The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer (June BRC Book Group)

literary potato pie

The next book for the BRC book group is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.  We’ll be discussing this on 13th June from 12-1pm in F3, St Michaels.  Any member of staff is welcome to join us.  Please book your space by emailing staffdevelopment@chi.ac.uk

We’re looking forward to a “lighter” read this time with a nice film tie-in!

Author, Juliet Ashton, can’t think what to write next.  She begins a correspondence with Dawsey Adams of Guernsey, who reveals that he is part of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.  Juliet is interested as she begins to hear from other members about life in Guernsey under German Occupation.  Could there be a story in this?

This will be our last meeting for this academic year so we’ll take a vote on our favourite book of 2017/18.

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BOC Book Group will be reading ‘Annihilation’ by Jeff VanderMeer on Thursday 26th April.

BOC Book Group will be reading ‘Annihilation’ by Jeff VanderMeer on Thursday 26th April in Committee Room 1, 12 till 1pm.

A contemporary masterpiece’ Guardian

anniahilationannihilation

THE FIRST VOLUME OF THE EXTRAORDINARY SOUTHERN REACH TRILOGY – NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY ALEX GARLAND (EX MACHINA) AND STARRING NATALIE PORTMAN AND OSCAR ISAAC

For thirty years, Area X has remained mysterious and remote behind its intangible border – an environmental disaster zone, though to all appearances an abundant wilderness.

The Southern Reach, a secretive government agency, has sent eleven expeditions to investigate Area X. One has ended in mass suicide, another in a hail of gunfire, the eleventh in a fatal cancer epidemic.

Now four women embark on the twelfth expedition into the unknown.

Read more. . . https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/feb/22/annihilation-review-natalie-portman-thriller-leaves-a-haunting-impression

 

A perfectly good family by Lionel Shriver

A perfectly good family by Lionel Shriver (March BRC book group)

a perfectly good family

The Bognor Regis campus book club will be meeting to discuss A perfectly good family by Lionel Shriver on Wednesday 25th April in St Michael’s F3.  Any member of staff is welcome to join us.  Please book your space by emailing staffdevelopment@chi.ac.uk

Following the success of the book and film ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’, ‘A Perfectly Good Family’ is coming back into print after being unavailable for years.

Corlis McCrea moves back into her family’s grand mansion in North Carolina after her parents have died.  The house has been left to three siblings. Each heir wants the house. Yet to buy the other out, two siblings must team against one. Just as in girlhood, Corlis is torn between allying with the decent but fearful youngest and the iconoclastic eldest. ‘A Perfectly Good Family’ is a stunning examination of inheritance, literal and psychological: what we take from our parents, what we discard, and what we are stuck with, like it or not.

Looking forward to hearing what you think of this book.  New members are always welcome and if you cannot attend the meeting please let me know what you think of this book.

How to stop time by Matt Haig

How to stop time by Matt Haig (March BRC book group)

how to stop time

The Bognor Regis campus book club will be meeting to discuss How to stop time by Matt Haig on Wednesday 7th March in John Parry Room 3.  Any member of staff is welcome to join us.  Please book your space by emailing staffdevelopment@chi.ac.uk

Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old history teacher, but he’s been alive for centuries. From Elizabethan England to Jazz-Age Paris, from New York to the South Seas, Tom has seen it all. As long as he keeps changing his identity he can keep one step ahead of his past – and stay alive. The only thing he must not do is fall in love . . .

Looking forward to hearing what you think of this book.  New members are always welcome and if you cannot attend the meeting please let me know what you think of this book.

BOC staff book group will be reading PAX by Sara Pennypacker on 3rd March 18.

BOC staff book group will be reading PAX by Sara Pennypacker on Thursday 8th March 2018 12 – 1 pm in Committee Room 1.

pax

‘I slowly made my way through this book and I wanted it to last forever, because it was simply the most calming and beautiful thing I have ever read’  (The Guardian)

Compelling, heartrending story of boy and fox in dystopia. (Commonsencemedia.org)

Foxes are fable animals: Their fur carries the electric charge of literary history. As with cats, their faces suggest they have no need of us, and in literature they have all the power that goes with independence.

The novel is told through alternating chapters, with one strand following 12-year-old Peter and the other Pax, as each grows wilder and tougher. After the death of his mother, we learn, Peter had rescued a baby fox from the cold and reared it as a pet and friend. When his father enlists in an unspecified war (“It’s heading for our town. They’ll take the river”), Peter is sent to live with his grandfather, and Pax is sent into the wild, the car speeding away as he watches in bewilderment.

