Sheffield Year of Reading 2020 Book Club discussion

Our First Read

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Sheffield Libraries | 14 comments Mod
During the year, our Libraries will host a number of themed strands of activity.
The first few months we are exploring the theme Only Human. The series will touch on love and loss, creativity and growth, family and faith.
You should laugh, and we might cry. While we can’t capture the full range of human experience, we do hope that these events will allow people the time to slow down and reflect on the joy, the pain, and the wonder of being human.
To get us started we’ll be reading How to Stop Time by Sheffield Born bestseller, Matt Haig. It is a bighearted, wildly original novel about losing and finding yourself, the inevitability of change, and how with enough time to learn, we just might find happiness.
The book is available to borrow from one of our Libraries or can be downloaded from our eLibrary.
The Sheffield eLibrary is free to use for Sheffield Libraries members. Simply register for the services using your library card number.

message 2: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sezziy) | 7 comments Exciting! I'll be picking my copy up from the library tomorrow

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Sarah Harrison | 4 comments Me too I love Matt Haig books 📚

message 4: by Fatima (new)

Fatima Mehjabin (veiledhorizon) So excited to read this!

Sheffield Libraries | 14 comments Mod
How is everyone getting on so far?

message 6: by Clare (new)

Clare Sullivan | 4 comments I got my library copy yesterday and read the first 50 pages. I'm enjoying it so far.

message 7: by El (new)

El | 1 comments I just finished it and I'm not sure what to make of it

message 8: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sezziy) | 7 comments I'm about 100 pages in. I'm hoping the main character isn't so serious all the way through. So far, he's coming off as a bit whiney.

Sheffield Libraries | 14 comments Mod
I think I'd be a bit grumpy if I was 439 years. That's a lot of Mondays to get through.

Sheffield Libraries | 14 comments Mod
I guess that's part of being Human the aging process. I'm missing some of the humour from his other books., but the thing that strikes me is the concept of love , "People you love never die"

message 11: by Clare (new)

Clare Sullivan | 4 comments I've just finished reading the book and liked it for the most part. I've never read anything by this author before. Some of his ideas on the nature of time and the human condition are very much in line with my own so I enjoyed reading and thinking about these...there are some lovely passages. I really liked the chapters on Elizabethan London and wanted a bit more of those. I especially liked the psychogeography in the early parts of the book. I did think the ending was a bit rushed and wanted more time to develop some of the present day characters. I suppose overall I didn't feel an emotional connection with the characters as I did with the philosophy of the book.

message 12: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Harrison | 4 comments I think this is one of his more serious books. I’ve read others and they have a comedic vibe to them. I particularly enjoyed The Radleys which links in to the being human theme.
I liked the concept of change in How to Stop Time and how change is the one constant in life and it happens to all of us whether we like it or not.

message 13: by Fatima (new)

Fatima Mehjabin (veiledhorizon) I just finished reading it yesterday and I do not know what to make of it either. I felt that the concept was excellent but was not executed well. The fact that he met several famous people throughout the years felt a little unbelievable to me.

message 14: by Clare (new)

Clare Sullivan | 4 comments Yes, I felt the same Fatima...I felt it would have been better to go into more detail about the ordinary lives of the characters throughout history rather than slot in various historical figures.

message 15: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (elzbthj) I finished this awhile back but completely forgot to post here...

Thank-you Sheffield Libraries for selecting this as, I'll be honest, I judge books by covers and I wouldn't have even glanced at this without some encouragement.

I adored the narrative of this book. The concept was well executed (and I'm not a sci-fi aficionado whatsoever) and I loved the focus on social change and mental well-being with only the necessary references to the science behind the condition. My boyfriend and I have an on-going debate about what it means to live forever (should the technology become available to keep you forever young) and he's very pro whereas I'm very anti. He cites logic and reason and science etc. etc. but just doesn't understand my basic stance of "Even ignoring the physical, social and legal problems...I simply wouldn't like to be alive for so long." This book captured that feeling:

"There were many times I had lost all hope in my search. A search not just for a lost person, but for that other thing I had lost - meaning. It occurred to me that human beings didn’t live beyond a hundred because they simply weren’t up for it. Psychologically, I mean. You kind of ran out. There wasn’t enough self to keep going. You grew too bored of your own mind. Of the way life repeated itself. How, after a while, there wasn’t a smile or a gesture you hadn’t seen before. There wasn’t a change in the world order that didn’t echo other changes in the world order. And the news stopped being new. "

I was close to rating it 5*, but the ending really disappointed me. I didn't like Marion's eventual reintroduction or execution, or how quickly things were wrapped up at the end? Was anyone else disappointed by this?

message 16: by Fatima (new)

Fatima Mehjabin (veiledhorizon) Yes I was rather disappointed by the ending too

message 17: by Clare (new)

Clare Sullivan | 4 comments Yes, the ending was odd. Marion was introduced so quickly despite the build up throughout the whole book. I felt that the Albatross boss (I can't remember his name!) had a complete change of character at the end which felt jarring.

message 18: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sezziy) | 7 comments I agree that Marion should have had a bigger feature once she was finally found. I found her more interesting than her father in just that one little glimpse

message 19: by Jenny (last edited May 12, 2020 01:18AM) (new)

Jenny Dalton | 1 comments I listened to How to stop time on audio. Interesting read with some good ideas on time. Focused on some important real life issues.

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