The Bookworm Group 2019

The Bookworm Group is the place to come if you like reading and a chance to reflect with others as well as having fun. Please who are interested in joining our Bookworm Group please e-mail; Barbara at [email protected]

The Bookworm Group was formed in 1988 by Ray Adams, our minister at the time, with church members who love to read. The rationale was that people who belong to a church need to have a better idea of what and how people outside the church think, especially if they want to interact constructively with the modern world.

Since its foundation the Book Group has convened approximately every six weeks to discuss a book. Through the years its members have been introduced to new authors, books, as well as new countries and cultures outside western culture. Occasionally the Book Group has returned to a literature classic, only to discover how contemporary its themes and concerns are.

The size of the Book Group has stayed stable at approximately nine people through the years. Once every year they meet to suggest books for the following twelve months, so that every person usually contributes one book for the reading list.

The reading list for 2019 is:

Meeting DateBookAuthor
6 February 2019Dear Mrs Bird A J Pearce
20 March 2019To the Hermitage Malcolm Bradbury
1 May 2019Tamed: ten species that changed our world Alice Roberts
19 June 2019The Music of the Spheres Elizabeth Redfern
31 July 2019 Entry Island Peter May
18 September 2019Where my Heart used to Beat Sebastian Faulks
30 October 2019Purple Hibiscus Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
4 December 2019 Christmas Lunch at the Mekan Restaurant, opposite the Church in the Brighton Road
(to be followed with coffee and decision on next year’s books at a member's home,)

Please note that dates are subject to change with revisions (if any) shown above.

For a more detailed list with a summary of each book please see below: (these books are available from Croydon Libraries and can be ordered free of charge on line at: 

Croydon Libraries On-line Resources

You will need to be a member of Croydon Libraries (more details on how to join can be seen on-line).  

Croydon Libraries On-line Registration
IssueBook Summary
Wednesday
6 February 2019
London, 1941. Amid the falling bombs Emmeline Lake dreams of becoming a fearless Lady War Correspondent. Unfortunately, Emmy instead finds herself employed as a typist for the formidable Henrietta Bird, the renowned agony aunt at Woman’s Friend magazine. Mrs Bird refuses to read, let alone answer, letters containing any form of Unpleasantness, and definitely not those from the lovelorn, grief-stricken or morally conflicted.
But the thought of these desperate women waiting for an answer at this most desperate of times becomes impossible for Emmy to ignore. She decides she simply must help and secretly starts to write back – after all, what harm could that possibly do?
Wednesday
20 March 2019
To the Hermitage tells two stories. The first is of the narrator, a novelist, on a trip to Stockholm and Russia for an academic seminar called the Diderot Project. The second takes place two hundred years earlier and recreates the journey the French philosopher Denis Diderot made to Russia at the invitation of Catherine the Great, a woman whose influence could change the path of history.
Malcolm Bradbury's last novel is rich with his satirical wit, but it is also deeply personal and weaves a wonderfully wry self-portrait.
Wednesday
1 May 2019
Ten species that changed our world! For hundreds of thousands of years, our ancestors depended on wild plants and animals for survival. They were hunter-gatherers, consummate foraging experts, but taking the world as they found it. Then a revolution occurred - our ancestors' interaction with other species changed. They began to tame them. The human population boomed; civilisation began. In this book, Alice Roberts uncovers the amazing deep history of ten familiar species with incredible wild pasts: dogs, apples and wheat; cattle; potatoes and chickens; rice, maize, and horses - and, finally, humans. Alice Roberts not only reveals how becoming part of our world changed these animals and plants, but shows how they became our allies, essential to the survival and success of our own species - and to our future.
Wednesday
19 June 2019
London, the summer of 1795: a season of revolutionary fervour, scientific discovery and vicious murders. The British government is in disarray, unable to stem the flood of secrets to Paris; betrayals that doom her war efforts to failure. In rural Kensington a group of French emigr-s are pursuing a scientific dream, the discovery of a planet they call Selene. The group has fallen under the spell of a beautiful and amoral woman - Auguste de Montpellier who is at once their muse and dark angel. Meanwhile a killer lurks in the back streets of the capital: the victims are all prostitutes and have been paid in French Louis d'Or, the currency of France's spies. Jonathan Absey is a Home Office clerk whose official task is to smash the French spy ring. Privately however, he has become obsessed with the murders. These interests intersect when he finds himself drawn into the Montpellier circle, yet his pursuit for truth remains obscured through coded letters, opium and conspiracy. Absey must uncover the mystery before the summer dies; an invasion fleet is being prepared to set sail across the channel and the lives of those on board now rest on his discoveries.
Wednesday
31 July 2019
When Detective Sime Mackenzie boards a light aircraft at Montreal's St. Hubert airfield, he does so without looking back. For Sime, the journey ahead represents an opportunity to escape the bitter blend of loneliness and regret that has come to characterise
his life in the city. Travelling as part of an investigation team, Sime's destination lies in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Only two kilometres wide and three long, Entry Island is home to a population of around 130: the wealthiest of which has just been discovered murdered.
Wednesday
18 September 2019
On a small island off the south coast of France, Robert Hendricks – an English doctor who has seen the best and the worst the twentieth century had to offer – is forced to confront the events that made up his life. His host is Alexander Pereira, a man who seems to know more about his guest than Hendricks himself does.

The search for the past takes us through the war in Italy in 1944, a passionate love that seems to hold out hope, the great days of idealistic work in the 1960s and finally – unforgettably – back into the trenches of the Western Front.

This moving novel casts a long, baleful light over the century we have left behind but may never fully understand. Daring, ambitious and in the end profoundly moving, this is Faulks’s most remarkable book yet.
Wednesday
30 October 2019
The limits of fifteen-year-old Kambili’s world are defined by the high walls of her family estate and the dictates of her fanatically religious father. Her life is regulated by schedules: prayer, sleep, study, prayer.
When Nigeria is shaken by a military coup, Kambili’s father, involved mysteriously in the political crisis, sends her to live with her aunt. In this house, noisy and full of laughter, she discovers life and love – and a terrible, bruising secret deep within her family.
This extraordinary debut novel from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author of ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’, is about the blurred lines between the old gods and the new, childhood and adulthood, love and hatred – the grey spaces in which truths are revealed and real life is lived.