H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

H is for Hawk

In November, we decided at book group to read H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald – it was suggested by a member of the group who read it last December after receiving a copy for her Secret Santa present and enjoyed it.  I knew very little about the book when I started reading it, only that is was an autobiographical account of owning and training a hawk.  This is true, and to be more accurate, it is about owning and training a Goshawk.  However, alongside this, the novel is about the author’s feelings of loss and grief after the death of her father Continue reading

Once More, With Feeling by Victoria Coren and Charlie Skelton

I have just finished one of the funniest books I have ever read. ‘Once More, With Feeling’ is written by Victoria Coren (yes, she presents Only Connect and yes, she’s married to David Mitchell) and Charlie Skelton and is also subtitled ‘How we tried to make the greatest porn film ever’. The subtitle, although sums up the book quite perfectly, is not just what this book is about. Originally published in 2003, the book tells the true story of how Coren and Skelton decide, after spending some considerable time reviewing pornographic films, that they could do a much better job. Continue reading

Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup

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Twelve Years a Slave is very much on the nations, if not the world’s radar at the moment. With the recent film adaptation winning the Oscar for Best Picture and BAFTA for Best Film, Steve McQueen (the Director) has brought Solomon Northup’s story to a huge audience. It was for this reason amongst others that we decided to read this book for book group. We also wanted to read a ‘hopeful’ book, and though it is not strictly hopeful in a way that is uplifting, Twelve Years a Slave is an ultimately uplifting book hidden in the atrocities of the slave trade in the mid-nineteenth century United States of America. The book is a true, first person account of a black man living in the Northern States of America who is one day kidnapped and sold into the slave trade. Continue reading