Book Club

The Book Group (Ladies) chooses books to read & then meets every six weeks at each others houses to discuss the current book.

The group gives you an incentive to read something which you might otherwise not choose. Always a lively discussion follows. It was started in 2006 and so far we have read 50 vastly different books and attended special book associated events arranged by the Library.

The Group is full at the moment but you can put your name on a waiting list.

Contact: Ann Russell (details in the Members Section after you have logged in)

Book Club Wednesday 25 September.

MaidARA Book Club met yesterday to discuss The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd.

The story was based in fact the two Grimk sisters really existed, and a fictional story was twined about this.  It was at times almost painful to read, the brutality was shocking. The characters were well defined and the story rolled along, an easy read. The eventual escape of Handful and her sister was a little fanciful, but it did leave our readers with a good feeling.  
This book scored the highest marks that can be given, the only other book to have done so was East of Eden by John Steinbeck.

Pat Harman

Book Club Wednesday 13 August.

MaidARA Reading Group met last Wednesday to discuss Tess of the D'Urbervilles, by Thomas Hardy, which was an extremely good story, layered thickly by a lot unnecessary prose. Most of us thought that far too many unusual words  were used, and it did cause some distraction from the book but he description of the countryside and seasons were beautiful. Hardy was a champion of women at that time, they could be raped and abused and have children out of wedlock and they were spurned by the church and society.
The book received very good marks.

Book Club Thursday 3 July.

The book club met yesterday and as it was a beautiful sunny afternoon we had our meeting on Mags balcony, overlooking the river Medway.

As usual a lively discussion on the book Sarah Thornhill by Kate Grenville. The book was generally well received and given good marks especially by those who had not read any of her books in the past, but a few who had, thought it did not quite come up to the level of the first two books in the trilogy. Never-the-less it was an easy summer read.

Pat Harman

Book Club Thursday 22 May.

The Book Club met this week to discuss our latest read J. K. Rowling's The Casual Vacancy.
Most of our members liked the book very much and gave it high marks. It was an interesting story which never lacked momentum, lots of different interesting characters and an unusual plot. We thought that although the language was at times overripe it was in keeping with some of the characters

Pat Harman

Book Club Thursday 10 April.

The Book Club met to discuss Water for Elephants by Sarah Gruen.

Book Club Thursday 27 February.

The Book Club met last week to discuss the current read which was The Burleigh Cross Post-box Theft. by Nichola Barker,

This book had different effects on the members some loved it some hated it, some couldn't get past the first chapters, but those of us who did found the book very well written hugely original and extremely funny in parts. In all fairness the first 2 chapters were a challenge but when into the book it was a very rewarding read.

Pat Harman

Book Club Thursday 16 January.

The book club met on Thursday 16th January, to discuss the book we had all been reading, which was The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Johansson. Although we all thought the book was well written and very well translated from Swedish, our thoughts on the book were varied, most of the ladies thought the book very funny and a well deserved best seller, others thought it rather silly over long,too political and far-fetched. But like most of our "reads" it evoked lots of discussion, and new ideas about  the book were voiced and discussed.

A good afternoon, thanks Ann for the hospitality.

Pat Harman

Book Club Thursday 24 October.

The Book Club met on Thursday 24th October to talk about their latest read The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. What a fantastic book, although it had many pages we were fascinated by the powerful story telling, a classic book that some of us might want to read again in the future and still find it gripping, so much to discuss in this book. Voted best read of the book club far.
Pat Harman

Book Club Thursday 12 September.

The Book Club held itsmeeting last Thursday at Dilly Mullarky's house, and  a very interesting

meeting it was, the book we had all read was The Fever Treeby Jennifer McVeigh and a lively discussion followed most of the members enjoyed the book and gave it high marks. The Book Club has now been running for 7 years, we started in September 2006 and have now read a total of 63 books. Only 2 of the original members are still in the group but we have been joined over the years by keen readers who help keep the club fresh and enjoyable.

Book Club Thursday 1 August.


MaidARA's Reading Groups latest book was Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O'Farrell it was an apt book for reading during another heat wave, although the one in the book was the heat wave of 1976 about an Irish family living in London, the mother wanting to be involved and in charge of her grown up children's lives, one morning the father goes out for a paper and disappears, eventually all the children gather to support their mother and try and discover why their peaceful loving father would act so out of character. Then story which unfolded was interesting but not riveting, we all gave the book fairly good marks but agreed it was not the best Maggie O'Farrell book we have read.

Book Club Thursday 20th June.

