One of the things that I have managed to organise over these past months has been this year’s Summer School. As anyone who has been reading my blog over the years will know, despairing at the cost of literary Summer Schools, I set about establishing my own. Participants are offered a choice of five sets of related books and we then meet on three afternoons during a week in August to discuss the selected novels. I’ve lost count as to how long we’ve been going now but I think this is either the eighth or the ninth year. Interest has never waned and I think there is even the possibilty that this year we may have to run it twice; as we meet in people’s homes there is a limit to how many can attend at any one time. I should know by the end of next week what this year’s books will be but in case you would like to make your own choice here is the list of titles offered.
The Paris Wife ~ Paula McLain
Vanessa and her Sister ~ Priya Parmar
The American Wife ~ Curtis Sittenfeld
Waiting for Sunrise ~ William Boyd
The Third Man ~ Graham Greene
Mortal Mischief ~ Frank Tallis
Paying the Price
A Whispered Name ~ William Brodrick
The Reckoning ~ Rennie Airth
The Girl Who Fell from the Sky ~ Simon Mawer
Raiding the Bookshelves
The Bookshop ~ Penelope Fitzgerald
The Secret of Lost Things ~ Sheridan Hay
Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore ~ Robin Sloan
The Thirteenth Tale ~ Diane Setterfield
A Fearful Symmetry ~ Audrey Niffenegger
Sisterland ~ Curtis Sittenfeld
I have a sneaking feeling that I know what the result is going to be, although in a sense it doesn’t matter to me as I put the selections together in the first place and I am hardly likely to pick books I don’t want to re-read myself. They are, of course, all re-reads, you couldn’t put sets together in this way if you didn’t know what the books were about.
So, which three books would you choose if you lived close enough to join in with us? It will be interesting to see if your selections are the same as those actually involved.