Literature & Writing

Book Group — Penguin Modern Classics

Leader: Daphne Berkovi

‘Everything was dead; everything unreal; the dark mob was made up of stiff lay-figures’

John Steinbeck explores mob violence, voyeurism and betrayal in these unforgettable tales of Californian life.

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

  • Next meeting: 17 May 2019
  • “The Vigilante” by John Steinbeck
  • When: Friday 10.15 am – 11.30 am
  • Location: Leader’s home, NW11 6RJ
  • Frequency: Monthly
  • Number of places: 12

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.

  • Next meeting: Please refer to Leader
  • When: Thursday 8 pm – 9.15 pm
  • Location: Members’ homes
  • Frequency: Monthly
  • Number of places: 10 -15

Creative Writing Group 1

Leader: Susan Raab – Writing teacher

Susan is known to many of our members having taught creative writing last year. She is now returning with a monthly session.  After a varied career as she always enjoyed writing, taking classes in her spare time.  She took an Open University Degree in Creative Writing, having completed three novels and has since led a number of U3A Creative Writing classes.

  • Start date: 29 April 2019
  • When: Monday 2 – 3.30 pm
  • Location: Member’s home in NW11
  • Frequency: Monthly
  • Number of places: 8

Creative Writing Group 2

Leader: Neil Behrmann – journalist

Previously entitled Blank Page, this is a relaxed meeting for writers and first-timers wishing to put words down on paper. Fiction and non-fiction. Neil, a working journalist and author, will give initial and ongoing talks about the process with contributions from the group through Q & A. The group can write about life story, anecdotes 500 -2000 words long initially. If members wish they an read their pieces to the group. members can edit pieces voluntarily e.g. member A writes the piece and member B edits.  Criticism will be offered.

  • Start date:  7 January 2019 – Spring term only
  • When:  Monday 2 – 3.30 pm
  • Location: Community Room, Golders Green Library,  156 Golders Green Road, London NW11 8HE (Access via Library Card and PIN)
  • Frequency: Fortnightly
  • Number of places: 12

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. Choosing from a wide selection of play sets available from Barnet library.

14 March – “Murder in Play” – Boris Smolenky’s budget repertory production is looking shaky. The cast are more interested in their egos than the play. This hilarious text uses the device of a play-within-a play to satirise the politics of the inept company and numerous red herrings.

  • Dates:   14 March, 11 April, 9 May, 6 June
  • When: Thursday 2.45 pm – 5 pm
  • Location: Members’ homes by rotation
  • Frequency: Monthly
  • Number of places: 10
  • Currently full – waiting list

Poetry Reading for Pleasure

Leader: Elizabeth Inman

Poetry books

Reading, sharing, and discussion of poems with agreed themes.

  • Start date:  21 August 2018
  • When: Tuesday 2.30 pm – 4 pm
  • Location: Leader’s home, NW11 6NE
  • Frequency: Fortnightly
  • Number of places: 10

Shakespeare Group

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.

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.

The group is currently over-subscribed, but those who wish can go on a waiting list.

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

  • Start date: We restart on 22 January, reading Macbeth
  • When: Tuesday 10 am – 11.30 am, followed by an (optional) coffee time
  • Location: Leader’s home, NW2 2ED
  • Frequency: Weekly
  • Number of places: 14