in his attic bedroom, twelve-year-old David mourns the death of his
mother, with only the books on his shelf for company. But those books
have begun to whisper to him in the darkness. Angry and alone, he takes
refuge in his imagination and soon finds that reality and fantasy have
begun to meld. While his family falls apart around him, David is
violently propelled into a world that is a strange reflection of his own
-- populated by heroes and monsters and ruled by a faded king who keeps
his secrets in a mysterious book, The Book of Lost Things.
readers on a vivid journey through the loss of innocence into adulthood
and beyond, New York Times bestselling author John Connolly tells a
dark and compelling tale that reminds us of the enduring power of
stories in our lives.
usual we met up in the Tiled Hall Cafe in Leeds Art Gallery for Book
Club to discuss "The Book of Lost Things" by John Connolly which was
suggested at the last Book Club by Susan. We had a good mixture of
previous bookclubbers as well as some new faces.
general the group really enjoyed the book and Susan had said that when
she had first read the book it had really grabbed her and she couldn't
put it down and was struck by the very poignant tone of the book.
Lianne really enjoyed the escapism of the book and Jenny said that
the descriptions of the strange beasts and creatures in the book made
her feel quite inspired and as if she wanted to draw pictures of how she
had imagined them all to look. Claire liked the fact that the female
characters in the book were all quite villainous. Ruth was less keen on
the book and felt perhaps as though it was trying a bit too hard to be
childlike and was perhaps too formulaic.
were drawn between the book and Labyrinth (both the David Bowie version
and also Pans Labyrinth) and Jenny said that she
enjoyed being frightened by her imagination of all the strange
creatures. We all agreed that the biggest villain in the book was
perhaps the most ordinary in description - The Crooked Man - and Lianne
said that as she'd been reading it she initially imagined him as similar
to one of Noel Fielding's characters in The Mighty Boosh, but
that this evolved and changed as the book progressed. We discussed
the heroes and villains of the book and decided that there were quite a
lot of villains - The Crooked Man, the King, Snow White, the female
hunter, Red Riding Hood, but fewer heroes - the Woodsman and Anna,
although maybe she was more of a catalyst.
of us were very happy with the way that the book ended and found that
it was a satisfactory conclusion and discussed just what was "lost"
during the book including innocence, selfishness, David's mother and his
OCD rituals, but also concluded that a lot was also found that wouldn't
have been had there not been losses first.
half the group had read the book electronically (Kindle / i-books) and
the rest had read it in hard copy and when we compared and contrasted we
noticed that the hard copies had additional material at the end
including fairy tales that had been referenced and an interview with the
author. The Kindle readers felt cheated!
next book was chosen and to keep things fresher in our minds we've
opted for a shorter time interval to read the book as well as agreeing a
further four books that we will read for future meetings. (Lots of the
members mentioned that they felt inspired and motivated by the Bookclub
and that it had re-ignited their interest in reading!) We are now
reading "How to be a Woman" by Caitlin Moran and will be meeting on
Sunday 29th July at the Tiled
Hall Cafe at 2pm. We hope that you will be able to join us.
forthcoming books following on from this will be: "Fifty Shades of Gray"
by E L James, "Lolita" by Vladimir Navokov, "The Joy Luck Club" by Amy Tan and "The Living Dolls" by Natasha Walter. If you have any other suggestions, please get in touch and let us know.
At our June workshop, entitled All Write Now, we were joined by Matthew Bellwood, a writer and storyteller based in Leeds.
The creative writing workshop was all about telling stories. Shaping our experiences to make them understandable, thought-provoking, funny or evocative and finding ways to share our experiences with others.
Matthew was a great tutor for the session and had everyone sit in a circle to work together and share with each other. He told us some of his stories along the way and related his advice and experience of writing and storytelling.
There were exercises on finding your voice, creating fictional places, story songs, writing for five minutes about anything at all, using random words to create a story and even tweeting.
Matthew has been tweeting short stories about Leeds on the @365LeedsStories feeds and will share some of the ones from our workshop in his narrative.
You can find out more about Matthew at www.somestories.co.uk, and here are some pics of our girls (and a boy!) in action.