Reading Group Books for Previous Years

The Reading Group in 2010
(From left to right) Liz Woolley, Carol Brookhouse, Judy Porter,
Ann Smith, Audrey Forgham, Alex Corrin, Lynn Gartside and Jean Simmonds (not present: Jenny Overson and Gill Watson)

For more pictures see below - 2009 and earlier

Reading Group - Books for 2018


29 January

The Silk Merchant's Daughter

Dinah Jefferies

at Sally's

05 March


by Sally Vickers

at Alex's

02 April


by Jenny Eclair

at Ann's

04 June

The Secret Rooms

by Catherine Bailey

at Audrey's

02 July

The Dry

by Jane Harper

at Carol's

06 August

Miss Boston & Miss Hargreaves

by Rachel Malik

at Gill's

03 September

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

by Gail Honeyman

at Jean's

01 October

A Year of Marvellous Things

Sarah Winman

at Jenny's

05 November 2018

The last Painting of Sara de Voig
by Dominic Smith

at Lynn's

Reading Group Books for 2017

09 January

The Light Between Oceans

M.L Stedman

at Jean's

09 February

7.30 p.m. new time

The Sea Garden

Deborah Lawrenson

at Jenny's

06 March

The Muse

Jessie Burton

at Lynn's

03 April

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street

Natasha Pulley

at Alex's

08 May

The Husband's Wife

Amanda Prowse

at Ann's

05 June

Wait For Me!

Memoirs of the Youngest Mitford Sister

Deborah Devonshire

at Audrey's

03 July

When Nights Were Cold

Susanna Jones

at Carol's


No meeting

04 September

The Essex Serpent

Sarah Walters

at Gill's

02 October

The Power of One

Bryce Courtenay

at Jean's

06 November

The Children Act

Ian McEwan

at Jenny's

04 December

Birdcage Walk

Helen Dunmore

at Lynn's

Reading Group Books for 2016

04 January


at Alex's

01 February

The Enchanted April

by Eliabeth von Arnim

at Gill's

08 February

The Enchanted April

FILM at Carol's

07 March

All the Light We Cannot See

by Anthony Doerr

at Jean's

04 April

The Orchard of Lost Souls

by Nadifa Mohamed

at Jenny's

02 May

Me Before You

JoJo Moyes

at Judy's

06 June

The Behaviour of Moths

Poppy Adams

at Lynn's

04 July

Somebody Else's Kids

Torey Hayden

at Val's

01 August

Off Shore

Penelope Fitzgerald

at Alex's

05 September

A Shepherd's Life: A Tale of the Lake District

James Rebanks

at Ann's

03 October

The Silk Factory

Judith Allnatt

at Audrey's

07 November

The Last Train To Brackley Central

Stephen Done

at Carol's

28 November


Helen Dunmore

at Gill's

09 Januaary

The Light Between Oceans

M.L Stedman

at Jean's

09 February

The Sea Garden

Deborah Lawrenson

at Jenny's

Reading Group Books for 2015

5 January

The Gold Finch

Donna Tartt

at Ann's

Remainder of book list not found

Reading Group Books for 2014

6 JanuaryQuartet - film at Carol's
3 February

The Baroness (Hannah Rothschild)

at Alex's

3 March

The Last Dance & Other Stories (Victoria Hislop)

at Audrey's

7 April

To Kill A Mocking Bird (Harper Lee)

at Carol's

5 May

White Truffles In Winter (N.M. Kelby)

at Gillian's
2 June

A Genius In The Family: An Intimate Memoir Of Jacqueline Du Pre(Hilary du Pre)

at Liz's

7 July

Nothing To Envy (Barbara Demick)

at Jean's

4 August

How It All Began (Penelope Lively)

at Jenny's

1 September

Appletree Yard (Louise Doughty)

at Judy's

6 October

A Walk In The Woods (Bill Bryson)

at Alex's

3 November

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (Karen Joy Fowler)

at Lyn's

1 December

Poems and Nibbles

at Alex's

Reading Group Books for 2013

7 January

Poems at Gill's

4 February

The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)

at Lynn's

4 March

The Complete Mapp & Lucia (E.F.Benson)

at Alex's

8 April

In Pale Battalions (Robert Goddard)

at Ann's

6 May

An Act of Peace (Ann Widdecombe)

at Audrey's

3 June

The White Woman On The Green Bicycle (Monique Roffey)

at Carol's

1 July

The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared (Jonas Jonosson)

at Gillian's

5 August

Pure (Andrew Miller)

at Jean's

2 September

The Cleaner of Chartres (Salley Vickers)

at Jenny's

7 October

When God was a Rabbit (Sarah Winman)

at Judy's

4 November

The Last Runaway (Tracy Chevalier)

at Lynn's

2 December

The Distant Hours (Kate Moreton)

at Ann's

Reading Group Books for 2012

2 January

Poems at Alex's

6 February

The Masters (CP Snow) at Liz's

5 March

East of the Sun (Julia Gregson)

at Lynn's

2 April

Christ Stopped at Eboli (Carlo Levi)

at Alex's

7 May

The Liffey Flows By (Niki Phillips)

at Ann's

4 June

The Sense Of An Ending (Julian Barnes)

at Audrey's

2 July

The Sealed Letter (Emma Donaghue)

at Carol's

6 August

Summer in February (Jonathan Swift)

at Gill's

3 September

The Peppered Moth (Margaret Drabble)

at Jenny's

1 October

The Hare With The Amber Eyes (Edmund de Waal)

at Jean's

5 November

State of Wonder (Ann Patchett)

at Judy's

3 December

English Eagles (Nigel Slater)

and visit of the author

at Carol's

Reading Group Books for 2011

3 JanuaryPoetry evening at Alex's
7 February

A Week in December (Sebastian Faulks) at Judy's

7 March

The Guernsey & Potato Peel Society
(Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows) at Lynn's

