The English Book Club
The English Book Club

What we read in summer term 2024

Our book choices for summer term 2024 have been made and we are looking forward to carnivorous plants and lovely flowers, Titanic survivors and Neanderthal recreations, and a mixture of classics and contemporaries.

We kick things off on May 16, 2024 with some classic science-fiction:

The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

This 1951 novel is sometimes considered the most famous catastrophe novel of the 20th century. When a freak cosmic event renders most of the Earth’s population blind, Bill Masen finds himself trapped in a London jammed with sightless mobs and yet another stalking menace: the Triffids—walking carnivorous plants with venomous stingers—rise up as humanity stumbles and falls.

We contribute to Paderborn University’s Reading Week on May 23, 2024 with more lovable plant-life:

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Secret Garden by Fred M. Wilcox

This 1911 tale of Mary, Dickon, and Colin, the atmospheric Yorkshire Moors, and the titular locked-up garden has been a beloved classic of children’s literature for more than a century. The 1949 movie adaptation starring Margaret O’Brien as Mary, Brian Roper as Dickon, and Dean Stockwell as Colin, shot mainly black-and-white, but with all garden sequences filmed in Technicolor, has become just as much of a classic as the novel itself. We will be looking at both novel and movie adaption in our Reading Week Special.


The discussion of the two Secret Garden versions is the central activity of our Reading Week Extravaganza. Join us for plants and picnic on May 23, 2024.

Stay tuned for more information!

We celebrate pride month on June 13, 2024 with a queer love triangle:

The Titanic Survivors Book Club by Timothy Schaffert

Schaffert’s 2024 novel follows the curator of the RMS Titanic’s second-class library, who was left stranded at the docks when the catastrophic maiden voyage began. He soon receives an invitation to a secret society of Titanic survivors. Haunted by their good fortune, they decide to form a book society—letting book discussions help with their anxieties and guilt.

We continue our schedule on July 11, 2024 with another literary classic:

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

This 1850 story of Hester Prynne, who conceives a daughter with a man to whom she is not married and then struggles to create a new life of repentance and dignity in a Puritan society, explores relegion and legalism, sin and guilt. D. H. Lawrence said that there could not be a more perfect work of the American imagination—will we agree?

We continue on August 8, 2024 with a climate-fiction text:

Ghost Species by James Bradley

Bradley’s 2020 novel follows a scientist re-engineering the planet’s climate by resurrecting extinct species who becomes part of an even more clandestine program to recreate our long-lost relatives, the Neanderthals. But when Eve, the first new Neanderthal child, is born, scientific duties and protective urges collide.

We wrap things up on September 12, 2024 with a thought-provoking concept:

The Measure by Nikki Erlick

Erlick’s 2023 bestseller has people waking up, checking the news, and opening their doors—just like every morning. But on every doorstep is a box and inside that box is the exact number of years that person has left to live. Whether they open or hide it, each person must learn to live in this new world—what would we do if we were in their shoes?

Summer Term 2024

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