South Manchester Book Group

We're a friendly and open reading group, and we share a love of books and discussing them with other people. We meet 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 very informal, and we're quite a friendly bunch.

We normally meet at the Fletcher Moss on William Street in Didsbury around 8 pm. We can usually be found on the table with the books and flirtinis. Whilst the contagion lasts and we remain indoors we'll meet online, reading virtual books and drinking virtual flirtinis — vlirtinis if you will.

We've become rather popular recently so unfortunately aren't accepting new members just at the moment. But please drop us a line on the Contact Us form and we'll add you to our mailing list.

Our reading list, past, present, and future, appears here and a short version of what we’re reading next is here.

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