As we come out of lockdown, many people are taking the philosophical view and thinking deeply about their own experiences. This week’s choice of books saw us looking at the future of life on our planet and the effect our jobs can have on general wellbeing.
Betty kicked things off and took us to the Marcia Blaine academy in Edinburgh, the setting for Muriel Sparks 1961 novel The Prime of Miss Jean Brody. Miss Brody has an irreverent approach to teaching and prioritises a small group of her students she calls the “crème de la crème.”
We switch from life in 1930s Edinburgh to life on our whole planet with David Attenborough’s A Life On Our Planet. Sandria described David’s passionate wake-up call as he outlined his vision for a sustainable future. The book has an accompanying TV series, currently available via Netflix.
We looked at the dark aftermath of life in combat with Mathew Hall’s Black Art of Killing. As Maggie explained, the book is on the surface an intelligent Bond Style thriller, but also looks at post-traumatic stress suffered by those trained to kill. This led to a lively discussion as it was pointed out that for all who come out of army life emotionally scarred, there are those who put their training to good use by helping others.
Diane chose Engel’s England by Matthew Engel, in which the author travelled the UK to look at the quirks and differences in the counties of modern England. The book was published back in 2014, but it appears Matthew foresaw the rise of the staycation. As Diane says: “It’s a great book to use as a UK holiday guide or find the hidden truth about your own county.”
Ann rounded things off with a look back at a true classic. Three Men in A Boat by Jerome K Jerome, a comic tale about three men er… mucking about in a boat, continues to be popular and as Ann explained: “It’s a story about people.” As we know, people never go out of fashion, despite the efforts of Covid.
The Book Club always manages to entertain and inform. This month we had a lively philosophical look at the importance of people and the planet. Our conclusion: It’s important to understand what other people are going through and above all, to be open and talk about it.
The books discussed were: