A different sort of book club meeting

We had a different sort of book club meeting today because we each read a different book – apart from two of us; we had a theme instead, of travel and travel writing. This is the Waterstone’s book club, so last time we all hurried over to the travel section and chose a book we wanted to read.

There were different reasons for our choice – because I’d lived virtually on a moor for a very long time, and because the cover of the book was so inviting, I chose ‘Moor’ by William Atkin. Someone else who has loved the descriptions of the town of Rye is going there in two weeks time, so in a way, the books by E.F. Benson will be a guide to her! Someone chose a book she had read before, thought was very good and wanted to reread – unfortunately she didn’t like it so much the second time! Someone else really wants to visit Turkey… there were many reasons for our choice, as we plundered the book shelves!

It had been my suggestion that we all chose different books, and I was a little anxious in case the meeting didn’t quite work – but in the event it was great, and we had so much to talk about that instead of finishing about 4:00 we went on for another half hour until the shop was beginning to close.

Here are our choices, and some of our comments:


  • Moor: Lives Literature Landscape, William Atkin –  5 stars, absolutely loved it, will keep it and reread it many times
  • Istanbul: Memories and the City, Orhan Pamuk –  5 stars, excellently written but a little depressing
  • Mapp and Lucia, all six books by E .F. Benson –  5 stars, wonderful and great fun
  • Channel Shore, Tom Forth –  2 stars, mixed feelings but glad I read it for the history – and,  no stars, some interesting facts about history, geology etc.
  • 8:55 from Baghdad, Andrew Eames –  an awful lot of detail and history but not sure of the Agatha Christie connection!
  • The Songlines, Bruce Chatwin – met various characters both Aborigines and westerners, includes palaeontology, archaeology, sociology but hardly any geography
  • Shadow of the Silk Road, Colin Thubron – 5 stars so far. Very good, lots of detail about sites, characterization of individuals met, some very shady moments! Commentary on political history i.e. Red Guard very thorough and interwoven and interesting. More to read

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