South Manchester Book Group

If you enjoy talking about books over a quiet drink, then please join us — new members are very welcome. We normally meet at the Fletcher Moss on William Street in Didsbury around 8 pm but whilst the contagion lasts and we REMAIN INDOORS we'll become a virtual  bookgroup and meet online.

Drop us a line on the Contact Us form and we'll add you to our mailing list and send you invitations to our online meetings. We always reply, so if you don't hear from us please check your spam folder.

There's a meeting every fortnight, but you don't have to come to them all. It's dead simple; choose a book you like the sound of, read it (or even part of it) beforehand and turn up* with a few ideas and money for beer / wine / flirtinis. It's all very informal, and we're quite a friendly bunch. We can usually be found on the table with the books and flirtinis.

Our reading list, past, present, and future, appears here and there's a shorter version of upcoming books here.

* Do not turn up — REMAIN INDOORS !

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Annihilation — Jeff VanderMeer

Book cover for Jeff VanderMeer's Annihilation in the South Manchester, Chorlton, and Didsbury book groupFor 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.

This week's book is Jeff VanderMeer's Annihilation and we'll be meeting at The Fletcher Moss on William Street in Didsbury.

As we're coming to the end of our reading list, we'll be choosing books at the meeting. You may like to consider the unread books list and the unreadable books list. We'll also be choosing books at the next meeting.


PJNaßer said...

On my phone and can't find your email address, Harry. I'll be on a train when you meet tomorrow evening, but I'd like to suggest a few things.
Unread Books
The Amber Spyglass - Pullman
Earthly Powers - A Burgess

The Master and Margarita — Mikhail Bulgakov (on both Unread and Read-28.03.13)
I think you said you have already read this - worth another go?

A Bend in the River - V S Naipaul
Opening line: The world is what it is; men who are nothing, who allow themselves to become nothing, have no place in it.
What is it to be nothing? To feel that you have no power over your place in the world, and that that power is in the hands of others. Salim is an Indian Muslim in a newly independent African country. A merchant stranded up-country, he watches others twist to escape that fate and strives to avoid it himself. Beautifully written and observed. ca. 330 pages

Night Soldiers - Alan Furst
A spy thriller, with a Bulgarian working for the Soviets as the main character. It is set during the Thirties and War years and is, I think, the best of all his novels for the range of location and character, as well as the vast swathe of history very well handled. It starts in Vidin, on the Danube in Bulgaria, moves to Moscow, then to Barcelona, New York, Paris, with quick visits to Siberia, the Vosges, Basel, Prague, Bratislava, then down the Danube to the port-town of Sfintu Gheorgiou, ending in New York. So good for your geography and your history, as well as a pleasure to read. ca. 500 pages

A Month in the Country - JL Carr
A veteran of the Great War arrives in Oxgodby, Yorkshire, to strip the whitewash off the chancel arch to reveal the medieval masterpiece underneath. He lives in the bell tower. Tom Birkin is a damaged veteran, his face twitching as he speaks, one whose wife, Vinny, has run off with someone else. Nothing much happens, but what does happen seems important. It is one of those summers you can only experience once and which live with you forever as an icon of contentment. A lovely book. And it's short. ca. 100 pages

Imperium - Robert Harris
Cicero's life told by his secretary, Tiro. Historical detail managed very well and there is a surprising amount of tension for a book that does not, and cannot, have a plot. First of a trilogy. ca. 400 pages

PJNaßer said...

Whoops. The above is from Paul