International Club of Berne

Sophie Book Group

  • Wednesday, 24th January 2018 at 7pm
  • Thursday, 22nd February 2018 at 7pm
  • Wednesday, 28th March 2018 at 7:15pm
  • Wednesday, 23rd May 2018 at 7:15pm
  • Wednesday, 27th June 2018 at 6pm
  • Wednesday, 29th August 2018 at 6pm

Location: to be notified

Dates planned for 2018 are 24.1, 21.2 changed to 22.2, 21.3 changed to 28.3, 25.4, 23.5, 20.6, 22.8, 19.9, 17.10, 21.11

  • 19:00 on January 24, 2018 - We choose 8 to 10 books on 24 January, and in addition we discuss the short stories by Isaac Asimov: "The Last Question" (1956) and "The Last Answer" (1980)
  • 19:00 on February 22, 2018 - Nadine Gordimer, The Conservationist
  • 19:15 on March 28, 2018 - Sun-Mi Hwang, The Hen who Dreamed She Could Fly
  • 19:15 on April 25 CANCELLED
  • 19:15 on May 23, NEW - Daniel Kehlman, Measuring the World
  • 19:00 on June 27, NEW DATE - Jonas Luscher, Barbarian Spring
  • 19:00 on August 22 NEW DATE - Pascal Merrcier, Lea

You are welcome to join any meeting for whichever books you wish to read and discuss. You must have read the book before the meeting!

Comments

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Displaying 1 - 10 of 30 comments
Graham wrote
at 1:29pm on Sunday, 19th August 2018
Who is attending, and how needs a lift from Berne
Wednesday 29 August from 7 pm at Agnes' house
Graham
Graham wrote
at 1:52pm on Thursday, 9th August 2018
Next meetings

August 29 Lea by Pascal Mercier

September 19 The History of Bees by Maja Lunde.
- Is this date NOT good for anybody?

October 17 No book selected.
- We can meet to tell each other about what we are currently reading.

November 21 The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
- Is this date ok? At the Ref. Forum or other suggestions?

December no meeting
- Sometimes we have a "literary dinner"

Graham

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Lea by Pascal Mercier
Hardcover: 225 pages
Publisher: Grove Press; Translation edition (September 12, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0802121667
ISBN-13: 978-0802121660
Kindle $4.61
https://www.amazon.com/Lea-Novel-Pascal-Mercier/dp/0802121667
https://theresasmithwrites.com/2017/09/21/new-release-book-review-lea-by-pascal-mercier/

https://www.perlentaucher.de/buch/pascal-mercier/lea.html

some negative reviwes
... Es geht um einen geschiedenen Vater und seine Tochter, ein Wunderkind auf der Geige, die an ihrer Ausnahmebegabung zugrunde geht, was auch den Vater letztlich umbringt, ...
Available
https://www.orellfuessli.ch/shop/home/artikeldetails/ID14483899.html
https://www.amazon.de/Lea-Novel-Pascal-Mercier/dp/0802121667

https://www.exlibris.ch/de/buecher-buch/deutschsprachige-buecher/pascal-mercier/lea/id/9783442737468

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The History of Bees by Maja Lunde

https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2017/09/maja-lunde-the-history-of-bees/538683/
Following a simple premise—what would happen if bees disappeared?—Lunde’s novel, originally released in Norwegian in 2015, jumps back and forth, across time, between the stories of three beekeepers. The term, it should be noted, is used loosely: There’s William, a British biologist in the mid-1800s; George, a farmer in the contemporary Midwest; and Tao, a young Chinese mother in a bee-less 2098 who spends hours performing manual labor in the fields to make up for the lack of apiformes. All three are dealing with personal problems brought about by the existence—or lack—of bees in their life. But the novel smartly relies limitedly on its ecological-disaster framework and instead gains its best footing in the quiet and intimate relationships it depicts between its characters. At times, it’s easy to forget you’re reading a novel exploring the consequences of a species extinction—instead, you’ve become invested in the lives of the people whose stories it follows.

http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy/la-ca-jc-history-of-bees-20170921-story.html

https://www.amazon.co.uk/History-Bees-Maja-Lunde/dp/1471162745

Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Scribner UK (7 Sept. 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1471162745
ISBN-13: 978-1471162749


We discussed two films but I don't know if there are English versions.
More than Honey
http://www.morethanhoney.ch/
https://www.amazon.de/More-Than-Honey-Dieter-Meyer/dp/B00GEKOFCO/
"More Than Honey" ist ein sehr informativer und teilweise Erschreckendes zeigender Dokumentarfilm über die Bienenhaltung, deren Zucht und die Gewinnung von Honig. Außerdem ist er lehrreich in Bezug auf die Unterarten der Bienen.

