As an environment where reading is championed and valued, bookclubs provide an encouraging culture of shared learning; of the ability to understand a reality other than our own. Establishing culture is not only an important basis of book clubs but books too, for stories often have a basis formed by societal retellings and enriched historical fact.
Culture breeds culture.
Adding to the culture of our bookclub is the return of one of our founding members. No, Suzy has not relocated back to Nelson, but the Zoom culture of 2020 and 2021 made us all realise we did not need to reside in the same town to benefit from one another’s literary insights. Welcome back Suzy, we look forward to the new and interesting book choices and conversation directions.
And perhaps unsurprisingly our book list this year reflects this hark back to cultural influences, to expanding our intellectual travels at a time when literal world explorations are nigh impossible. With translated works, historical dramas and stories of native culture from several parts of the world, we are feeling a sense of groundedness and connection in our reading list this year.
Here’s what’s coming up:
The Mirror Book – Charlotte Grimshaw
Sophie’s Choice – William Styron
Boys Don’t Cry – Fiona Scarlett
The Matriarch – Witi Ihimaera
Crossroads – Jonathan Franzen
The Lying Life of Adults – Elena Ferrante
All The Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr
Colorless Tsukuru & His Year’s of Pilgrimage – Haruki Murakami
In My Father’s Den – Maurice Gee
At Night All Blood is Black – David Diop
The Dictionary of Lost Words – Pip Williams
The Color Purple – Alice Walker
Potiki – Patricia Grace