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The Village Classics Book Club

Today's post is by my first ever guest contributor!!! Sarah is a member of our Village Classics Book Club which turned one year old at the start of March. We celebrated this with an evening discussing our last pick, took part in a book quiz and enjoyed fizz and cake. It's been a lovely way to get together and read books we may not have picked up before. Sarah, very kindly agreed to write a little something about the book club. And if you are after a list of the books we have read, please check out the list at the end. Over to Sarah!

"What an amazing first year of books, with titles stretching from C9th BCE to the middle of the 20th Century, crossing civilisations and countries. Three stood out, two were new for me and one was a welcome return.

‘Brave New World’ by Aldous Huxley, published in 1932, is a startling novel with two opposing visions, one seemingly idyllic and one nightmarish. The early twentieth century was a time of huge change and turmoil, especially during and following WW1. But Huxley’s story is also amazingly forward looking, exploring issues that are all too familiar to us now. His novel tells us about an ideal society in the future where most citizens accept it unquestionably. But a few start to realise that something is missing, and they yearn for a return to the messy, painful reality of an individual life. He followed this with, ‘Brave New World Revisited’ in 1956. In it he revisits his prophecies, many of which are still relevant to us today.

In ‘Snow Country’ by Yasunari Kawabata, published in 1948, my second new read, we are introduced to a beautiful, haunting world with constricting traditions. Japanese simplicity is coupled with complicated relationships to make a beautiful, gentle story of love and life in a different culture.

Lastly, ‘Sir Gawain and the Green Knight’ was a welcome re-read. Having always been in love with the original tales of Arthur and Merlin, the magic was stirred again by the richness of the words. If you can, get a copy that has the original Middle English translation on the opposite pages. That JRR Tolkien was one of the editors of the original transcript, which so obviously influenced much of his writings, added to my joy, and allowed me to yet again lose myself in a fantasy world!!

Thank you bookclub"

And a massive thank you to Sarah. Below is a list of the books we have read for the book club. Please note, for 2 of the meetings we cover poetry. I've not listed these as we individually pick a poem and bring it to our group.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Charlie & The Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

The Iliad by Homer

The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde

Moonfleet by J.Meade Faulkner

A Passage to India by E.M Forster

Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

My Beautiful Friend by Elena Ferrante

In April's meeting, we will be discussing Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild. The review for this will be coming up on the blog soon.