Der Imker
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imker
https://www.amazon.de/Imker-Ibrahim-Gezer/dp/B00K0ACMRY

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The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Year-Magical-Thinking-Joan-Didion/dp/0007216858
Paperback: 227 pages
Publisher: Harper Perennial (4 Sept. 2006)
ISBN-10: 0007216858
ISBN-13: 978-0007216857

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Graham wrote
at 5:27pm on Tuesday, 31st July 2018
Next meeting: Lea by Pascal Mercier
Wednesday 29 August, 6 pm at the home of Agnes in Münchenbuchsee.
Who is reading ...?
Graham
Graham wrote
at 10:01am on Friday, 27th July 2018
At the meeting of May 23 we responded to the call for proposals of books for September, October and November 2018.

We did not consider the choice list of January 2018, which was sent out in document form recently. It was more fun to look at new recommendations.

Agnes pleaded and others agreed that books should be short (preferably less than about 250 pages) and that we should not have one a month. Perhaps 8 a year, and members are welcome to attend just the discussions that they want to. There is no compulsion to read or discuss books which you are not interested in, and general members of the ICB are welcome to attend whichever Sophie meetings they are interested in.

So far in 2018

19:00 on February 22, 2018 - Nadine Gordimer, The Conservationist
19:15 on March 28, 2018 - Sun-Mi Hwang, The Hen who Dreamed She Could Fly
19:15 on April 25 CANCELLED
19:15 on May 23 - Daniel Kehlman, Measuring the World
19:00 on June 27 - Jonas Luscher, Barbarian Spring
19:00 on August 22 - Pascal Mercier, Lea


Proposals (see more details below)
The History of Bees by Maja Lunde (novel over 250 years with background of the death of bees)
The Swerve by Stephen Greenblatt (antipopo John XXIII and Lucretius, non-fiction)
something by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Barcelona gothic stories)
something by Dürrenmatt (currently at cinema Rex and library Kornhaus)
something by Dan Brown (Inferno in Florence or Origin in Bilbao and Barcelona)
Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland or Through the Looking Glass)
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

More proposals are welcome.

------------------------------------------------------------------


The History of Bees by Maja Lunde
https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2017/09/maja-lunde-the-history-of-bees/538683/
Following a simple premise—what would happen if bees disappeared?—Lunde’s novel, originally released in Norwegian in 2015, jumps back and forth, across time, between the stories of three beekeepers. The term, it should be noted, is used loosely: There’s William, a British biologist in the mid-1800s; George, a farmer in the contemporary Midwest; and Tao, a young Chinese mother in a bee-less 2098 who spends hours performing manual labor in the fields to make up for the lack of apiformes. All three are dealing with personal problems brought about by the existence—or lack—of bees in their life. But the novel smartly relies limitedly on its ecological-disaster framework and instead gains its best footing in the quiet and intimate relationships it depicts between its characters. At times, it’s easy to forget you’re reading a novel exploring the consequences of a species extinction—instead, you’ve become invested in the lives of the people whose stories it follows.

http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy/la-ca-jc-history-of-bees-20170921-story.html
https://www.amazon.co.uk/History-Bees-Maja-Lunde/dp/1471162745

Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Scribner UK (7 Sept. 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1471162745
ISBN-13: 978-1471162749


------------------------------------------------------------------

The Swerve by Stephen Greenblatt
https://www.amazon.com/Swerve-How-World-Became-Modern/dp/0393343405
https://www.thedailybeast.com/stephen-greenblatts-the-swerve-lucretius-and-the-book-hunters
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antipope_John_XXIII

One of the world's most celebrated scholars, Stephen Greenblatt has crafted both an innovative work of history and a thrilling story of discovery, in which one manuscript, plucked from a thousand years of neglect, changed the course of human thought and made possible the world as we know it.


