This month’s National Year of Reading theme is Think. To keep with the theme, we focused on ‘Books That Made Us Think’:
The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
The Art Lover by Andromeda Romano
Hand Me Down World by Lloyd Jones
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Panic by David Marr
Here I Stand by Martin Luther
Other reads for the month:
Ghostheart by RJ Ellory
Inventing Beatrice by Jill Golden
The Chemistry of Tears by Peter Carey
Ruddy Gore by Kerry Greenwood
An Echo in the Bone Diana Gabaldon
The Last of the Wine by Mary Renault
What Was Mine by Anne Beatty (short stories)
The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde
The War of the Worlds by HG Wells
1984 by George Orwell
Bid Time Return by Richard Matheson (Cited by one of members as ‘the most beautiful love story you will ever read).
The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje
A Man’s Man by Susan Mitchell (about Tony Abbott)
Most Talked About Reads
The Wolf by Joseph Smith
This book definitely takes the prize for the most talked about book of the meeting. One of our readers heartily disliked it, calling it chaotic, with awful punctuation and sentence structure (among other things) while another of our readers loved its bleakness and its beauty, its animal point of view and its heartwrenching storyline. It’s always great to see how the same book can be seen so differently!!
The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice
Rice’s new book takes a spin into the world of werewolves, but is it up her usual standard? One of our readers says no. We think it’s still worth a read, if only to see if Rice really has jumped on the Twilight bandwagon.
Blast from the Past:
Mary Renault, The Last of the Wine
Mary Renault was born in London, where her father was a doctor. She first went to Oxford with the idea of teaching, but decided that she wanted to be a writer instead, and that after taking her degree she should broaden her knowledge of human life. She then trained for three years as a nurse, and wrote her first published novel, Promise of Love. Her next three novels were written during off-duty time when serving in World War II. One of them, Return to Night, received the MGM award. After the war, she went to South Africa and settled at the Cape. She has traveled considerably in Africa and has gone up the east coast to Zanzibar and Mombasa. But it was her travels in Greece that resulted in her previous brilliant historical reconstructions of ancient Greece. The Last of the Wine, The King Must Die, The Bull from the Sea, The Mask of Apollo, Fire from Heaven, The Persian Boy, and The Praise Singer. In addition to the novels, she has written a biography of Alexander the Great, The Nature of Alexander (from Fantastic Fiction, 28.3.2012).
Purposes of Love (1934) aka Promise of Love Kind Are Her Answers (1940) The Friendly Young Ladies (1944) Middle Mist (1945) Return to Night (1947) North Face (1948) The Charioteer (1955) The Last of the Wine (1956) The King Must Die (1958) The Bull From the Sea (1962) Lion in the Gateway (1964) The Mask of Apollo (1966) The Praise Singer (1978)