4 April

The Persian Boy (Mary Renault) at Alex's

9 MayTrespass (Rose Tremain) at Alex's
6 June

England, Their England

(A.G MacDonnell) at Ann's

4 July

The 19th Wife

(David Ebershoff) at Carol's

1 August

The Long Song

(Andrea Levy) at Carol's

5 September

Started Early, Took My Dog

(Kate Atkinson) at Gill's

3 October

Before I Go To Sleep

(SJ Watson) at Jean's

7 November

Isa And May

(Margaret Forster) at Jenny's

5 December

Pigeon English ( Steven Kelman) at Judy's

Reading Group Books for 2010

5 January The meeting is at Carol's. Take a favourite poem.

8 FebruaryThe meeting is at Judy's. Wolf Hall (Hilary Mantel)

11 March The meeting is at Ann's The Great Gatsby (F.Scott Fitzgerald) and The Beacon (Susan Hill)

5 April The meeting is at Lyn's Sacred Hearts (Sarah Dunant)

3 May The meeting is at Alex's. Members' recommended books

7 June The meeting is at Jean's. Rogue Herries (HughWalpole)

5 July The meeting is at Ann's. The Secret Scripture (Sebastian Barry)

2 August The meeting is at Carol's The Remains of the Day (Kazuo Ishiguru)

6 September The meeting is at Carol's The White Queen (Philippa Gregory)

4 October The meeting is at Gill's The Help (Katherine Stockett)

1 November The meeting is at Jean's The Five People You Meet In Heaven Mitch Alborn

6 December The meeting is at Ann's The Outcast Sadie Jones

Reading Group Books for 2009

New Year 2009 - Plenty of eating and chatting, but did books get a look in?
Left to right: Alex Corrin, Liz Woolley, Ann Smith, Audrey Forgham, Carol Brookhouse, Gill Watson, Lynn Gartside and, in front, Jean Simmonds

5th January The meeting is at Carol's. Take a favourite poem, with copies for the group and a plate of "nibbles".

9th February The meetingisat Alex's. Diary of an Ordinary Woman (Margaret Forster)

2nd March The meeting is at Ann's. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Agatha Christie)

NB King's Sutton Literary Festival is the weekend 7th and 8th March

6th April The meeting is at Jean's. The Reader (Bernhard Schlink)

4th May The meeting is at Judy's. The Return (Victoria Hislop)

1st June The meeting is at Carol's. The Bolter (Frances Osbourne)

6th July The meeting is at Alex's. The White Tiger (Aravind Adiga)

3rd August The meeting is at Lyn's. Coram Boy (Jamila Gavin)

7th September The meeting is at Ann's. Azincourt (Bernard Cornwell)

5th October The meeting is at Jean's. The Piano Teacher (Janice Y.K Lee)

2nd November The meeting is at Gill's. Under The Greenwood Tree (Thomas Hardy)

7th December The meeting is at Alex's. The Music Room (William Fiennes)

Reading Group Books for 2008

Some members of the Helmdon Reading Group 2008
From left to right: Jenny Overson, Alex Corrin, Liz Woolley,
Audrey Forgham, Carol Brookhouse and, in front, Jean Simmonds.

Notes for members:


7th January Meeting at Alex's. Take a favourite poem, with copies for the group and a plate of "nibbles".

14th January Film trip to see The Kite Runner

4th February Meeting at Carol's. North and South (Mrs Gaskell).

3rd MarchMeeting at Lynn's. Star of the Sea (Joseph O'Connor)

8th March Kings Sutton Literary Festival - visit (contact Ann or Carol)

10th March Film trip to see The Other Boleyn Girl Cancelled

7th April Meeting at Ann's. Fair Stood The Wind For France (H E Bates)

12th May Meeting at Gill's. Purple Hibiscus (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)

9th June Meeting at Alex's. Notes From An Exhibition (Patrick Gale)

7th July Meeting at Carol's. Rough Music (Patrick Gale)

No August meeting

8th September Meeting at Judy's. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist (Robert Tressell)

10th October Meeting at Ann's. The Forgotten Garden (Kate Moreton)

3rd November Meeting at Lyn's. The Road Home (Rose Tremaine)

1st December Meeting at Gillian's. Fallen Skies (Phillipa Gregory)

Jean Spendlove (centre) showing a document to
Carol Brookhouse (left) and Lynn Gartside (right)

2006 "For Freedom to be Equal"

In November 2006 we discussed a book written by a resident of Helmdon, Jean Spendlove. The book is called For Freedom to be Equal, and is set in Rennes in the time of the French Revolution. Jean attended the meeting so we were able to ask questions and discuss her work. Most of the book club ended up purchasing the book that Jean so kindly lent us to read. We are now hoping she will complete the follow-on book.

The Reading Circle

Some members of the original Reading Circle

The Helmdon Reading Circle was established in July 1999 to enable us to share the joy of reading. Ten of us meet on the first Monday of every month, with the meeting being held in the home of the person who has selected the book for that month. The meetings are usually about two and a half hours long. As a group we agreed that we did not want to read any science fiction or horror stories and that all books were subject to a limit of 500 pages. So far, we have read, amongst others, Hideous Kinky by Esther Freud, Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks, Sold by Zana Muhsen, and Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt. The Helmdon Reading Circle has proved to be extremely successful and enjoyable and I hope it will continue to flourish.