Together in Spirit

An online reading group ('TIS a reading group!) to bring together friends, and friends of friends, who aren't able to be in a conventional reading group due to constraints of time or geography.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Next books

So, just to clarify... Those as wants are reading Anna K now, but agreeing to abandon if it all proves too much (!). Alongside that, ie also now-ish, we'll be discussing the Bryson on Shakespeare. Following that, if no-one else has any other short recommendations or requests, how about Val's non-fiction idea? All the while, Anna K can be bubbling along in the background for those who are reading it but not letting us stop discussing these other, shorter, things which we are reading at the same time. I agree longer books are not normally good, but Anna K seemed a worthy exception. Hope this is all ok and all clear.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Next Book

Firstly, I would like to say that I know nothing about e books, Val, having only read one article about the new Sony reader. I did think of a positive point after I posted my last entry but have since forgotten it. Perhaps it was that they would save paper.

I have also wanted to read the Bryson on Shakespeare, so would be happy to have that next. I read Anna K a long time ago and still have a copy. More recently, I borrowed Helen's copy of the TV adaptation, which I loved. It is very long at about 850 pages of alarmingly small print, so will take a long time for all of us. If Helen feels she can manage it, I would be willing to re-read.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Shakespeare and Tolstoy

... well, we seem to be aiming high now. I'll read Bryson on this recommendation and have been waiting to read Anna K for some while, though in truth I think very long books aren't the best for blogging. We'll see. Suggest a short book after that and then I have another non-fiction recommendation which I'm waiting to choose.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


I have nothing but horror about ebooks, I must confess, and don't get John started on the princples of making people pay to own something but not letting them share it...

But on a brighter note, John read (we shared a copy...) "The Tenderness of Wolves" on holiday while I read Bryson and absolutely loved it. I re-read most of it whenever he put it down and it was far, far better than I remembered. I take back my mark of 7.5 and award it 9 or even 9.5 and am now firmly persuaded (by my experience as well as by John) that it did not in fact need cutting. He had some very interesting views on why the seemingly extraneous stuff was in fact germane and on some of the mysteries we'd identified in reading group. Happy to expand if anyone wants. Helen, should you find yourself wanting to read a book we've read already but not too long ago, I can heartily recommend this and am sure you'd thoroughly enjoy it.


I by no means want to impose a title on you, but have just read "Shakespeare" by Bill Bryson, John having bought it for my birthday. It's not only available for loan, but is really interesting and persuasive and was an excellent potted guide. I should have known most of it but didn't, and am glad I do now. Since Shakespeare is so central to literature/language, and since there are so many misconceptions about him, I would heartily recommend this book to you. It's also short, witty and readable. These qualities are rarer than they should be... Anyone on for reading/discussing this next?

In the longer term, I feel - unusually! - able to face starting on "Anna Karenina" by Tolstoy. It will take me some considerable time to read it, so if I start it now while you quicker members read other stuff/Bryson etc, we may yet end up finishing at roughly compatible times! I think Valerie may have read this already, but I would be very grateful for anyone who is prepared to join me in reading this.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

e books

I can't think of a single reason why I would want to read a book on screen, though maybe it is more environmentally friendly? Valerie seems to know all about it and her synopsis confirms my worst suspicions. Books are so much more than the content; I love just looking along my shelves in dull moments of the News and in an instant having a whole plethora of memories flood back (at least, now it is more of a sensation than a memory - Valerie will know what I mean.) Without the actual book I think I'm in danger of losing that whole past experience...

What are we supposed to be reading now? I have a couple of ideas but it can't be my turn as I chose Can any mother. Glad you all enjoyed it so much and look forward to what's next.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

E books

There seems to be a new Sony reader coming on to the market in conjunction with Waterstones. The snags seem to be that they are about £200 and you still have to buy the book at I suppose paperback prices. There will also be a limited range of books available, although I expect this would gradually increase. If it gets stolen, you could have lost your entire library! You couldn't pass the books on to others after reading and you may have to delete them if you run out of memory. The only benefit seems to be if you like to take lots of books on holiday