City Lit Blog

Music department book club 2018/19

Story added 31st Jul 2018

Music department book club 2018/19


The music department are hosting a book club this year with a meeting towards the end of each term. We will read novels and biography on musical themes relevant to the Music history and appreciation programme.

Essential details:

Meetings are open to all current students at City lit (not only music students).

  • The club meets once-per-term, hosted by Edward Breen
  • Places are limited to 25 so please contact the music department to book a place
  • Books are chosen by the music department and are posted on this blog
  • Please read the book in advance and come prepared to chat about it
  • Meetings are an hour long then we retire café together for more conversation (optional)

Term 1:

Bel Canto: Ann Patchett

This novel has won several prestigious awards including the Orange prize for fictiona and has recently been made into a movie starring Julianne Moore.

This book offers us a picture of a famous operatic soprano as seen by a novelist. We will enjoy discussing how accurately we feel the singer and her music are portrayed, and what stereotypes the novelist relies upon to move her story along.

Harper Collins official website  [external website]

Meeting: Monday Dec 3rd  12.30-1.30

Term 2:

February House: Sherill Tippins

The Independent (review) [external site]

Simon & Schuster [external site]

From 1940 to 1941, WH Auden and Benjamin Britten shared a house in Brooklyn with Paul and Jane Bowles, Carson McCullers and Gypsy Rose Lee, among others. The house was established as an artistic and intellectual community, and Tippins brings to life the rise and fall of the group, exploring the role of art in the first years of World War II as these creative geniuses struggled with the conflict of what to do with so much creativity when the world was so close to chaos.

This book is  well-researched biography charting a very particular moment in the lives of several young artists. Focusing on Britten, we will ask what biographical details such as these bring to our understanding of his music and how sensitively we feel the author has pursued personal details.

Meeting: tbc –

Term 3:

The Noise of Time: Julian Barnes

The Guardian (review) [external website]

Meeting: tbc


Email: to join us