February Book Club

After a one year hiatus we began our book groups last week with a new leader at Fullers Bookshop in Hobart. 90 people are participating in several groups of twelve readers the first week of each month until December. It is lovely to see familiar faces once again and meet new ones.

Last week was a simple meet and greet group. We each talked about books that sustained us during 2020 and what we gained from them. I thought that today I would share one or two books that were talked about just so readers can see the diversity amongst our Wednesday evening group. So here goes…

Author Migeuel Syjuco

N – held up a Phillipine history book called Illustrado. She had been involved in a group of year 11 and 12 students who travelled to the Phillipines and talked about the effect of the poverty and extreme population in that country that they experienced. She said it was quite life changing for those who have had it really good living in Tasmania. We enjoyed hearing about her experiences.

Author Amy Newmark

J 1 – said she read one book entitled Life Lessons From A Cat. She told us she had to read light amusing books as she founds much about 2020 stressful.

J- (another J name) picked up Girl, Woman, Other several times but could not get into it. Then one day she started over again and really loved it. She loved the writing once she got used to it and we all agreed that the author should have won the Booker on her own and not had to share it with Margaret Atwood. A couple of others in the group had read and enjoyed this book also.

S- who is a retired teacher, said she not only read Oliver Sack’s book Gratitude again and again when she felt she needed a positive perspective, she also gifted it to several people.

H- enjoyed books by Kate Atkinson and she particularly mentioned Big Sky. She said it pulled her into the story as many of Atkinson’s book do and she definitely removed herself from 2020 while reading it.

T- read the autobiography Lioness. The story of the adoptive mother, Sue Brierley of the young boy, Saroo, who featured in Lion. Some of you may have seen the film. As most of you will remember, Saroo became lost in India while separated from his brother and eventually ended up being adopted by a family in northern Tasmania. He tracked down his family again once he reached adulthood via Google maps. It is quite the tale. I attended the Fullers event when this book was launched in Hobart awhile back. This is his adoptive mother’s tale.

V-read a Singaporean book named How We Disappeared by Jing-Jing Lee. It is an Indian tale. She said she enjoyed the story though didn’t go too far into depth about it. Some book group members are quieter than others!

J 2- gave us a whole list of books she read. I will mention two. Where the Crawdads Sing was one of her favourites and she also enjoyed an Australian book, Flight Lines, which is about environmental issues affecting birds in Australia. It focuses on one type of bird in particular that the author is very interested in.

We were meeting in the book shop after hours. Only the morning groups meet in the pub down the road. Darn! We meet in the evenings and I enjoy the quietness of a closed bookshop in the evening. We all looked at the walls of books and picked out various books on the most recent book wall we would like to own and read.

We meet in the front of the store. Well lit, quiet and surrounded by new books.

We had some good laughs. We enjoyed our facilitator, R, who we found out studied and taught 16th century history amongst other subjects at universities in Washington State and Michigan in the States and also taught at Oxford in England. She has now returned to Australia and is working at Fullers for the time being. I guess this is not a good time to get a position in a university. She is a gifted instructor and we really do enjoy her company.

The rest of the shop.

I know we are fortunate to be able to meet face to face in a book group when so many around the world are still cancelled. I’ll just have to attend on behalf of those who aren’t able to meet and share with you what we do.

If you ever visit Hobart let me know and I’ll shout you a coffee (or tea) in their cafe.

Our March book discussion next week will be the City of Ghosts by Ben Creed. It’s a great Russian crime novel located in Moscow in 1951. I really enjoyed it. It’s graphic but in context and the story is complex, interesting and the crime unusual.

Happy reading…book group or not.

Happy Booking….

Author: TravellinPenguin

I live a retired life in Tasmania, Australia. I love books, travel, animals, photography, motor biking and good friends. I indulge in all these activities with the little Travellin' Penguin who has now shared five continents with me. We love book shops, photography walks and time with friends as all our family is in USA and Canada. I enjoy visitors to my blog so hope you'll stop by.

22 thoughts on “February Book Club”

  1. Sorry that I missed this when you posted it. I would have been in Melbourne and then clearly didn’t catch up properly on our return.

    My reading group didn’t miss a meeting during 2020, but we did conduct one meeting by WhatsApp text (that was a hoot!), and two or maybe be three by Zoom, and then we were back to face-to-face. I’m surprised with so few cases in Tasmania after your little outbreak early on that you didn’t meet at all?

    Anyhow, two of the books your group participants mentioned are on my group’s schedule this year, but you’ll just have to see them as they come through!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sue. I think they just didn’t want to take any chances. All good for now. There are currently 90 people enrolled in their book club groups total, 12 people max to a group. Pretty good for such a small area as southern Tas.

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  2. This looks like a very special place to have a book club meeting though I’d find it hard to focus on what the members were saying, and not letting my eyes drift too much to those tempting shelves and tables. I used to go to a book club meeting that was in a bookshop after hours – it was about a tenth of the size of your Fullers! So we were squashed together in a circle and there was no heating……

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  3. Fullers Book Club sounds wonderful. Must say I miss my monthly Book Club in my local library. No book club activity at the moment, we’re all waiting for the vaccine.

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  4. Wonderful place to have a book club meeting. I have read Where the Crawdad’s Sing and absolutely loved it.

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  5. Nice! I created a book club for our block 8 years ago. We do trading titles at each meeting, that is, each member at each meeting gets to present the book he/she read during the previous month. W so love it! Great way to discover books outside your comfort zone. We are between 8-12, and have been meeting online since March 2020. We are not sure yet when we will resume meeting in person

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  6. Flight Lines is one on my list. Glad you can get back to a book club, it seems we have limited contact for so long but at least we can see the light at the end of tunnel now.

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  7. fascinating idea, book club… this sounds like a lot of fun and the books are certainly diverse… i liked Oliver Sacks, his autobiography especially… he was a very curious fellow…

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  8. I love this format for book clubs. One of my local libraries used to do this pre covid, that is, people came along and just talked about whatever they’d most recently read. I hope they reintroduce it soon because it was really excellent.
    BTW I think perhaps that the reason V may have been reticent about How We Disappeared is because it’s about the Japanese sex slaves aka (the insulting term Comfort Women) during WW2. (I reviewed it here if you are interesting: https://anzlitlovers.com/2020/08/15/how-we-disappeared-by-jing-jing-lee/)

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