Next Well-Read Dragon Selection:
The Owl Service by Alan Garner / 1 October 2016
This is a modern interpretation of the story of Blodeuwedd, from The Mabinogion, the earliest prose literature in Wales. The Owl Service is a fabulous, multi-layered book of mystery and suspense, but it’s also a contemporary musing on love, class structure and power. (1967, Collins, available on AbeBooks, Amazon Books, and there are several copies at Mnlink.org — the Minnesota library search.)
Gathering Place and Details
- The group meets at at Davanni’s in Arden Hills, 3673 Lexington Ave. N., 55126. Davanni’s is south of 694, just south of Cub. Please plan to purchase lunch at Davanni’s. Those purchases allow us to use the party room free of charge.
- Well-Read Dragons books for the current line up are available on AbeBooks and/or Amazon, and most through interlibrary loan at local public libraries.
Readings Selected for the coming year:
- December 3 — The Bank Manager and the Holy Grail: Travelers to the Wilder Reaches of Wales by Byron Rogers
- February 4 — Presenting Saunders Lewis by Alun R. Jones and Gwyn Thomas
- April 1 — Land of My Neighbours by Barry Pilton
- June 3 — Addlands by Tom Bullough
- August 5 — Everything I Found on the Beach by Cynan Jones
For a brief introduction to each book, please consult the Well-Read Dragons’ Book Group Preview.
Wales on the Western Front by John Richards / 6 August 2016
Two months after being posted to France in 1917, Edward Thomas wrote: “I already know enough to confirm my old opinion that the papers tell no truth at all about what war is and what soldier are…” This anthology provides an impression of what it meant to be a soldier on the Western front in the First World War and, above all, what it meant to be a Welsh soldier.
Contact!: A Book of Encounters, by Jan Morris / June 4, 2016
One review says of this book, “A delightful and hilarious companion for anyone taking a trip and an indispensable work for any fan of Jan Morris. Reflecting back on over half a century, Morris has decided to write, not about the destinations, but about the people she has encountered. Recalling human encounters on six continents, she paints a vibrant, funny, and moving picture of humanity.”
And the Guardian reports, “Here are vivid glimpses of people encountered by Jan Morris over “a lifetime of travel and literature”. Brief and elegant vignettes, they are written with sharp humour and pinpoint observation – meet the “fine scoundrel”, for example, his face “rather Dickensian in concept”. There is a lovely rhythm to the prose: “On the edge of a swamp in Louisiana an old Negro woman in a floppy straw hat was fishing in the oozy water with a home-cut rod.” Typically no date is given, time acknowledged by a floating “one day”, “not so long ago”, or simply by a verb: “I visited”, “I crossed to”, “while searching unsuccessfully for kangaroos in the bush of Mount Ainslie . . .” But place is always of the essence, integral to the encounter whether it is Marylebone High Street, Johannesburg or the Hong Kong ferry. Who else could write – across two pages and with no sense of strain – of conversations in a County Monaghan churchyard and in the mangrove swamps of Fiji, and of a mysterious encounter on a snowfield 19,000ft up in the Himalaya?”
Well Read Dragons selections from October 2015 through August 2016 – as a PDF.
Book Selections spanning 2004 – 2010, with readings from 2010 onward coming soon – as a PDF.