25 February 2021
Molly and Milly, Lower Sixth
On Thursday 11 February, we held our first Sixth Form Book Club meeting, where we discussed Donna Tartt’s novel, "The Secret History".
Having to hold the club virtually was not ideal, especially considering our hopes for free-flowing discussion (incompatible with the awkward muting and un-muting of online lessons) and the lack of provision for sharing snacks over Teams. However, all the book-clubbers brought bags of enthusiasm, changing their virtual backgrounds and wearing outfits to fit "The Secret History’s" dark academia theme. Everyone was full of amazing ideas and ready to discuss everything from their favourite character to the intricacies of Tartt’s thematic choices.
We started the meeting with some pre-prepared questions but soon veered off into an organic discussion considering many different perceptions of the novel. The debate was fluent and compelling, encouraging us to consider aspects of the novel we would never have otherwise uncovered alone!
The club is not just for English A Level students. We had participants from all subjects and areas of interest, united over the shared enjoyment of reading a good book. Sixth Form Book Club is a chance to get people reading outside of their A Levels, encouraging them to wind down with a book and then talk about it with friends, informally.
We picked the next novel for Book Club via Google Forms, enabling book-clubbers to choose between several novels from different genres. The overwhelming winner was The Song of Achilles, a thrilling and heart-breaking retelling of the legend of Achilles and the Trojan War. No interest in mythology is required to read this book; it is accessible and gripping, forcing you to turn the pages with an incredibly compelling storyline and relatable characters.
The next Sixth Form Book Club meeting will be on Thursday 11 March, giving readers ample time to finish the book. Happily, by then we will be back to school meaning we can provide delicious snacks, expand the club and get discussion flowing even more. Book Club in person will allow a more immersive experience, encouraging lively debate between participants whose opinions of the novel may diverge.
We look forward to meeting again after being impressed and captivated by our enjoyable discussion at the first Book Club. Hopefully, in the future, we will also see the success of a Main House Book Club. Until then, keep reading!