Thursday, June 1, 2017

TT Race Period



We've decided not to meet during the IOM TT Race period this year, so our next meeting will be on Thurs 4th July. 

We look forward to seeing you then!

Alexander McCall Smith



With the exciting news that Alexander McCall Smith is to be one of the guest speakers at this year’s Manx Litfest, Onchan Book Group decided to choose a book of your own choice by this popular author for this month’s read.

Alexander McCall Smith is one of the world’s most prolific and best-loved authors. His various series of books have been translated into forty-six languages and become bestsellers throughout the world. These include the popular 44 Scotland Street novels, first published as a serial novel in the Scotsman newspaper and now the longest-running serial novel in the world; the Isabel Dalhousie novels, and the Corduroy Mansions  series.

He became a household name with The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency, which  was a hit TV series. His stand-alone novels, include The Forever Girls, Trains & Lovers,  Fatty O’Leary’s Dinner Party and Emma—a reworking of the classic Jane Austen novel. He has also written over 30 children’s books.


McCall Smith has been described as:

 "more of a movement, a worldwide club for the dissemination of gentle wisdom and good cheer."

Cath

Friday, May 5, 2017

Wolf Road by Beth Lewis

This one  has been a real hit with our book group. It's a dystopian novel, set in a post nuclear world where Elka, a 7 year old girl, is rescued in the wilderness by a man she calls the Trapper. The Trapper teaches her survival skills, but it turns out that he doesn't just hunt deer, he kills people too. At 17, Elka discovers that the Trapper is a serial killer, and sets out to find her real parents, who had left her in the care of her grandmother. The Trapper doesn't want to let her go, and Elke has to use what he taught her to stay alive ... but maybe he taught her too well? The group thought this one was pacy, engaging and well written and gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

200 Years of the Brontes

This month we’re reading either a book or poem of your own choice by The Bronte Sisters in honour of the bi-centenary of Charlotte Bronte. Charlotte was born in 1816, Emily 1818, and Anne in 1820, and they also had a brother, Branwell. When their mother died in 1821, the children were brought up by their clergyman father.


Anne Bronte, painted by Charlotte

Charlotte Bronte said: 'I'm just going to write because I cannot help it' and the sisters all followed this calling. Writing was an escape from the dreary life of being a governess, illness, family problems and tragedy. Women had little independence in the patriarchal society of the time, and their first publication was under the pseudonyms of Currer (Charlotte), Ellis (Emily) and Acton (Anne) Bell. 

They all went on to publish novels, with Charlotte's 'Jane Eyre' being one of the best sellers of 1847.  Anne's second novel, 'The Tenant of Wildfell Hall' and Emily's 'Wuthering Heights' were both published in 1848.

To Walk Invisible BBC 1

The Brontes' remarkable life story is being screened in a drama 'To Walk Invisible' on BBC1 on Thurs 29th Dec at 9 p.m.


Monday, November 28, 2016

Book Group Reads For November

We've been reading not one, but two titles this month - both with a paranormal theme. 'Dark Matter' by Michelle Paver and 11.22.63 by Stephen King.




Michelle Paver is an award winning children's writer, perhaps best known for her series of fantasy novels - The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness. 

Dark Matter was written for an adult audience, and set in the Arctic. 28-year-old Jack Miller is leading a lonely, miserable existence in pre-war London, which leads him to jump at the chance to be a wireless operator on an Arctic expedition.

The five-man expedition crosses the Barents Sea to reach the remote, uninhabited bay which will serve as their base camp for the next year. 
One by one, his companions fall victim to illness and injury. By the darkest time of the Polar year, Jack is completely alone - or is he? Does something walk in the darkness?



Stephen King's books transfer to screen really well, and 11.22.63 was televised as a series. Although Stephen King is renowned for books and films like 'The Shining', this isn't a horror novel.

High School teacher Jake Epping becomes a time traveller when he's enlisted to go on a mission back in time to try and prevent the assassination of President Kennedy. Jake also tries to prevent other murders, but changing the past can have unexpected consequences...

Our next meeting is on Thursday 1st December at 6 p.m.








Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Manx Litfest 2016 - George Bellairs: Murder Most Manx

Harvey Briggs Onchan Library are looking forward to hosting an event for Manx Litfest next month - 
George Bellairs: Murder Most Manx with Andy Wint. It's going to be held on Wed 28th Sept at 7.30 pm. Although admission is free, you will need to contact the library to reserve places Tel: 621228 or email onchan.library@onchan.org.im


Onchan Book Group are getting clued up on these classic mysteries ahead of the event, and reading a George Bellairs of their own choice this month. Quite a few were set in the Isle of Man in the 50s and 60s, so they're a great nostalgia trip, with the vintage book jackets and details all adding to the charm!


British Library Crime Classics







George Bellairs is being reprinted in the hugely popular British Library Crime Classics series

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Book of the Month - Wilt by Tom Sharpe

Henry Wilt has a boring job as a lecturer at a college, and he is always passed over for promotion. He has a large, overbearing wife, who from time to time develops enthusiasms for odd things like yoga and trampolining. She introduces Henry to a very strange American couple at a party where drinking too much gin results in some very embarrassing situations! Henry starts to plot ways of getting his own back..

Subsequent events lead to some hilarious situations, involving a blow up doll and a murder investigation. The book takes the mickey out of college, marriage, sex and the police. I found myself laughing out loud at some of the situations. Although there is a lot of talk about sex, it is too comical to be offensive.

Henry Wilt eventually stands up for himself, gets the promotion he deserves, and some respect from his wife. I would give this book 5 stars!! (and page 112 was fine too!)

Freda