This group offers the opportunity to re-read books and reflect on them, noting how one’s feeling about them may have changed over time. However, it is also a chance to “visit” a well-known author or novel, British or otherwise, for the first time and catch up on “essential” reading.

Titles are proposed by members, and who will have the opportunity of introducing a book each month, as well as taking part in the general discussions. 

Books chosen may be in translation, but must be at least 50 years old. They should be readily available and not prohibitively expensive. 

Meetings take place on the fourth Friday of the month, from 2.00 till 4.00pm. There is no meeting in December or August.

From September we hope to meet in the Fell Room in the Friends Meeting House, York. Members pay £2.00 per session for the hire of the room.

Contact Details: or 01904422414 

Obtaining the books

We try to ensure that the books we choose are not too expensive or difficult to obtain. Here are some tips:

 - Check York Libraries online. NB look for ebooks as well as hard copies.

 - Being classics, most of our books are available fairly cheaply on Kindle, some of them free.

 - Some are available free online as PDFs.

 - Amazon sell books second-hand. Older, well-known books are often extremely cheap, and the standard price for posting is usually £2.80.

 - The OXFAM bookshops in York can tell you if a particular book is in stock, and keep it for you: 69 Low Petergate: 01904 652749; 46 Micklegate: 01904 652140

Some details about availability, correct at the time of writing, are given under each title.

Book choices  for 2021-2022 so far:

Sept 24 - Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

Amazon 2nd hand £3.00 inc p&p

Kindle £1.99

PDF online:

2 copies in York Library

Oct 22 - The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Amazon 2nd hand £3.50 inc p&p

Kindle £4.99

PDF online:

3 copies in York Library

Nov 26 - A Passage to India by E.M. Forster (could be January as the book is quite long)

Amazon 2nd hand £4.00 inc p&p

Kindle £0.70

PDF online:

1 copy in York Library

Jan 28

Feb 25

Mar 25

Apr 22

May 27

Jun 24

July 22



Ballet Shoes: Streatfeild, 20/21

Barchester Towers: Trollope, 18/19

Bleak House: Dickens, 19/20

Brave New World: Huxley, 20/21

Catch 22: Heller, 17/18

Clown, The: Boll, 18/19

Cold Comfort Farm: Gibbon, 17/18

Collected Short Stories: Maugham, 18/19

Cry the Beloved Country: Paton, 19/20

Diary of a Nobody, The: Grosmith, 16/17

Dubliners, The: Joyce, 19/20

Effi Briest: Fontane, 19/20

Father and Sons: Turgenev, 17/18

Girls of Slender Means, The: Spark, 18/19

Go-Between, The: Hartley, 19/20

the Golden Bowl: James, 16/17

the Good Earth: Buck, 17/18

Great Expectations: Dickens, 17/18

the Heart of the Matter: Greene, 19/20

a House for Mr Biswas: Naipaul, 17/18

the House of Mirth: Wharton, 18/19

Kipps: Wells, 19/20

Lord Jim: Conrad, 18/19

Lord of the Flies: Golding, 20/21

Love in the Time of Cholera: Marquez, 16/17

Middlemarch: Eliot, 17/18

My Mother's House: Colette, 16/17

North and South: Gaskell, 16/17

O Pioneers: Cather, 19/20

the Remains of the Day: Ishiguro, 16/17

Robinson Crusoe: Defoe, 16/17

Sanditon: Austen, 16/17

the Secret Diary of Adrian Mole: Townsend, 20/21

the Secret Life of Walter Mitty: Thurber, 16/17

the Shipping News: Proulx, 19/20

the Slaves of Solitude: Hamilton, 20/21

Staying On: Scott, 18/19

the Talented Mr Ripley: Highsmith, 20/21

Things Fall Apart: Achebe, 18/19

a Thousand Splendid Suns: Hosseini, 20/21

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: le Carre, 17/18

To Kill a Mockingbird: Lee, 19/20

To Serve Them All My Days: Delderfield, 19/20

Troubles: Farrell, 17/18

Under the Greenwood Tree: Hardy, 17/18

White Fang: London, 16/17

Wide Sargasso Sea: Rhys, 18/19

Wuthering Heights: Bronte, 18/19


Achebe: Things Fall Apart, 18/19

Austen: Sanditon, 16/17

Boll: the Clown, 18/19

Bronte: Wuthering Heights, 18/19

Buck: the Good Earth, 17/18

Cather: O Pioneers, 19/20

Colette: My Mother's House, 16/17

Conrad: Lord Jim, 18/19

Defoe: Robinson Crusoe, 16/17

Delderfield: To Serve Them All My Days, 19/20

Dickens: Bleak House, 19/20

Dickens: Great Expectations, 17/18

Eliot: Middlemarch, 17/18

Farrell: Troubles, 17/18

Fontane: Effi Briest, 19/20

Gaskell: North and South, 16/17

Gibbon: Cold Comfort Farm, 17/18

Golding: Lord of the Flies, 20/21

Greene: the Heart of the Matter, 19/20

Grosmith: the Diary of a Nobody, 16/17

Hamilton: The Slaves of Solitude, 20/21

Hardy: Under the Greenwood Tree, 17/18

Hartley: the Go-Between, 19/20

Heller: Catch 22, 17/18

Highsmith: the Talented Mr Ripley, 20/21

Hosseini: A Thousand Splendid Suns, 20/21

Huxley: Brave New World, 20/21

Ishiguro: the Remains of the Day, 16/17

James: the Golden Bowl, 16/17

Joyce: the Dubliners, 19/20

Le Carre: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, 17/18

Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, 19/20

London: White Fang, 16/17

Marquez: Love in the Time of Cholera, 16/17

Maugham: Collected Short Stories, 18/19

Naipaul: a House for Mr Biswas, 17/18

Paton: Cry the Beloved Country, 19/20

Proulx: the Shipping News, 19/20

Rhys: Wide Sargasso Sea, 18/19

Scott: Staying On, 18/19

Spark: the Girls of Slender Means, 18/19

Streatfeild: Ballet Shoes, 20/21

Thurber: the Secret Life of Walter Mitty, 16/17

Townsend: The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, 20/21

Trollope: Barchester Towers, 18/19

Turgenev: Father and Sons, 17/18

Wells: Kipps, 19/20

Wharton: the House of Mirth, 18/19