Iconic Reading Group

Room To Read and Write

Books of Every Kind
We inaugurated our Iconic Readng Group in 2011

This group meets in the conservatorya Whitworth Hall every two months between 3 and 5 o’clock and discuss and comment on either two or three books.

Reading List 2012

MARCH 24th

McCarthy, C. The Road

Robertson, W. Honesty’s Daughter

MAY 19th

Nemirovsky, I. Suite Française

Jansson, T. The Summer Book

JULY 28th

Kidd, S. Monk The Secret Life of Bees

Tremain, R. Restoration


Barbery, M. The Elegance of the Hedgehog

Du Maurier, D. Short Stories


Frayn, M. Spies

Laurie, B/ Letters to Illio

If you would like to join us do come along, even if you’ve read none of the books this time round, you are very welcome to join us. And there will be lots more fascinating selections and meetings in the coming year – a must for both readers and writers writegillian@gmail.com


In Reading Down the Decades we discussed iconic novels that define the1960s to the 1990s See List below.     Each second month members of the groups are free to read one, two or three of these fine novels to be ready to join the discussion)

3-5pm Saturday 19th June

1960s - The Beatles-First Man in Space –Average House Price £2,530- Coronation St starts – First Concorde Flight …

John Le Carré The Spy Who Came in From the Cold.

The archetypical espionage novel, set in Berlin during the Cold War.

Harper Lee To Kill a Mocking Bird.

A novel of racial prejudice in 1930s Alabama in which a white woman accuses an innocent black man of rape.

Jean Rhys the Wide Sargosso Sea.

Set in Jamaica in 1830s, tells of the life of the first Mrs. Rochester, the ‘madwoman in the attic’ in Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre.

1970s – Martin Luther King assassinated – Feminism emerges –Bell Bottom Trousers and Platform Shoes – ‘The Exorcist’ …

Graham Greene The Human Factor.

Maurice Castle is an aging bureaucrat in MI6. Married to a black African woman with whom he fell in love during his previous stint in apartheid South Africa… 

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala Heat and Dust

We have now moved to a list of novels chosen by the members of the group. A Grand-daughter journeys to India to uncover the truth behind a family scandal.

Ian McEwan the Cement Garden

Four siblings cope with the death of their parents in an unusual fashion.

3-5pm Saturday 15th October

1980s – Fall of the Berlin Wall – First Artificial Heart Transplant – Power dressing for women: make-up for men –Cabbage patch dolls…


Thomas Harris The Red Dragon

A special agent comes out of retirement to track down a serial killer. (Notable for the first appearance of Hannibal Lecter from ‘Silence of the Lambs’).

Bernard MacLaverty Lamb

Brother Sebastian leaves his life in the Borstal where he works and escapes to England with a 12 year old boy. This moving novel tells of their doomed misadventures

Toni Morrison Beloved.

The book follows the story of Sethe and her daughter Denver as they try to rebuild their lives after having escaped from slavery. 124 Bluestone, the house they inhabit, is haunted the ghost of Sethe’s murdered daughter which has repercussions on the lives of all in the household.

3-5pm SaturdayDecember 17th

1990s Rise of New Labour – New Kids on the Block – Fitness fads – Laptops, pashminas and mobile phones…


Pat Barker Regeneration

First of a trilogy, a retelling of the story of British combatants in the First World |War. At its focus, the work of Dr William Rivers, a real person, whose job was to deal with men traumatised by their time in the trenches.

John McGahern Amongst Women.

As his family gather around his death bed, War of Independence veteran, Moran, is forced to revisit his past.

William Trevor Reading Turgenev

Set in a small Irish town, Mary, married to a man twice her age, meets up with her childhood sweetheart and past love is ignited with tragic results.

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