The BookClub is a cultural group and therefore it is not our place to comment politics unless we do so in the meetings motivated by the books we have read. Nonetheless, before the events that have occurred during the last weeks, and specially on September 20th and last Sunday, October 1st, regarding the political situation of Catalonia, we cannot stay quiet.
We know we are a small group and we will not change the situation from here but we want to send a message to the people of Catalonia and the world: We condemn all acts of violence, whoever they come from, be it the citizens or, specially, the police.
But we also want to send a message to our leaders: we believe that Literature is the true core of our education and culture. We believe that by reading what happened in the past we can create a better future but, also, by reading what others thought before, we can think better for our future. Thus, we encourage them to read the classics and the moderns, especially those that deal with wars and crimes, but also those that talk about freedom and fraternity.
This month we are celebrating 100 clubs which, for a book cub in English in a small town of Catalonia, is a big deal. In these 100 months we have read many a books, some of which we consider essential. At the end of this letter, you will find a list of the books we believe everyone should read in times like these. We have travelled to other times, other lands and even other planets. We have known wars and hate. We have met evils and criminals. We have felt pain and death. But we also have found care, freedom, peace and love. Literature opens our minds, it makes us better.
We hope Catalunya will find peace very soon in the shape its people decides. And we hope that we won’t have to see more violence or rights being undermined. We don’t want to read about more wars in Catalonia in the books of tomorrow.
From the BookClub we send love and peace to all the world and wish to see, instead of guns in the hands, only books and flowers. The libraries of the world are waiting for you.
Books that everyone should read in times like these, in the chronological order we read them at the BookClub:
- Helen Hanff: 84, Charing Cross Road
- George Orwell: Nineteen Eighty-Four
- EM Forster: A Passage to India
- Alice Munro: Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage
- Nadine Gordimer: July’s People
- Aldous Huxley: Brave New World
- Jonathan Safran Foer: Everything Is Illuminated
- Nicole Krauss: The History of Love
- Robert Graves: Good-bye to All That
- Ray Bradbury: Fahrenheit 451
- Khaled Hosseini: A Thousand Splendid Suns
- George Orwell: Homage to Catalonia
- Katherine Kressman Taylor: Address Unknown
- Steven Galloway: The Cellist of Sarajevo
- George Orwell: Animal Farm
- Jonathan Franzen: Freedom
- Nadeem Aslam: Maps for Lost Lovers
This is a small list of books that can open our eyes. Ask your local library for more. Enjoy!