Sunday, 11 October 2009 club

I'm going to introduce the idea of a book club at this morning's 10:30 meeting to see if people are interested. The book is Endo's Silence.

I've been part of a number of book clubs and have found reading classics okay, but I already know about those books "I should have read". The books that I've really gotten the most from and have expanded my worldview are books from other cultures that had a spiritual dimension that I had never heard of before. I find that I learn and am able to best take action when I've understood other people's situations through stories. So, this is where I would like to start. If you are interested, please join me at The Blue Moon (just down the road from the Quaker Meeting House next to the Cathedral, it offers fairtrade, organic, vegetarian and vegan food and drink) for the first meeting to decide how and where we might continue on Saturday, November 7th at 4pm.

On that day we could discuss how exactly the group might continue, but also talk about a book! The book I thought might be appropriate to start off is Shusaku Endo's Silence. Endo is a Catholic writer who has been called the "Japanese Graham Greene". For a brief background about Endo go here. His writing is simple and focuses on the question about what happens to us and our faith when our lives become difficult and circumstances seem to test us beyond our limits?

However, we are very lucky that the Sheffield literary festival, Off the Shelf, is having a talk on Endo this Tuesday (October 13) at the Cathedral at 8pm. I'm not sure if I can make it but if you are interested, you can buy tickets at City Hall or the Main Library. I think you can also just show up on the night.

I will leave a copy of Silence in the library. You can buy a copy from Amazon or order it from your favourite bookseller. The author may come up as Martin Scorsese (the filmmaker) as he writes the foreword.

So, I think this gives you enough to know if you are interested and about the kinds of books I'd like to explore over the next year. I invite people to join me in reading every month or so. I've chosen this book to begin with, but thought (and this is something that has worked well in other groups I've been part of but if someone has a better suggestion we can do that instead) in the future, we could rotate around the group. If it is your turn, you come with 3 books, introduce them and then let the group decide which one they would like to read. They would, of course, have to be easily accessible and maybe available for under £10-15 or at the library.

I hope to see you on Saturday, November 7th at 4pm in The Blue Moon. If you want to contact me about this, I will leave my mobile number and email address on the noticeboard in the Meeting House.


Craig Barnett said...

Hi Nadine,
Great idea, thanks for suggesting this. Thinking about your statement:

"The books that I've really gotten the most from and have expanded my worldview are books from other cultures that had a spiritual dimension that I had never heard of before."

Ones that occur to me include:
'Incognito' by Petru Dumitriu
The poetry of Rumi
'Shikasta' by Doris Lessing (not really from another culture, but certainly one I'd never heard of...)
Hope to join you on the 7th,

Nadine Wills said...

Hi Craig,

Interesting books. People came up to me after the Meeting so there are already 3 to suggest at the first book group (I suppose I should put them up beforehand so people have a chance to look and consider...maybe I'll even put up a poll so that people can vote in absentia).

We'll need someone to volunteer to suggest books for the January group. Cough :). The more in advance these options are the better as it takes awhile for people to order and then read books doesn't it?

I keep coming across Rumi in the past maybe this is my chance to sit down with his work and consider his writing and ideas more closely as only know of him superficially. Would love the chance to do that especially (could make a bad joke about rumi-nating on...there I did it, couldn't help myself). That's what is interesting about these kinds of groups isn't it?

Perhaps see you on the 7th then,