Reading Group



December 2020



Dear Reader                                                                                                                                

The 201st monthly meeting of the Swindon Artswords Reading Group took place on the evening of 8th December, via Zoom!

We reflected briefly on the effects on our lives of Covid-19 and, after eight months of related restrictions, seemed strangely resigned to it . . . but hopeful too.  

Talk chiefly was about December’s book, Sky Burial by Xinran. Comments ranged from ‘a fascinating window into a different world’ to ‘rather too much irritating saintliness’ to ‘absorbing’ to ‘somewhat disappointing’ to ‘remarkable: an epic story in so few pages’.  

We made time to confirm titles for the first half of 2021. 

The books that made the final cut are in paperback and should be available from Swindon Libraries, as checked and confirmed by Anne B, to whom many thanks.  

Here are the six chosen titles, times, dates, and brief descriptions..

7.30pm Tuesday 19th January – Various Pets Alive & Dead  by Marina Lewycka.  When they grow up, what do children, brought up to a life of lentils and free love, really want?  The answers come in a story of idealism, family life, and thorny truths. 

7.30pm Tuesday 16th February – Go, Went, Gone by Jenny Erpenbeck  A Berlin university professor discovers a new community -- a tent city, of African asylum seekers. 

7.30pm Tuesday 16th March – Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche. Set in Nigeria, the UK, and the USA, and life under a dictatorship and post-9/11, there is a lot going on in this story, not least of which is to do with love, race, and relationships.   

 7.30pm Tuesday 20th April – This Must Be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell. Why is an ex-film star so protective of her home in the wilds of Ireland? Her husband has problems of his own. Will their love hold?

7.30pm Tuesday 15th June – Kingfishers Catch Fire by Rumer Godden. An English woman with two young children tries to make a life in rural colonial India. Not easy.

7.30pm Tuesday 13th July – Transcription by Kate Atkinson. From MI5 and the world of espionage in 1940 to work as a producer at the BBC ten years later . . . what’s going on?

Meetings are held at Lower Shaw Farm, West Swindon, SN5 5PJ or via Zoom.

The cost is £2 per session. 

If there is anything else you need to know, please do not hesitate to get in touch. 

Happy reading and season’s greetings!

Matt Holland 


01793 771080