The Book Club met on the 20th June at Catherine's house, the book we discussed was The Long Song by Andrea Levy, this story was told through the voice of July a Jamaican slave, set in the early 1800's and took us on her journey until emancipation. It was a very readable book, July was a lively likeable character whose voice was not always reliable, it told a slightly different story than any of us expected, and she drew you into the book as though telling you a secret. When freedom finally came most of the people found they were in fact not so well off as they had imagined having to cater for their own needs. Very well received and high marks given.

Book Club Thursday May 9th.

The book club had another very successful meeting on the 9th May at Ann's house, the book we had all read was The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. A mystery story which covered nearly a 100 years and was set in Australia and Cornwall and involved 5 generations of the same family ranging from great great grand mother to great great granddaughter. The time differences did tend to confuse, and the story in some of the members opinion was overlong but nevertheless it was well thought out and had a few surprises at the end, and the descriptions of Cornwall were accurate and beautiful. It was a good book for discussion and exchanges of interpretation.

Pat Harman


World Book Night on Tuesday 23rd April

It was World Book Night on Tuesday 23rd April, also our new Library's 1st Birthday, the library celebrated both events by having a Murder Mystery Evening, to which our Reading Group was invited. The murder story script was written by Ann Cleaves, and 1st and 2nd prizes were copies of her latest novel. We heard the story of how a famous author was murdered, stabbed with a shard of old mirror glass by the summerhouse, and heard 4 suspects give their alibis and version of events. Unfortunately we didn't solve the murder but all thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

Pat Harman

Book Club Thursday March 28th.

The Girl Who Fell From The Sky by Simon Mawer.
The book is very much of it's intended time, full of clandestine meetings and Churchillian attitude, but it has the human elements that are required to make compelling reading. Although the narrative does retain the realm of possibility,it is also something of a macabre adventure. What ordinary girl would not dream about being plucked from her humdrum job doing war work to be dropped into enemy held France. Some thought it was a little too close to real life stories of World War 11 heroines and maybe in a way undermining their achievement, but it was a good and informative read. Most of the ladies enjoyed this book, and would encourage other members to read it.
Pat Harman

The Book Club met on the 14th February,

 to discuss the book That Hand That Once Held Mine by Maggie O'Farrell, a story that was set in two eras the 1950's and present day. It was very well discussed and enjoyed by all, with high marks of 30 out of 35.
Pat Harman

Book Club Thursday January 3rd.

The Book Clubs most recent read was The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.

This was not an easy read, and definitely not for the feint hearted. A harrowing tale of a fictional family
 in a factual time, set in the depression of 1930s America. The Joads, simple hardworking farmers, made the 2,000 mile arduous journey along route 66 to California "The Land of Milk and Honey" in a dilapidated truck with all their possessions and 14 people. When eventually arriving in the "Promised Land" which had advertised itself as bountiful in farming work, it turned out to be just the opposite. They encountered heartbreaking kindness and heartless cruelty. A wonderful book enjoyed by most of the book club.

Book Club Thursday October 11th at Dillys's House.

MaidARA Book Club met on Thursday the 11th October to discuss the book East of Eden by John Steinbeck, when I gave the book out at the last meeting there were a few groans because the book was so thick, 700 odd pages, but a totally different scenario this week. We all loved the book and talked and discussed about it in depth for a good hour and a half, all of us gave it 5 points out of 5 a very rare accolade. A truly masterpiece of a book.
The story of one man's life from cradle to grave and what he achieved and moreover what he did not. I recommend anyone who reads this report to borrow it from the library. A good winters read.
Our next book is very different In Pale Battalions by Robert Goddard.
Pat Harman

Book Club Thursday August 30th at Mags McCarthy's House.

The afternoon was started by a session of feeding the ducks, as the river Medway flows right passed Mags & Bryan's Patio, contenting ourselves that the ducks were happy we got down to the business of discussing the latest book which was The Sisters Brother by Patrick De Witt.
An unusual book for the us, it was set in the California gold rush of 1851, about 2 ruthless killers the Sisters brothers, whose job it was to track down and kill Herman Kermit Warm, who turned out to be a gold prospector with a magic liquid formula which when poured into the river revealed the gold in the river, Herman only having to pick up the nuggets on the bottom of the lake to become rich beyond his wildest dreams, unfortunately the formula was lethal killing fish beavers and eventually the men.
The Book was really enjoyed by some of the group and not by others , a very divided verdict, but we all agreed it was very well written and will probably at some time in the future be turned into a film.