under threat. Laurie Lee’s family are working hard to protect the area so evocatively remembered in his book.

At the start of the discussion, most members of the group said they didn’t particularly like the book. The language is too flowery, some people didn’t like the characters, etc etc but as we discussed it, everybody picked out their favourite bits, descriptions of characters such as Lee’s mother and the vividness of the clandestine meeting with Rosie to drink illicit cider, the beauty of the descriptions of the landscape etc. In the end we all decided we had enjoyed it after all, and would definitely recommend the book to a friend!

The next meeting will be on Wednesday 1st October when we will be discussing “Restless” by William Boyd – a thrilling spy story.9780747586203

On Wednesday 5th November we will be discussing Hosseini’s lyrical collection
of linked short stories “And the Mountain’s Echoed”.

One of the group brought along to the meeting a book by Bill Bryson, and quite
a few of the group confessed to never having read any of his books, so our
December read is the very funny “Notes from a Small Island”. This book follows
Bryson’s insightful journey round Britain describing us from an outsider’s
point of view. Written in the early years of his British experience, this is a
good start for anyone who hasn’t read any of his books before.

Another author who was mentioned and not many of us had read was Beryl
Bainbridge so we have chosen “An Awfully Big Adventure” for our January read.
The meeting will be on Wednesday January 7th

Kenilworth Books Book Group

May 30th, 2014

9780563388609Kenilworth Books

Book Club

Meets at the Virgin and Castle Pub, High Street, Kenilworth,

4th Tuesday of every month 7.30 p.m. till about 9.30 p.m.

20th May: Note date changed

Under Milk Wood (Dylan Thomas)

One Night in Winter (Simon Sebag Montefiore)

24th June: Americanah (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)

Cannery Row (John Steinbeck)

22nd July: Villette (Charlotte Bronte)


We are an informal and friendly group. Do come along and join us! Ring Victoria Lee on 0790 8899250, Kenilworth Books on 01926 855784 or see www.warwickbooks.net for more information.

Warwick Books Book Group

May 24th, 2014

9781447233176We met on Wednesday 23rd April to talk about “Burial Rites” by Hannah Kent.. Based on actual events, this dark novel follows the story of Agnes Magnusdotter who is condemned to death for her part in the murder of her lover. This book was shortlisted fot the Guardian First Book Award and all the group thought this was one of the best books we had ever read as a group. The gripping cold and formidable landscapes of Iceland are wonderfully portrayed. The consensus was that this was an inspired choice and compelling read, certainly to be recommended.

This was in stark contrast to our previous choice of the Alice Munro short story collection, “Dear Life” Some of these stories were quite enjoyable but none of them particularly memorable and we had a hard time understanding the rave reviews this book received.

Our next meeting will be on May 28th when we will be discussing “Spring Tide” a Scandinavian thriller by a husband and wife team, Cilla and Rolf Borjlind. This book opens with a woman buried up to her neck in sand on a Swedish beach on the night of a Spring Tide. The tide gradually comes in sweeping over the entrapped woman until it covers all of her…… . The story itself starts some years later with a young woman trainee police officer being assigned this unsolved case to investigate informally as a training exercise. What she uncovers is, of course, dark and dangerous!

The June meeting has actually been postponed to July 2nd when we will be discussing Ernest Hemmingway’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls”. Set during the Spanish Civil War with a young American fighting on the Republican side. Hemingway went to Spain during the Civil War and this book reflects some of the things he saw while he was there.

The July meeting is scheduled for July 30th when we will be discussing Kate Atkinson’s latest paperback “Life after Life”

All our meetings are held at the Old Punchbowl Inn in Warwick and we start at 6.00pm and chat for about an hour. Do come along and join us.


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