The Book Club

Are you an avid reader? Or perhaps new to the village. Did you know we have a flourishing Book Club?

The book club started about 15 years ago with just 3 members and our first novel was ‘the Girl With a Pearl Earring’. Since then we have grown into a small but enthusiastic group of committed readers. We meet monthly in different members houses for book discussion and a bit of gossip over a glass of wine. Books are chosen democratically: someone suggests a book which we may vote on. We aim to read widely — modern literary books, some classics and, occasionally, a thriller or a biography. We want to enjoy our reading but sometimes to challenge ourselves and read something we may otherwise not have thought of.To find out more about the Village Book Club contact Heather.
Activity Address Rose Cottage and various venues
Name of Contact Heather Mines
Contact Address Rose Cottage, Hall Lane, Hadlow Down, TN22 4HJ
Telephone 07974 204231
Email Address heathermines2@hotmail.com

Hadlow Down Book Club Review – June 2022

I live my life in widening circles/ that reach out across the world’ Rilke

Our book this month was one of the Mann Booker short-listed books, Great Circle (2021), by Maggie Shipstead, also short-listed for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2022. Referred to as ‘a ride of a book’, it was at times exhilarating although the book club’s members sometimes found it to be a rather bumpy ride. It was an ambitious novel on a grand scale, spanning a full century and the entire planet. Continue reading “Hadlow Down Book Club Review – June 2022”

H D Book Club Review – Anything is Possible

Anything is possible. No one understands how far you can push your body to the limit and I like to play with that’ (Walt Disney)

About three years ago we read My name is Lucy Barton  by Elizabeth Strout (2016), a novel about a now successful writer beginning to come to terms with her deprived and abusive childhood through conversations with her mother as Lucy lies severely ill in hospital. This month’s book Anything is Possible (2017) follows that novel, but is in the form of a series of interconnected stories about characters from Lucy’s rural hometown of Amgash Illinois.
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Hadlow Down Book Club Review – April

A lot of women are really strong, even though they are slaves.’
Celestial Bodies iby Jonka Alharti

Some months ago we read Arabian Sands by Wilfred Thesiger, a detailed factual account of his travels and relationships with the Bedouin tribesmen across the desert and is entirely about the men. Our February book was one that redressed the balance being about three generations of Omani women in a period of transition from patriarchy to living in an oil-rich Gulf state. Celestial Bodies is by Jonka Alharti, published in 2010 and winner of the Man Booker International prize in 2019, the first Omani writer to be translated into English.

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Hadlow Down Book Club Review -August 2021

In August the Book Club always takes a break and members read their own choice of book and bring back recommendations to the group. We certainly had a diverse and interesting selection and I for one can’t wait to start reading some of them.

To start with some vintage World War novels, ‘Death of a Hero’ (1929) was written by Richard Aldington and based on his own first-hand experience of World War 1. It is sometimes considered the greatest of all novels about that War and makes a scalding critique of those pre-war voices that helped to make that global catastrophe inevitable. It is that very anger that made this a fascinating read. Nigel Balchin was a psychologist, a writer and deputy scientific adviser to the Army Council. Like Aldington he writes from first-hand knowledge in ‘Darkness Falls from the Air’ (1942) a vivid account of living through the blitz and ‘Small Back Room’ (1943) a story of the backroom boys. Of their time, they are readable, informative and vivid.
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H D Book Club Review – July 2021 ‘Small Pleasures’

I adore simple pleasures. They are the last refuge of the complex.” Oscar Wilde

This month we chose a complete contrast to our previous book and read ‘Small Pleasures’ by Clare Chambers’ 2020, longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2021 and selected for BBC2 ‘Between the Covers’ Book club. It has been described as a word of mouth hit, “almost flawless”, and I personally found it a delightful book.
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