Have you ever thought about joining a book club or readers group? Leeds Libraries have groups meeting monthly at sites all over the city – ask at your local library for details. Here are a few reasons why we think joining a readers group is a good idea:
- Reading is a great window on the world and a useful way to expand your horizons by increasing your knowledge of the world around you
- They’re a great way to expand your literary palette by allowing you to read books you may not necessarily have chosen to read yourself – you’ll have the opportunity to read books from a wide range of genres and by a host of different authors
- They provide a relaxed, informal learning environment. By talking about books, you can develop critical thinking and discussion skills in a warm, safe place
- They’re great places to get out and about and meet new people. What better way to make new friends than by sitting down having a chat about books?
- Last but not least, readers groups are fun, lively places where there’s always a good conversation going on. Why not find one near you and join today?
Swillington Book Club (formerly Swillington Readers Group) is currently looking for new members. Starting in March, the group will meet on the second Monday of the month from 12.30 – 1.30 p.m. in Swillington Village Hall. Please contact Stu Hennigan – firstname.lastname@example.org – or call him on 07891276538 for more details.
To whet your appetite this is a small selection of the books that some of our readers groups will be reading over the coming year.
The Taxidemist’s Daughter by Kate Mosse
Sussex, 1912. In a churchyard, villagers gather on the night when the ghosts of those who will die in the coming year are thought to be seen. Here, where the estuary leads out to the sea, superstitions still hold sway. Standing alone is the taxidermist’s daughter. At seventeen, Constantia Gifford lives with her father in a decaying house: it is all that is left of Gifford’s once world-famous museum of taxidermy. The stuffed animals that used to grace every parlour are out of fashion, leaving Gifford a disgraced and bitter man. The bell begins to toll and all eyes are fixed on the church. No one sees the gloved hand pick up a flint. As the last notes fade into the dark, a woman lies dead.
The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman
Combined for the first time here are Maus I: A Survivor’s Tale and Maus II – the complete story of Vladek Spiegelman and his wife, living and surviving in Hitler’s Europe. By addressing the horror of the Holocaust through cartoons, the author captures the everyday reality of fear and is able to explore the guilt, relief and extraordinary sensation of survival – and how the children of survivors are in their own way affected by the trials of their parents. A contemporary classic of immeasurable significance.
Walls Come Tumbling Down by Daniel Rachel
‘Walls Come Tumbling Down’ charts the pivotal period between 1976 and 1992 that saw politics and pop music come together for the first time in Britain’s musical history; musicians and their fans suddenly became instigators of social change, and ‘the political persuasion of musicians was as important as the songs they sang’. Through the voices of campaigners, musicians, artists and politicians, Daniel Rachel follows the rise and fall of three key movements of the time: Rock Against Racism, 2 Tone, and Red Wedge, revealing how they all shaped, and were shaped by, the music of a generation.
Grief is a thing with feathers by Max Porter
In a London flat, two young boys face the unbearable sadness of their mother’s sudden death. Their father, a Ted Hughes scholar and scruffy romantic, imagines a future of well-meaning visitors and emptiness. In this moment of despair they are visited by Crow – antagonist, trickster, healer, babysitter. This self-described sentimental bird is attracted to the grieving family and threatens to stay until they no longer need him. As weeks turn to months and physical pain of loss gives way to memories, this little unit of three begin to heal.
Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave
When war is declared, Mary North leaves finishing school unfinished, goes straight to the War Office, and signs up. Tom Shaw decides to give it a miss – until his flatmate Alistair unexpectedly enlists, and the conflict can no longer be avoided. Young, bright and brave, Mary is certain she’d be a marvelous spy. When she is – bewilderingly – made a teacher, she instead finds herself defying prejudice to protect the children her country would rather forget. Tom, meanwhile, finds that he will do anything for Mary. And when Mary and Alistair meet, it is love, as well as war, that will test them in ways they could not have imagined, entangling three lives in violence and passion, friendship and deception, and inexorably shaping their hopes and dreams.
Dead Pretty by David Mark
Hannah Kelly has been missing for nine months. Ava Delaney has been dead for five days. One girl to find. One girl to avenge. And DS Aector McAvoy won’t let either of them go until justice can be done. But some people have their own ideas of what justice means…
The Gunslinger by Stephen King
Set in a world of extraordinary circumstances, filled with stunning visual imagery and unforgettable characters, The Dark Tower series is King’s most visionary feat of storytelling, a magical mix of science fiction, fantasy, and horror that may well be his crowning achievement.In The Gunslinger (originally published in 1982), King introduces his most enigmatic hero, Roland Deschain of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting, solitary figure at first, on a mysterious quest through a desolate world that eerily mirrors our own. Pursuing the man in black, an evil being who can bring the dead back to life, Roland is a good man who seems to leave nothing but death in his wake.