Honourable Friends?

Honourable Friends?

A review of Caroline Lucas’ Honourable Friends? Parliament and the Fight for Change. Last month our bookclub was reading “Honourable Friends?” by Caroline Lucas, the UK’s lone Green MP. In the book, Caroline Lucas shares what she has learnt from her first five years in Westminster, in the hope that her readers will be informed […]

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Deeds not words

Deeds not words

The Suffragette Motto can still inspire women today. Around 100 years ago women across the UK were campaigning to be given the right to vote. As shown in the recent film ‘Suffragette’, years of polite letter writing and petitions had achieved nothing and the Women’s Social and Political Union was established with the aim to […]

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10 alternative films for the holidays

10 alternative films for the holidays

Like many people, I love movies. One of my favourite ways to treat myself is to indulge in an evening watching a favourite piece of cinema. It’s like visiting an old, trusted, happy friend. And, who doesn’t like doing that during the holidays? For many people, there are certain Christmas films that are almost ritualistically […]

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Half Blood Blues: The verdict

Half Blood Blues: The verdict

The secretive Peak District book club were looking forward to reading this book. It has World War two, jazz and adventure (sort of): what’s not to like? But while parts of the book were quite interesting, we were disappointed with the book as a whole. I say the book as a whole – only two […]

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Bolder and Wiser by Sarah Dale

Bolder and Wiser by Sarah Dale

Remarkable conversations with older women. I’d like to introduce readers to a newly launched book by a woman who is just turning fifty! I met Sarah around eighteen months ago when she asked to interview me as one of the twenty voices in her book “Bolder and Wiser“. It was an easy, relaxed conversation, although […]

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Film review: Skin

Film review: Skin

Skin is a wonderful British/South African film made in 2008. It focuses on the huge complexities of being born mixed race to white parents in South Africa during the apartheid era and is based on the true story of Sandra Laing. The fortunes of the main character do not make for happy reading; she is […]

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Book review: The Moment

Book review: The Moment

Mary Cawley reviews The Moment by Claire Dyer. Heavily hyped by Waterstones as ‘2013’s One Day’, I thought well, why not? The writing in The Moment is faultless and elegant. Sadly, the protagonists Fern and Elliott fail to engage with the reader on any level except as ‘me me me spoiled brats’. A case of please, please bring back the […]

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National Theatre live review: The Audience

National Theatre live review: The Audience

National Theatre Live broadcasts West End hit show The Audience She is a stoic and a good listener. She has a quiet and ironic sense of humour and a superhuman sense of duty. She thinks nothing of picnicking in Balmoral in freezing temperatures and her favourite Prime Minister was Harold Wilson. Winston Churchill refused to […]

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Book review: The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

Book review: The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is an astonishing but ultimately improbable story I raved about this book, and subsequent film, to an elegant, very wise Jewish lady survivor of the death camp Auschwitz (or as our nine-year-old narrator Bruno calls it, ‘Out-With’). She threw me a look of contempt, pulled up her sleeve and […]

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Book Club: Pigeon English

Book Club: Pigeon English

Manchester Book Club reviews Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman Confronted by a strong selection of books to choose from by Manchester Book Club veteran Veronica, Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman came out on top. A much-lauded debut novel shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize last year, hopes were high that this would be a satisfying […]

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Book review: Toby’s Room

Book review: Toby’s Room

Mary Cawley reviews Toby’s Room by Pat Barker. This is Pat Barker’s finest novel to date. Readers may be familiar with her marvellous Regeneration trilogy, described by A. S. Byatt as “A new vision of what the First World War did to human beings, male and female, soldiers and civilians.” Toby’s Room covers familiar territory, […]

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Book Club: Siddhartha

Book Club: Siddhartha

This month’s featured book club read Siddhartha by Herman Hesse Herman Hesse’s 1922 novel follows the son of a Brahmin as he sets out on a spiritual journey in an attempt to find enlightenment. His travels lead him to a life of self-imposed poverty as a Samana, to an encounter with the Buddha, to a […]

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