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August 2015 Meeting

There : Vic, Sharon, Trish, Gabrielle, Ros, Heidi

Not there : Catherine, Katie, Heather, Mary, Lynette


  1. Using Facebook – Gabrielle & Heidi looked into whether you can get away with not being on Facebook but still receive email alerts. Unfortunately this is not an option. You must be a member of Facebook. However, we decided last night to go ahead and try a Facebook group as those who do not want to do the 100% Facebook thing and don’t want ANOTHER social media thing to monitor, can still sign up and get all the Facebook posts coming into their email inbox.  We’d also suggested people could have a Facebook profile that is not under their own name – BookThief and perhaps your initials for example?   So Gabrielle is going to create the Facebook Group for us – it is entirely private and no one not in the group can see the posts even if they are your Facebook friend – and we will trial using it for a few months.  If you need help setting up a Facebook profile you can call Gabrielle or Heidi and we’ll do what we can.
  2. Sunday meetings – there was some confusion about the start time for the Sunday sessions. Some of us were under the impression we’d agreed on a 3pm start but the Reading Lists page now says 2:30pm.  We decided we’ll stay with the 2:30pm start on Sundays.

Discussion – H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald – three had read the book.  It was mostly well-recieved.  We all agreed her writing was lovely  (p26, of a falcon – “he was watching the Spitfire overhead with professional curiosity.”)  Some did not like the delving into TH White’s experiences with a goshawk because of his incompetence and thus cruelty to the bird, some found it very interesting – another quote about a b ird, this one from TH White – “a hump backed aviating Richard III.”  Some found the journey Helen Macdonald takes through her grief moving, others found it tedious.  The score was 3.3/5.

Next meeting – Sunday 6th September at Mary’s house – Perfume by Patrick Suskind

5 thoughts on “August 2015 Meeting

  1. I have been cogitating on my comments last evening and feel I need to explain myself as my apparent lack of sympathy for Helen Macdonald’s grief does not sit well on my conscience.
    I would like to assure you that, with people I know, I have never felt irritated by their grief or depression as I was by Helen Macdonald’s. I am fully cogniscant that people take different amounts of time to grieve, can feel grief and demonstrate their grief in very different ways and with friends I am always sympathetic and would do anything I could to help them while they are suffering. I may have said tactless things while friends have been in that black place. I never intend to; I am my mother’s daughter in that regard.
    There was just something about Helen Macdonald’s grief that I could not connect with. Perhaps it was the space I was in myself (I was sick in bed with a chest infection), maybe it was because we went bang into her grief without knowing what type of person she usually is – we speculated that she might be a very intense, deep feeling person from her story of going to bed with her arms folded behind her like a bird when she was a little girl.
    i’m sorry if I offended anyone with my callousness last evening. – Heidi xx

    1. Oh – I only just saw these comments! Don’t feel you need to explain yourself Heidi and no offence taken here, or perception that your comments were callous. That’s the beauty of a good book – it brings out all perspectives. I think I tend to be rather shallow when it comes to the analysis of books to be honest – I just either like it, or I don’t. I went into the evening naively thinking everyone would think the book was as amazing as I did, and when they didn’t I had to scramble for reasons – so that was my lesson! See you next time. Vic xx

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