Dunedin 09

Dunedin 09

Our bookclub has been meeting on the first Friday of the month since 1991.  One of the twelve women is a founding member and we have had only about a dozen members come and go over the years. 

Many of us live in Broad Bay. Ours is one of 50 groups in Dunedin that belong to the Book Discussion Scheme.  The BDS was set up in Christchurch in 1973 and has 1,300 groups throughout New Zealand.  Each year groups choose books from a catalogue of 1,123 book titles, which is constantly being updated.  We have been fortunate most years to be issued with books from our top 10 choices.  Each book comes with a booklet that reviews the book and gives questions that can be used to prompt discussion.  In our group discussions the first question is usually, ‘Did you read the book?’ 

I have noticed that books that everyone enjoyed seem to generate less discussion about the book and its themes than those enjoyed by some and not others.  One book that nobody enjoyed generated a whole lot of discussion.  At least in a book club you get to read books you would not normally choose yourself. 

Over the course of the year members take turns hosting.  It is always a treat to drink wine and have supper in each others’ homes.  My husband wishes I had bookclub 11 times a year because of the effort I make to tidy beforehand!  However, finding seating for 12 can be tricky. 

With regular meetings and discussions on a wide range of topics, we have come to know our fellow bookclubbers very well.  Occasionally an evening will go on unusually late and some partners will ask, were we discussing the book the whole time? 

Since I joined the group in 1993 I am pleased to call the members my friends and it is with pleasure that I anticipate the first Friday of each month. For further information on the Book Discussion Scheme see their website: https://bds.org.nz/ 

Memorable books enjoyed by members of Dunedin 09:

  • A Fine Balance, Rohinton Mistry
  • The Sixteen Trees of The Somme, Lars Mytting
  • Body Of Glass, Marge Piercy
  • The Thirteenth Tale, Diane Setterfield
  • The Spy and the Traitor, Ben Macintyre
  • A Partial History of Lost Causes, Jennifer Dubois
  • We Need to Talk About Kevin, Lionel Shriver
  • The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver
  • Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro
  • The Earth Cries Out, Bonnie Etherington

By Lynley McGrannachan

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