Paperback: 356 pages
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (September 4, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9780393343403
ISBN-13: 978-0393343403

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Carlos Ruiz Zafon https://www.carlosruizzafon.co.uk/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos_Ruiz_Zaf%C3%B3n

La sombra del viento, 2001 (The Shadow of the Wind)
El juego del angel, 2008 (The Angel's Game)
El prisionero del cielo, 2011 (The Prisoner of Heaven)
El laberinto de los espíritus, 2017 (The Labyrinth of Spirits)

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_D%C3%BCrrenmatt

The Visit (1964, Der Besuch der alten Dame)
The Visit film https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Visit_(1964_film)
The Judge and His Hangman (Der Richter und sein Henker, 1950; novella)
Suspicion (Der Verdacht, 1951, also known as The Quarry)
A Dangerous Game (Die Panne, 1956, novel / novella, also known as Traps[4])

The Pledge: Requiem for the Detective Novel (Das Versprechen: Requiem auf den Kriminalroman, 1958, novella)
https://www.amazon.com/Pledge-Friedrich-D%C3%BCrrenmatt/dp/0226174379
https://mrspeabodyinvestigates.wordpress.com/2012/04/06/21-friedrich-durrenmatt-the-pledge-first-review-of-swiss-crime/

The Pledge (2001 film) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pledge_(film)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pledge:_Requiem_for_the_Detective_Novel
http://www.postmodernmystery.com/the_pledge.html
https://www.theguardian.com/film/2001/oct/12/seanpenn
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00005BCKG

The Pledge playing at Kino Rex on 5.5 and 19.5
USA 2001, 121 Min., 35mm, E/d/f
Regie: Sean Penn
Drehbuch: Jerzy Kromolowski,
Mary Olsen-Kromolowski, nach
dem Roman «Das Versprechen»
von Friedrich Dürrenmatt
Mit: Jack Nicholson, Patricia
Clarkson, Benicio Del Toro,
Aaron Eckhart, Robin Wright Penn,
Vanessa Redgrave, Mickey Rourke,
Harry Dean Stanton, Helen Mirren
https://www.literapedia-bern.ch/D%C3%BCrrenmatt,_Friedrich


Museum http://www.bundesmuseen.ch/cdn/00120/00133/02259/index.html?lang=de

Kino Rex https://www.rexbern.ch/wp/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/kinorexphmai2seitig.pdf

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Dan Brown - Inferno, set in Florence,
Dan Brown - Origin, set in Bilbao and Barcelony


------------------------------------------------------------------

Lewis Carroll

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_Carroll
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice%27s_Adventures_in_Wonderland
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Through_the_Looking-Glass

You can read about his stories in Swiss-German
https://als.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_im_Wunderland

------------------------------------------------------------------

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Year-Magical-Thinking-Joan-Didion/dp/0007216858

Paperback: 227 pages
Publisher: Harper Perennial (4 Sept. 2006)
ISBN-10: 0007216858
ISBN-13: 978-0007216857
Graham wrote
at 9:51am on Friday, 27th July 2018
Next meeting: Lea by Pascal Mercier
Wednesday 29 August, 6 pm at the home of Agnes in Münchenbuchsee.
Who is reading ...?
Graham

-----------------------

A great list here - many "must-reads"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_dystopian_literature
Graham wrote
at 9:50am on Friday, 27th July 2018
On last Tuesday radio SRF 1 presented
«The President is missing» von Bill Clinton und James Patterson

You can hear a review here (in German)
https://www.srf.ch/play/radio/kontext/audio/the-president-is-missing-von-bill-clinton-und-james-patterson

President Bill Clinton and bestselling novelist James Patterson have written a spellbinding thriller ...
https://www.amazon.com/President-Missing-Novel-James-Patterson/dp/0316412694

Hardcover: 528 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company and Knopf; First Edition edition (June 4, 2018)

A review by Justin Tate from https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35097255-the-president-is-missing
It reads like most popular thrillers, and I’m sure Patterson wrote 95% of it, but the added voice of an experienced president shines through. It’s not JUST a thriller, it’s a scenario of what-ifs. The commentary on how a president has to make tough decisions (they elect to avoid the phrase “hard choices”) is the most intriguing part of the book while the conventional edge-of-your-seat plot kept me eagerly reading. I rarely “devour” a book, but I really did tear through this one. Only took 4 days to finish.

