Books that got us through 2020
introduced by Huw Griffith
We've all had a bit of extra time to do some reading during during these lockdowns - here's an opportunity to tell us all of your favourite books.
E-mail your choices to
The winners of the XBC short story competition will be announced, and the winning story read out by its author. Discussions and questions, moderated by competition judge J David Simons, will follow.
The World Of ...
Presentation by Peter Davies
Peter will take us into the real and imaginary worlds created by authors in ways that make their readers know them and desire to return to them again and again. He will focus on Iris Murdoch and Graham Greene, with brief mentions for P.D. James, Anthony Powell, and Anthony Trollope.
Please feel free to contribute to the discussion with other authors whose worlds, invented or real, we escape to in our reading.
The pen and the pandemic:
How to survive lockdown in half a dozen books
Presented by Alma Dorndorf
There’s nothing like a heart-warming, escapist novel to keep your mind off the coronavirus crisis. Fiction cannot cure illness or predict the future, but it can certainly help us survive a lockdown.
My friends and I have chosen six books which have delighted, intrigued, amused and transported us and which we would now like to share with you.
After the presentation we would really like to hear what you have been reading over this extraordinary year.
Crime fiction and an introduction to the Peter May Trilogy
Presented by Terry Gifford
Detective Inspector Fin Macleod returns from Edinburgh to the Outer Hebrides and the island of his childhood to investigate a series of brutal killings. The landscape of the island, with its bleak bogs, empty beaches and strings of crofting houses above rocky coves, has become a definitive character of Peter May's Lewis Trilogy. To what extent does May suggest that these storm-swept conditions have shaped the characters and culture of the islanders themselves? Last October Terry Gifford undertook an investigation into this question on Lewis and Harris.
This is his illustrated report.
An introducion to the new XBC writing competition
Memoir could be thought of as the lighter version of Autobiography - a fragment in your life. And it’s a Broad church that can take many forms: the old fashioned – ‘Jottings from an Active Life’, or exotic travel, recollections of a childhood, memories of special friendship, a loss endured, a distinguished friend or relative, a confession and of course for a time the very popular misery memoirs of the 90s and early naughties.
I will be including a couple of exercises - so for those interested, do have a pen and paper handy.
Summer supper - maybe!
We are planning a summer supper for the Book Circle on 6th July at one of our favourite haunts, Le Gourmand, in what could well be our first meeting in the flesh since March 2020. It is, of course, subject to Community rules on group dining outdoors and on members’ vaccination status. Please let us know if you’re interested.
Unusual books on Spain
Further details to be announced
Results of the Memoir Competition - further details to be announced
Race and racism in American fiction
Presented by Erica Meltzer and Jeff Lee
Further details to be announced
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Presented by Christopher North
Group reading and/or Christmas supper - further details to be announced