A Journey Through Literature

Impressions of a book group.

BooksWhen I penned this article, I had been a member of the Journey Book Group, started by a wonderful friend, Louisa, for something over a year. The group aims to use a Christian perspective for discussing the books we read, although we are not church based. Neither do we simply choose Christian books or books by Christian authors, we don’t. Our first book, that we began by reading and discussing was the The Screwtape Letters. This proved to be a little bit of a false start, as we were initially reading a few chapters at a time, over the the first few months and discussing by chapter rather than book. Now though we have evolved into a small, friendly and successful group that has found its way.

As you might by now have guessed, most of the titles that I have reviewed on my Bookshelf page of this blog were books chosen for the Journey book group. In this article though, it’s not so much the books I want to write about as the book group.

We meet monthly and read 6 books each year, so we discuss a book every other month. The months in between book discussions we usually have a guest speaker. On one occasion we were lucky to have speakers who had visited the Shiwa Ngandu estate in Africa, the subject of Christina Lamb’s book, The Africa House (reviewed here). As it happened, that book was one I had suggested for the group.

No one enjoys every book they read. Of the books I read for the Journey Book Group, some I really enjoyed, one I could have easily put down part way through and not bothered to finish if not for the group. Then there is that surprising book which you might not like, perhaps making you feel a bit uncomfortable, but you still have to keep turning the page to see what happens next, The Kite Runner was like that for me.

The real joy of the book group, is found in the discovery of books and authors you would never have thought to choose yourself as you browse the bookshop, library or online like Amazon. Being able to discuss the book with other people who have read it will often bring a new dimension and at times shed understanding, where someone interprets something differently to yourself.

If you like reading and want to add to the enjoyment, it is well worth seeking out and joining a local book club or group.

MT

P.s. My next review to be published shortly after the 2nd Wednesday (when Journey Book Group meets)  in April will be on The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, by Rachel Joyce

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