Many more good reviews here on goodreads and amazon
Graham wrote
at 9:19am on Saturday, 23rd June 2018
We can (here and on the mailing list) accept proposals for the books for September, October and November 2018. Proposals will also he held in mind for 2019.

Sophie book group meetings are open to Icb members in general, provided that they have read the book. Members can attend or not attend each particular meeting as they wish.


Graham wrote
at 10:54am on Wednesday, 16th May 2018
We have not yet chosen the books for September, October and November 2018. Not many could attend at the decision meeting in January so we chose just 6 books. And we planned "biographies" for August 22, but did not define whose biography (Remember last year Oliver Sacks)

It is time to choose three more books. We can use the list which we discussed in February, and also make new proposals. If you have a proposal, please give title and author, an Amazon link, the publication date and length, and write or copy a short review for us.



Graham wrote
at 12:28am on Sunday, 22nd April 2018
We cancel the emeeting of April 25. We meet to discuss Measuring the World by Daniel Kehlmann on Wednesday May 23.

You can download the book for €3 on Kindle from Amazon, or order it from bookshops. Orell Füssli can supply it in four days, the price is CHF 16.90.
Graham wrote
at 5:22pm on Friday, 13th April 2018
Measuring the World by Daniel Kehlmann
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/184724114X/
On Kindle for CHF 3 and paper from nearly nothing.

Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-10: 184724114X
ISBN-13: 978-1847241146

https://www.amazon.de/Die-Vermessung-Welt-Daniel-Kehlmann-ebook/dp/B004WOX4JO/


A review on Amazon
. How different the world must have seemed in the early 18th century, when the principles of Enlightenment were at their peak, and large parts of the map of the world were still black. European scientist had an almost unbound belief in the possibilities of scientific research, and there was plenty to research!

'Measuring the world' captures this era in a beautiful manner, by contrasting two of its giants: the explorer Alexander von Humboldt (1769 - 1859) and the mathematician Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855). In many ways, two people couldn't be further apart: Gauss was a child prodigy of humble birth (his father wanted him to become a mason as he himself was), Humboldt the younger of two sons in a prominent Pomeranian family (his father was a major in the Prussian army). Gauss was by all accounts a difficult man to live with: a perfectionist, having difficulties establishing relations with other people (including his own children), impatient and restless. By contrast, Humboldt was ever sociable and friendly, the epitome of the gentleman-explorer, used to moving in the highest circles. Humboldt traversed the globe, Gauss explored the world (the universe rather) sitting behind his desk...

And yet, in a bizarre way, as Kehlmann demonstrates in this splendid book, both men (or rather: his fictionalized versions of them) are as different sides of the same coin, and are ultimately 'mere men', as we all are. Ambitious and confident as they may be when young and in the prime of their lives, and there hardly seemed to be limits to what they could do and achieve, as they grow older (and more and more lonely) they are confronted with the same ruminations, doubts and regrets we probably all are: did I make a difference? Have I done right by my children? Should I have been more caring towards my wife?

I enjoyed this book a lot. It's insightful, full of (dry) humour and irony, and utterly charming. Splendid!

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News

events in August

By Graham on 7th August

In the warm weather: join the Swimming / Picnic WhatsApp group

Thursday to Saturday: Buskers in Berne
Thursday 9: Spanish café cancelled
Sunday 12: BARBECUE at Auguet
Tuesday 14: French café
Thursday 16: English Tea Time
Thursday 16: Meditation
Sunday 19: Cycling: note changes to the plan
Sunday 26: Estaveyer Benichon
Week 20-26 August: Salzburg festival - anyone interested in this trip?

Other events in Berne
Museums are open and free on Saturdays
Kino Rex shows Hitchcock movies www.rexbern.ch/programmreihe/sommer-mit-hitchcock/
Movies group on WhatsApp - ask to join
Köniz castle events http://www.kulturhof.ch/veranstaltungen
GenerationenHaus events: https://www.begh.ch/veranstaltungen/veranstaltungskalender

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