March 2021 – Reading Group Roundup

Read the original Reading Group Roundup in Inside Time here.

Remote reading groups are going well in many prisons but this month we have some tips for ALL readers in prisons with a request and delivery service.

Libraries are great places to browse – catching sight of book covers, reading the blurb on the back and then maybe checking out the first paragraph. But with most libraries still closed it can be hard to know what to ask for. One librarian suggests using key words and phrases: ‘self-help’, ‘books about the Roman Empire’, ‘sports biographies’, ‘graphic novels’, ‘true crime’ and so on. Here are a few more starting points and paths to books you might like. Enjoy the journey!

Finding your way

Start with the opening lines below that intrigue you most and then follow where they take you.

My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance. I have often thought that with any luck at all I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had. I dislike washing myself, and dogs, and noise. I like my sister Constance, and Richard Plantagenet, and Amanita phalloides, the death-cup mushroom. Everyone else in our family is dead.’ Shirley Jackson, We Have Always Lived in the Castle

If you like this, go to SECTION A

‘Hale knew, before he had been in Brighton three hours, that they meant to murder him. With his inky fingers and bitten nails, his manner cynical and nervous, anybody could tell he didn’t belong – belong to the early summer sun, the cool Whitsun wind off the sea, the holiday crowd.’ Graham Greene, Brighton Rock

If you like this, go to SECTION B

Continue reading this article here.

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