Past events

 Click on an image to go to the presentation  

June 2021

Memoirs: An introducion to the  new XBC writing competition

Presented by Christopher North

Memoir could be thought of as the lighter version of Autobiography - a fragment in your life.  Christopher talked about the various forms of memoir writing and storytelling, making recommendations of all the many forms, and explained what the judges will be looking for. 

May 2021

Crime fiction and an introduction to the Peter May Trilogy

Presented by Terry Gifford

To what extent does May suggest that these storm-swept conditions have shaped the characters and culture of the islanders themselves? In October 2020, Terry Gifford undertook an investigation into this question on Lewis and Harris. This is his illustrated report. 

April 2021

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 certainly helped us survive a lockdown.  My friends and I chose six books which delighted, intrigued, amused and transported us and which we enjoyed sharing with you.

March 2021
The World of ...
Presented by Peter Davies.

There are some writers whose name can fit into the phrase "The World of ..." and everyone will know what that means. 

Peter talked about a couple of authors who write about real or imagined worlds in ways that make readers know them and desire to return to them again and again, focusing on Iris Murdoch and Graham Greene.

February 2021
Annual General Meeting

The AGM was followed by a review of events in the past year, presented by Huw Griffith on Zoom. 

January 2021
Books that got us through 2020

Books that inspired, intrigued or amused members as lockdown forced its way into our lives.

December 2020
Wordsworth, Keats, Clare and the Nightingale: 
An Entertainment

Devised and narrated by Christopher North with readings by

XBC members

November 2020
The Short Story in Fiction

Christopher North and novelist J David Simons explored the pleasures of the short story in fiction and also launched the Book Circle’s 2020 short story competition.

October 2020
Migrants and Literature

Jean Hilder talked about what it is to be a migrant, as discussed in four books written by a Bosnian, a Kurd, an Iranian and an Indian. 

September 2020
Summer Reading

We welcomed members to our first virtual meeting!

June 2020
An Introduction to Dorothy Dunnett

Sam Laird introduced us to Dorothy Dunnett, OBE, born in Dunfermline, 1923-2001.  She is best known for The House of Niccoló and The Lymond Chronicles.

May 2020
The Poems of Pablo Neruda

We celebrated his work with bilingual readings by Julie Christie and Lalie Abad, accompanied by details drawn from his fascinating life.

April 2020
Pastoral and Georgic Influences in Literature

Terry Gifford  discussed the relationship between Georgic and Pastoral, from the Ancient Greeks to contemporary literature.

March 2020
Books and Climate Change

Christopher North introduced "Books and Climate Change" - a miscellany of books and writers concerned with climate change.

February 2020
Annual General Meeting

TheAnnual General Meeting was followed by a presentation on the Siege of Troy, given by Huw Griffiths.

January 2020
The Great Italian Detective

Sian Bowen took a look at the work of four authors who have each given us a great Italian detective.

December 2019
Christmas supper 

This holiday entertainment comprised a reading of "In the Footsteps of Cervantes", devised and directed, as always, by Cchristopher North.

April 2019
War Stories 

Erica Meltzer presented "War stories: an oral history of World War II in France".

December 2019 (review of year)
Events of 2018 

Huw reminded us of all the events of 2018.