We’d like to welcome you to our first non-fiction book club pick. Barn Club by Robert J. Somerville, published by Chelsea Green is a heart-warming, truly lovely read. Barn Club follows the building of a barn by volunteers over the course of a year using traditional methods. Full to overflowing with community spirit, traditional crafts, and its focus on the elm tree, Barn Club is a soul satisfying read. The author champions nature, our environment and the way we can live in it. Reading this book made me smile, I walked with the author beneath elm trees, listened to discussions about using timber to engage fruitfully with the landscape, and watched with interest as the barn raising took place. I really do think this would be a fascinating book club pick, and that there are plenty of discussion points to be had.
- The author says towards the end: “It is all there for us to choose to do. It’s up to us”. How inspiring did you find this book?
- Has the current pandemic changed the way you've viewed Dutch elm tree disease?
- Do you feel we should be championing an elm revival in the UK?
- How did the illustrations and photos affect your reading of the book?
- Did you enjoy the carpentry lessons, what have you walked away with, in terms of knowledge?
- What do you feel that you have learned about our potential to link with the natural world with regards to building?
- What are your thoughts on volunteering, would you volunteer for a similar project?
- The immense satisfaction felt by the volunteers after the barn raising can be felt, is there anything else you would have liked to know?
- What is the most important thought you’re taking away with you having finished Barn Club?
- If you were to recommend this book to a friend, what five words would you use to sum it up?
If you missed them, you can catch up on our previous Book Club Recommendations for each month below:
August 2020: A Room Made of Leaves by Kate Grenville
September 2020: Here is the Beehive by Sarah Crossan
October 2020: Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman.
November 2020: The Illustrated Child by Polly Crosby
December 2020: Leave The World Behind by Rumaan Alam
January 2021: Victoria Park by Gemma Reeves
February 2021: Mrs Death Misses Death by Salena Godden