Book Clubs

What are the St Michael’s Book Clubs?

We are now 2 groups, each of about ten (men and women) who love reading and who welcome the opportunity to widen our literary horizons by meeting on a regular basis over a drink to discuss books we have collectively chosen to enjoy.

The initial group (Book Club 1), chaired by Jane Thomson, meets at 8pm in the St Michael’s Parish Hall on the fourth Wednesday of the month, with the exception of June and December.

2018 books were (*proposer)

February 21st: The Optician of Lampedusa: Emma Jane Kirby (*Margo Blythman)
March 21st: My Name is Asher Lev: Chaim Potok (*Mary)
April 25th: Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time: Marcus Borg (*Ruth Joseph)
May 23rd: The Dry: Jane Harper (*Richenda George)
July 25th: Citizen Clem: John Bew (*Michael Pownall)
August 22nd: War in Val d’Orcia: Iris Orio (*Margo Blythman)
September 26th: The Russlander: Sandra Birdsell  (*Terri Miller)
October 24th: The Underground Railroad: Colson Whitehead (*Cathie James)
November 28th: The Islander – A Journey Round our Archipelago: Patrick Barkham (*Jane Thomson)

2016 books were: (*proposer) 

February 17th: Reunion: Fred Uhlmann and A Meal in Winter: Hubert Mingarelli (*Cathie James)
March 16th: All the Light We cannot see: Anthony Doerr (*Carol Douglas & Margo Blythman)
April 27th: Home: Marilynne Robinson (*Phoebe Woollam)
May 25th: The Pumpkin Eaters: Penelope Mortimer (*Michael Pownall)
July 27th: The Last Act of Love: Cathy Rentzenbrink(*Jane Thomson)
August 24th: A Spool of Blue Thread: Anne Tyler (*Cathie James)
September 28th: Do no harm: Henry Marsh (*Sara Gronmark)
October 26th: A House by the Lake: Thomas Harding (*Carol Douglas)
November 23rd: Citizens of London: Lynne Olson (*Margo Blythman)

2015 books were: (*proposer) 

February 25th: Suspended Sentences :Patrick Modiano ( *Margo Blythman)
March 25th: Silence: Shusaku Endo (*Cathie James)
April 22nd: cancelled
May 27th: The Aftermath: Rhidian Brook (*Carol Douglas)
July 22nd: The Last Mughal: William Dalrymple (*Michael Pownall)
August 26th: Over: Margaret Foster (*Carol Douglas)
September 23rd: Suite Francaise: Irene Nemirovsky (*Ruth Joseph)
October 28th: H is for Hawk: Helen McDonald (*David Beresford)
November 25th: The Heather Blazing: Colm Toibin (*Margo Blythman)

2014 books were: (*proposer)
February 26th: Teach us to sit still: A Sceptic’s Guide to Health and Healing – Tim Parks (*Kate Vick)
March 26th: Harvest – Jim Crace (* Michael Pownall)
April 23rd: All Quiet on the Western Front – Erich Remarque (*Margo Blythman)
A Month in the Country – A.L. Carr (*Carol Douglas)
May 28th: Mimesis – Odysseus’Scar – Erich Auerbach (*Ruth Joseph)
July 23rd: Beautiful Ruins – Jess Walters (* Sara Gronmark)
August 27th: What Money can’t buy: The Moral Limits of Markets – Michael Sandel (*David Beresford)
September 24th: Goodbye to All That – Robert Graves (*Margaret Bolam)
When Hitler stole Pink Rabbit – Judith Kerr ( Phoebe Woollam)
October 22nd: Stoner – John Williams (*Cathie James)
November 26th: Music at Midnight (The Life and Poetry of George Herbert) – John Drury (*Ruth Joseph)

2013 books were (*proposer)
February 27th – A Time for Silence – Patrick Leigh Fermor (*David Beresford) 
March 20th: 
meeting cancelled 
April 24th 
The Old Ways – Robert Macfarlane (*Moira Broom) 
May 22nd 
Fathers and Sons – Ivan Turgenev (*Ruth Joseph) 
July 24th 
A Glass of Blessings – Barbara Pym (*Cathie James) 
August 28th 
Chains to Heaven – Philip Marsden (*Jane Thomson) 
September 25th 
Unapologetic – Francis Spufford (*Kate Vick) 
October 23rd 
Revolutionary Road – Richard Yates (*Carol Douglas)
November 27th How to be alone – Jonathan Franzen (*Carol Douglas)

2012 books were : (*proposer)
February 23rd (Thursday): A Sense of Being – Julian Barnes (*Ruth Joseph)
March 28th: Resistance – Owen Sheers (*Jane Thomson)
April 25th: A Man of Parts – David Lodge (* Sara Gronmark)
May 23rd: Blood River – Tim Butcher (* Phoebe Woollam)
July 25th: The Leopard – Giuseppe di Lampedusa (*Cathie James)
August 22nd: Poetry Reading Evening (*Carol Douglas)
September 26th: Charles Dickens-A Life – Claire Tomalin (*Jane Thomson)
October 24th: American Wife – Curtis Sittenfeld (*Carol Douglas)
November 28th: Barchester Towers – Anthony Trollope (* David Beresford)

There are no meetings in June (Green Days and Festival) and December 

2011 books were (* proposer) 
February 23rd: The Other Side of Me – Salley Vickers (*Wendy Callister)
March 23rd: The House Gun – Nadine Gordimer (*Phoebe Woollam)
April 27th: Mornings in Jenin- Susan Abulhawa (*Jane Thomson)
May 25th: Troubles – J.G. Farrell (*Cathie James)
July 27th: The Blind Assassin – Margaret Attwood (*Phoebe Woollam)
August 24th: The Black Sea – Neil Ascherson (*David Beresford)
September 28th:The Hare with Amber Eyes – Edmund de Waal (*Carol Douglas)
October 26th: The Glass Room – Simon Mawer (*Wendy Callister)
November 23rd: A Foreign Field – Ben McIntyre (*Jane Thomson)


A second Book group (Book Club 2) was set up in Autumn 2010 initially chaired by Jane Blanckenhagen and now by Tassy Russell :
It meets monthly on Mondays in the Parish Hall at 7.30pm. Please contact Tassy Russell via the Parish Office for further details

Jane Blanckenhagen, who chaired the second group, wrote in 2011: 

“Initially just four of us started our joint reading journey and we now meet monthly on Monday evenings (see above). To start with we chose books by vote just a few at a time, so enabling new members to have a say in what we read. Our purpose is primarily social but we have all enjoyed reading a wide range of books as well as books we might never otherwise have opened.
We have quickly grown to ten members (men and women) and would gladly welcome one or two more……. Then maybe it will be time for Book Club 3 to take off…….”

If you enjoy literature then don’t miss the annual Chiswick Book Festival, hosted by St Michael el & All Angels. The next Festival will take place between 15 and 19th September 2016.

If you would like to learn more about the Book Clubs and maybe to join, new members are always welocme, please do not hesitate to contact Jane Thomson, or Tassy Russelleither personally or via the Parish Office.