February 2020

Jan Morris’ memoir, In My Mind’s Eye was published in 2018 as a thought diary. Over 188 days, Jan wrote a daily vignette. The entries vary from short story to poetry, past to present, lament to celebration. They carry a conversational style where the author appears to be speaking directly to you ‘dear reader’, occasionally signing off with ‘see you tomorrow’.

Notably, this memoir begins as the author enters her tenth decade. It is not only the rich and varied life experiences that Jan Morris brings to the page. Her writing displays elegance, curiosity, playfulness, reflection and humour. It also gives us insight into the inner world of a ninety-something year-old which is not something we often have the opportunity to read.

Jan Morris is a Welsh writer who has received numerous awards for her contributions to literature. She is most well-known as a writer of travel, history and memoir. She published under her birth name, James, until 1972, when she had sex reassignment after transitioning from male to female.

Across the 188 days of this thought diary, Jan writes of her daily life in the top-left hand corner of Wales where she lives with her love, Elizabeth. The entries also draw upon her former careers as a soldier in Britain’s best cavalry regiment and as a journalist and foreign correspondent. Morris became renowned as the journalist who accompanied Hillary and Tensing in their ascent of Everest in 1953 and broke the story of their success.

Our group was divided in their responses to this book. Some thoroughly enjoyed her daily thoughts “on everything from the stupidity of sheep and the intelligence of her (sadly deceased) cat, to marmalade and the importance of kindness”. However, others lost interest finding it “pleasant but lacking weight”. All agreed that the author’s broader life was immensely interesting and her emphasis on kindness a welcome theme.

Ratings: Dianne, Claudia, Gail, Janet, Margie, Nicola, Pauline and Viv 3, Kim, Karin, Jenny and Lynda 2.5 and Sandy 3.5.

Our next meeting will be 13/04/20 at 6:30PM at Preece House, 50 Nerang St Bischof Pioneer Park, Nerang (next to 54 Nerang St. shops) to discuss In The Lucky Galah by Tracey Sorensen.

Hope to see you all there and happy reading!

About Us

We are a group that gets together once a month to discuss good books. Each of us gets to choose a book on a rotational basis, preferably one outside our personal comfort zone – we try to keep the trash to ourselves. After the discussion, we comment on other books we read that month. Most of the time we remain friends after the meeting.

Preece HouseWe meet at the 1948 heritage Preece House, 50 Nerang St Bischof Pioneer Park, Nerang (next to 54 Nerang St. shops. This venue has no toilet but here’s one in the park) on the second Monday of every month from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. excluding Public Holidays. A small contribution is required towards the rent of the room, but not if you are a first timer. The amount depends on the number of people attending.
One book title is chosen each month and we all read that book. There is a ‘host’ who introduces and co-ordinates the discussion. The role of host is rotated around the group so that each member has the opportunity to nominate their book (it could also be an author, theme or genre). The host also acts as chairperson for that meeting.
Although we are not a social club (we are readers), we occasionally attend literary events, relevant movies or plays here at the Gold Coast, Brisbane or Byron Bay. We conform to basic meeting practices and everyone has an equal opportunity to express their opinion. Everyone’s interpretation is valid, as long as it’s expressed respectfully.
We welcome any new members who share our aims and are happy to contribute to our group. Newcomers are not required to have read the book to attend the first meeting and no contribution is required from them.
Feel free to have a look at our Booklist for 2020 and Newsletters in the sidebar. If you are reading this blog in a mobile device, switch to desktop view.

CONTACT DETAILS

We meet from 6:30 to 8:30 PM on the 2nd Monday of every month at the heritage listed Preece House located at Bischof Park, Nerang Street (next corner White St), Nerang next door to shops at 54 Nerang Street. Please contact us for info on meetings that fall on Public Holidays.
For more information use the contact form.

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