What we're about

Reading contemporary, classic, and literary fiction in different genres and from different cultures, we meet once a month at the Butcher's Arms in Headington. Active members suggest books, and shortlists are narrowed down by group poll. It's a welcoming and mellow group, but not without lively discussion. You don't have to live in Headington . . .

Upcoming events (2)

Let's talk about BEAUTIFUL WORLD, WHERE ARE YOU by Sally Rooney (352 pages)

BEAUTIFUL WORLD, WHERE ARE YOU by Sally Rooney (352 pages)

'A tour de force.' Anne Enright, Guardian
'Rooney's best novel yet.' Brandon Taylor, New York Times
'Get ready to have your heart broken all over again.' Red
'The book moved me to tears more than once.' The Times

Alice, a novelist, meets Felix, who works in a warehouse, and asks him if he'd like to travel to Rome with her. In Dublin, her best friend Eileen is getting over a break-up and slips back into flirting with Simon, a man she has known since childhood.

Alice, Felix, Eileen and Simon are still young - but life is catching up with them. They desire each other, they delude each other, they worry about sex and friendship and the times they live in. Will they find a way to believe in a beautiful world?

Let's talk about THE ISLAND OF MISSING TREES by Elif Shafak (368 pages)

THE ISLAND OF MISSING TREES by Elif Shafak (368 pages)

A rich, magical new novel from the Booker-shortlisted author of 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World - now a top ten Sunday Times bestseller

It is 1974 on the island of Cyprus. Two teenagers, from opposite sides of a divided land, meet at a tavern in the city they both call home. The tavern is the only place that Kostas, who is Greek and Christian, and Defne, who is Turkish and Muslim, can meet, in secret, hidden beneath the blackened beams from which hang garlands of garlic, chilli peppers and wild herbs. This is where one can find the best food in town, the best music, the best wine. But there is something else to the place: it makes one forget, even if for just a few hours, the world outside and its immoderate sorrows.

In the centre of the tavern, growing through a cavity in the roof, is a fig tree. This tree will witness their hushed, happy meetings, their silent, surreptitious departures; and the tree will be there when the war breaks out, when the capital is reduced to rubble, when the teenagers vanish and break apart.

Decades later in north London, sixteen-year-old Ada Kazantzakis has never visited the island where her parents were born. Desperate for answers, she seeks to untangle years of secrets, separation and silence. The only connection she has to the land of her ancestors is a Ficus Carica growing in the back garden of their home.

In The Island of Missing Trees, prizewinning author Elif Shafak brings us a rich, magical tale of belonging and identity, love and trauma, nature, and, finally, renewal.

Past events (99)

Let's talk about THE BELL by Iris Murdoch (350 pages)

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