Literature & Writing

Book Group — Penguin Modern Classics 

Leader Daphne Berkovi

The Missing Girl  by Shirley Jackson

“Of course no one would want to say something about a girl that is missing”  Malice, paranoia and creeping dread lie beneath the surface of ordinary American life in these chilling miniature masterpieces of unease.

Now moving into our third year, our group will continue reading books from a  list of  Penguin Modern Classics.  Introducing readers to a diverse range of 20th century writers, who broke the rules, created new forms of expression: made their voices heard against the odds.

  • Continuing using Zoom Conference
  • Next meetings:   21 August
  • When: Friday 09:45am – 11.00 am
  • Location: On Zoom
  • Frequency: Monthly
  • Number of places: 12 ( 1 vacancy)

Evening Book Group

Leader: Tina Stanton

“No two persons ever read the same book.” – Edmond Wilson

What could be more interesting than discussing books with a group of lively and engaging people? The group meets once every four weeks. The books are chosen by members, and are usually provided free of charge via the Barnet Library Book Club Service.

  • Continuing online with Zoom
  • When: Thursday 8.00 pm – 9.30 pm
  • Frequency: Monthly
  • Number of places: 10

Creative Writing

Leader:  pending appointment

The writing group is for anyone who wants encouragement to write on a variety of topics; exploring different literary genres. Since lock down they run as a mutual support group. Members takes turns to share their pieces of writing

  • When: variable
  • Location: by email and Zoom
  • Frequency: Monthly
  • Number of places: 10

Crime Book Club

Leader: Daphne Berkovi

Book cover for Beyond Reasonable DoubtCrime books, both fiction and non-fiction, are a major genre in writing. If you’re a crime book fan, or just curious, please join us and share your views. For the first session, the chosen book is Beyond Reasonable Doubt by Gary Bell, longlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger Award 2020.

  • Online via Zoom
  • Start date: Monday 14 September
  • When: Monday 7.00 pm – 8.00 pm
  • Frequency: Monthly

Play-Reading Group

Leader: Daphne Berkovi

We are a  group who love the theatre and enjoy reading parts. No experience is needed, just enjoyment and fun in a friendly atmosphere.  We were choosing from a wide selection of play sets available from Barnet library. Now we are downloading PDFs or on a Kindle to read our plays, which are proving successful

  • Continuing online with Zoom
  • Dates: 11 August “Donkey Years” by Michael Frayn
  • When: Tuesdays 3.30–5.30 pm
  • Frequency: Monthly
  • Number of places:  no restrictions


Leader: Daphne Berkovi

Poetry books

This group has resumed. Poetry is one of the most powerful forms of writing. So, whether you like the Romantics or prefer the Modernists there is something here for everyone to share.  We take turns each month choosing a poet and discussing the poet and their poetry

  • Meeting online using Zoom
  • When: First Monday of month 11.00 am – 12.00 pm
  • Contact: Sharon Lee

Shakespeare Study Groups

Leader: Richard Abramson

Portrait of William Shakespeare
Portrait of Shakespeare attributed to John Taylor, circa 1610 © National Portrait Gallery, London

Shakespeare plays: study and discussion of texts.

Richard has given several talks on Shakespeare and recently completed an MA in Shakespeare Studies at Royal Holloway.

The way we study is to read a small section of the play text at a time, and, depending on its complexity and interest, discuss and analyse each part.

We keep the discussion light, while trying to appreciate the joy of the text.  Some of us know Shakespeare well, while for others a new vista is opened up.

Study Group 1

  • Continuing using Zoom
  • When: Tuesday 10.00 am – 11.30 am
  • Frequency: Weekly
  • Number of places: 14.  Currently full, hence Study Group 2 below has been set up

Study Group 2

  • Continuing using Zoom
  • When: Fridays 11.00 am – 12.30 pm
  • Frequency: Fortnightly
  • Number of places: 10 (2 vacancies)