March Book Club Meeting, Alternative Meeting

Please join us for a book discussion. The March book is Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel. This book was the winner of the Man Booker Prize 2012 and with this historic win for Bring up the Bodies, Hilary Mantel became the first British author and the first woman to be awarded two Man Booker Prizes, as well as being the first to win with two consecutive novels. Continuing what began in the Man Booker Prize-winning WOLF HALL, we return to the court of Henry VIII, to witness the irresistible rise of Thomas Cromwell as he contrives the destruction of Anne Boleyn.


In the past, people have frequently been disappointed because they had read the book but "LIFE" interrupted their plans to attend the Thursday night discussion. For March we will try offering 2 discussions on the book: 1 discussion at the normal time on Thursday, March 21 and 1 discussion on Saturday, March 23. Choose the date/time that best fits your schedule: attend one or attend both.


Since our discussion is held at the Nordstrom Market Cafe, I plan on enjoying breakfast during our discussion. Eating or drinking is optional but I certainly plan on enjoying something to eat and drink during our discussion. The Nordstrom Market Cafe is located on the second floor of Norstroms in the Columbia Mall.



The year is 1535 and Thomas Cromwell is Chief Minister to King Henry VIII, his fortunes having risen with those of Anne Boleyn. Anne Boleyn, for whose sake Henry has broken with Rome and created his own church, has failed to do what she promised: bear a son to secure the Tudor line. England's split from the Catholic Church has left England dangerously isolated and now Cromwell must work both to please the king and keep the nation safe.


Though he battled for seven years to marry Anne Boleyn and ultimately divorced his first wife, Queen Katherine of Aragon, Henry is now disenchanted with Anne Boleyn. She has failed to give him a son and her sharp intelligence and audacious will alienate his old friends and the noble families of England. When the discarded Queen Katherine of Aragon dies in exile from the court, Anne stands starkly exposed, the focus of gossip and malice.


At a word from Henry, Thomas Cromwell is ready to bring her down. Over three terrifying weeks, Anne is ensnared in a web of conspiracy, while the demure Jane Seymour stands waiting her turn for the poisoned wedding ring. But Anne and her powerful family will not yield without a ferocious struggle. Hilary Mantel's Bring Up the Bodies follows the dramatic trial of the queen and her suitors for adultery and treason. To defeat the Boleyns, Cromwell must ally with his natural enemies, the papist aristocracy. What price will he pay for Anne's head?


Book Availability at the Howard Count Public Library

Bring up the Bodies is available for checkout at the Howard County Public Library. The Howard County Public Library has:

(29) Copies of the book.

(3) Copies in large print of the book.

(9) Copies in audio book on CD of the book.


Be forewarned that this is a very popular book so you should get your request in early to reserve this book from the Library. Also, because this is such a popular book, I don't think that I will be able to reserve a block of copies for our book club but I will see what the availability is like when our meeting date gets closer.

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  • Shannon

    It was a nice time today. The discussion went well. Thx, Wayne, for having an alternate meeting...that's very generous of you!!

    March 23, 2013

  • Wayne M.

    I enjoyed this morning's discussion and I really appreciate everyone's participation.

    March 23, 2013

  • Shannon

    Late start today but I 'm on my way

    March 23, 2013

  • Wayne M.

    I hope that you aren't stressed like I am because I still have a lot of "Bring up the Bodies" to read. As I'm frantically finishing up our book, here is one question that I will be thinking about and wondering what your opinion is:

    Anne Boleyn is accused of committing adultery and even incest. Could there be any truth in these accusations, or are they complete fabrications by her enemies? How does she change once she realizes she is in danger?

    See you Saturday morning!

    March 20, 2013

  • Wayne M.

    Thank goodness that it's a chilly, rainy night which will give me a reason to say indoors and read. Here's another question to think about and discuss at our meeting:

    King Henry had fawned over all three women (Katherine, Anne, Jane) at one point in time. His past actions indicate that he loved his former wives, yet each affair proves temporary. How does Henry view love? Why do the women in the novel endeavor to wear the “poisoned ring?”

    March 18, 2013

  • Wayne M.

    Here's another question to think about as we are reading. Let's discuss this question at our meeting:

    How is King Henry VIII described in the novel? Is he self-serving, or does he truly believe in the validity of his actions? Does he come over as a sympathetic character?

    March 16, 2013

  • Wayne M.

    Hi everyone, I hope that your reading is going well. As you are reading "Bring up the Bodies", here is a question for you to think about so that we can discuss it at our meeting:

    The novel starts off with a description of hawks soaring in the sky and swooping in to slaughter their prey. In the same manner, the novel closes off with an image of a fox attacking a hen coop. What is the significance of these animals and what do they symbolize?

    March 14, 2013

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