Sunday, 4 January 2015

December 13th Session & December Writing Task

December marked our last session of the year, when we traditionally have a ‘reading session’, and discuss a book we’ve read that year. We brought in some food and had a great time talking about our reading lists. Here are the books the group brought in and our thoughts on them:

Cherry - Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

An ageing writer becomes obsessed with his 12-year-old stepdaughter, who he calls Lolita. This controversial book is beautifully written, although the language can be quite complex at points. It has an unreliable narrator and plot twists.

Roma - The Shock of The Fall by Nathan Filer 

A teenager called Matthew suffers from a mental illness following the loss of his brother. This award-winning novel was well-researched and the narration demonstrates Matthew’s skewed vision of the world.

Richard - The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

A man charts his life and relationships and reflects on the effects of a suicide. This Man Booker Prize-winning novel makes you want to read the story over again. It is written well and even people who don’t usually read will enjoy it.  

Kuli - The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde

This story introduces children to important life lessons using the selfless actions of a swallow and a statue he meets on his travels. It is a poignant and emotional story which can be enjoyed by all ages.

Nirmal - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K Rowling/ Luis Suarez biography  

The schoolboy wizard continues his adventures in the second instalment of the series, battling a giant serpent in the chamber of secrets. / An insight into Suarez’s most notorious moment on the field, and the events in his life which led up to it. A thought-provoking biography which elicits empathy.

Anne - When God was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman

The story of a young woman growing up, and the relationships she forms along the way, particularly with her brother and best friend. Award-winning and well recommended, the storyline is more ‘woven’ than linear, which adds a nice complexity to the story.

Des – Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer

Teen vampire romance novels, detailing the burgeoning relationship between a human girl and her undead lover. Recommended for lovers of romance and horror, these books are easy reading.                                                    

Michael - The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 

These well-known thrillers featuring England’s most famous detective are well-written and exciting. They created many of the standards for modern detective stories and there are many interesting tales behind the writing. They have been adapted and modernised many times, but the original stories stand the test of time despite their age.  

It was very interesting to see what people had been reading during the year, and we have a lot of new recommendations for our reading lists.

December Writing Task

We did a small exercise to take away and use for our writing task. We took a piece of paper and wrote down a potential novel title. Then we swapped pieces of paper so nobody ended up with their own. The idea is to use the novel title to inspire a poem/short piece of writing. When we reconvene, we will compare the original idea behind the title and the interpretation by the recipient.

Don’t forget that next month we will be joined by Poetry on Loan’s Roz Goddard, who will be leading our session for us on poetry! Look forward to seeing you all there!

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