In the opening chapters Peter rebels, slipping out in the night to walk 200 miles back to the spot where Pax was released. What follows is, structurally, a classic quest narrative; Peter walks through dark woods both literally and metaphorically, breaks his foot, encounters characters who help or threaten him. The most vivid of these is Vola, a female war veteran with a prosthetic leg who takes Peter in, and together they face down their own traumas: the suffering of war, physical pain and inherited anger. What makes the book truly remarkable are two things: the quality of Pennypacker’s prose, which is sharp and restless and vulpine, and the pull of the love between Peter and Pax.

There are resonances in this love of Katherine Applegate’s Newbery Medal-winning “The One and Only Ivan,” which shares the intimate use of the animal voice. “Pax” also offers a meditation on the bond between children and animals, and how the longing for closeness to the animal world shapes childhood: the desire to touch, to squeeze, to be loyal to something as familiar and as unknowable as a pet.

Of course, for a writer to give voice to an animal is to purport to offer up a secret, and the difficulty becomes how to tell it without shading into cuteness. Many writers, even Kipling, have failed, in books in which the animal becomes the mouthpiece for the moral. Like Applegate and E. B. White before her, Pennypacker succeeds. In an author’s note, she explains that “fox communication is a complex system of vocalization, gesture, scent and expression. The ‘dialogue’ in italics in Pax’s chapters attempts to translate their eloquent language.” Pennypacker, the author of several well-regarded books for children, including the “Clementine” early chapter-book series, uses the chapters in which Pax speaks to deliver something more, too: a sense of enchantment in a landscape freshly discovered, as Pax explores the natural world for the first time in the company of feral foxes. “Pax” is not comparable tonally to “Charlotte’s Web” — it has less irony and wit and a less insouciant protagonist — but Pennypacker does share White’s resistance to sentimentality, offering in its place a pragmatic kind of awe. White wrote that he “always felt charged with the safekeeping of all unexpected items of worldly or unworldly enchantment, as though I might be held personally responsible if even one were to be lost.” In this aspect, Pennypacker, with “Pax,” may be his heir.

The book is illustrated by the Caldecott Medal winner Jon Klassen, whose style is a perfect fit. His sharpness of line maps onto the jagged, sharp-edged quality of growing up, which Peter must do. In the end, Peter builds himself back up from scratches and mistakes, piecemeal, and ends the journey braver and bolder and wiser than he began it. “Pax” the book is like Pax the fox: half wild and wholly beautiful.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/14/books/review/pax-by-sara-pennypacker.html

PAX

By Sara Pennypacker

Illustrated by Jon Klassen

276 pp. Balzer & Bray/HarperCollins ­Publishers. $16.99. (Middle grade; ages 8 to 12)

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The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan (January Bognor Regis Campus Book Group)

Keeper of lost things

The Bognor Regis campus book club will be meeting to discuss The Keeper of Lost Things on Wednesday 24th January in John Parry Room 2.  Any member of staff is welcome to join us.  Please book your space by emailing staffdevelopment@chi.ac.uk

Antony Peardew is the keeper of lost things.  He carelessly lost a keepsake from his fiancee on the day that she died and is now obsessed with reuniting lost things with their owners.  At the end of his life he enlists the help of his assistant, Laura, who is herself a lost thing in need of being found.

Looking forward to reading this book over Christmas and finding out what you all think of it in January.

Happy Christmas reading!

 

Our next book for discussion is CAT’S CRADLE by Kurt Vonnegut on December 14th, BOC staff book group.

BOC staff book group will be reading Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, as it’s an easy read with short chapters and fast pacing; explores religion, science, war and the apocalypse including some fun characters, satirising the arms race and many other targets along the way.

cat's

There are many editions.

Told with deadpan humour & bitter irony, Kurt Vonnegut’s cult tale of global destruction preys on our deepest fears of witnessing Armageddon and, worse still, surviving it …

Dr Felix Hoenikker, one of the founding ‘fathers’ of the atomic bomb, has left a deadly legacy to the world. For he’s the inventor of ‘ice-nine’, a lethal chemical capable of freezing the entire planet. The search for its whereabouts leads to Hoenikker’s three eccentric children, to a crazed dictator in the Caribbean, to madness. Felix Hoenikker’s Death Wish comes true when his last, fatal gift to humankind brings about the end, which for all of us, is nigh…

Happy reading!

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