Friday Blog Dec 9 – Mary

Anniesland goes to Partick.

Just back from a joint meeting of two library book groups. When we discovered that Anniesland and Partick groups were both reading The Help, we decided to meet up – and have a joint discussion over a cup of tea and a mince pie.

 photo of Kathryn Stockett - The Help book cover

There were thirteen of us, but we were sitting round two tables – so we don’t think any bad luck will befall us. The Partick VIP (visually impaired) group listens to their books on CD and Anniesland had read the paperback, so there was some talk about the different experience of reading and listening – most of the sighted readers admitted to skipping the odd bit of description and we wondered whether listening might give a more complete experience. The Partick members explained how, for them, the narrator makes or breaks a book.

And what did we think of The Help? Here are some of the members’ comments:

“Painful to read”

“A bit simplistic in that they all lived happily ever after”

“Very well written – with a lightness of touch”

“Good to read the women’s point of view”

“Thought provoking”

“Lots of layers in the book”

“Excellent characterisation”

The Help turned out to be one of that small category of books: one that everyone enjoyed. When we wondered which other books found favour with the whole group, Anniesland suggested The Cellist of Sarajevo (Steven Galloway) while Partick came up with Bill Bryson’s Notes from a Big Country and The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox (Maggie O’Farrell).

The weekly blog is taking a festive break now and will be back in January. At the moment, we have no contributors signed up for the new year, and we’re relying on you – yes, we mean YOU – to send in something – 300 words is fine. Look forward to your blogs flooding in.  And meanwhile, a Merry Christmas to all our readers.


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