We have a thriving book club at Jaffé & Neale, which meets at 6.30pm on the second Wednesday of every month in Chipping Norton and the last Tuesday of every month in Stow-on-the-Wold. There’s no membership, no charge, and no obligation to come every month, so if you like the sound of a particular book, and would like to discuss it over a glass of wine, we’d love to see you. Check this page for current book titles. Join us at 6.30pm on:
Wednesday the 5th of July at 6:30pm to discuss The Pigeon Tunnel by John Le Carre in Jaffe & Neale Chipping Norton
In this, his first memoir, le Carre is as funny as he is incisive – reading into the events he witnesses the same moral ambiguity with which he imbues his novels. Whether he’s writing about the parrot at a Beirut hotel that could perfectly mimic machine gun fire, or visiting Rwanda’s museums of the unburied dead in the aftermath of the genocide, or celebrating New Year’s Eve with Yasser Arafat, or interviewing a German terrorist in her desert prison in the Negev, or watching Alec Guinness preparing for his role as George Smiley, or describing the female aid worker who inspired the main character in his The Constant Gardener, le Carre endows each happening with vividness and humour, now making us laugh out loud, now inviting us to think anew about events and people we believed we understood. Best of all, le Carre gives us a glimpse of a writer’s journey over more than six decades, and his own hunt for the human spark that has given so much life and heart to his fictional characters.
Wednesday, 6th September at 6:30pm to discuss Barkskins by Annie Proulx in Jaffe & Neale Chipping Norton
Rene suffers extraordinary hardship, oppressed by the forest he is charged with clearing. He is forced to marry a Mi’kmaw woman and their descendants live trapped between two inimical cultures. But Duquet, crafty and ruthless, runs away from the seigneur, becomes a fur trader, then sets up a timber business.
Proulx tells the stories of the descendants of Sel and Duquet over three hundred years – their travels across North America, to Europe, China, and New Zealand, under stunningly brutal conditions; the revenge of rivals; accidents; pestilence; Indian attacks; and cultural annihilation. Over and over again, they seize what they can of a presumed infinite resource, leaving the modern-day characters face to face with possible ecological collapse. Proulx’s inimitable genius is her creation of characters who are so vivid – in their greed, lust, vengefulness, or their simple compassion and hope – that we follow them with fierce attention.
Wednesday the 4th of October at 6:30pm to discuss Sense and sensibility by Jane Austen in Jaffe & Neale Chipping Norton
Jane Austen’s novel tells the story of Marianne Dashwood, who wears her heart on her sleeve, and when she falls in love with the dashing but unsuitable John Willoughby she ignores her sister Elinor’s warning that her impulsive behaviour leaves her open to gossip and innuendo. Meanwhile Elinor, always sensitive to social convention, is struggling to conceal her own romantic disappointment, even from those closest to her.
Through their parallel experience of love – and its threatened loss – the sisters learn that sense must mix with sensibility if they are to find personal happiness in a society where status and money govern the rules of love. The Penguin English Library – 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.