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For November, we’re reading the most recent novel by the much-loved Nobel prize-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro, most renowned for “The Remains of the Day” and “Never Let Me Go”, both novels also adapted into stunning films.
Klara and the Sun explores the power of artificial intelligence. It tells the story of Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, who, from her place in a store, watches carefully the behaviour of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass in the street outside. She remains hopeful a customer will soon choose her, but when the possibility emerges that her circumstances may change for ever, Klara is warned not to invest too much in the promises of humans.
In Klara and the Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro looks at our rapidly changing modern world through the eyes of an unforgettable narrator to explore a fundamental question: what does it mean to love?
This book has been acclaimed as “a novel of exquisite tenderness and impeccable restraint.”
Here is the link to a review of this novel in The Guardian from March this year: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2021/mar/01/klara-and-the-sun-by-kazuo-ishiguro-review-another-masterpiece
For our first book of the New Year, we’re reading a special edition of the Best Short Stories by Somerset Maugham. This is a special “collector’s edition” published by Macmillan, featuring ten of his most famous and most vivid short stories.
There are some classic tales such as “The Facts of Life”, about a young man advised to avoid gambling, money-lending and women. He promptly has a go at a roulette wheel, wins twenty thousand francs, lends the money to an unknown woman, and spends a night with her. It was all so easy and so good, he thinks…
“The Verger” is a delightfully ironic and witty story of a loyal but illiterate church caretaker, while “P&O” features a lonely middle-aged woman escaping her unfaithful husband on an ocean-going liner.
Overall, these ten stories depict another era, when Britain was perhaps at its most complacent, and the characters in the stories are richly enjoyable. It’s an excellent collection to curl up with during the long evenings surrounding the festive period!