Monthly Archives: November 2014

Father Christmas at the West Yorkshire Playhouse

LeedsBookClub

Bloomin’ Christmas! Father Christmas awakes from a dream of summer sun only to realise that it’s bloomin’ Christmas Eve and the start of his longest night of the year. As he gathers the reindeer and prepares his sleigh, Father Christmas begins the long journey into the snowy night to deliver presents to sleeping children all over the world. But things don’t run smoothly and he soon encounters soot covered chimneys and treacherous weather conditions, meanwhile plenty of mischief is being had by his cheeky pets, Cat and Dog.

West Yorkshire Playhouse production of Raymond Briggs' FATHER CHRISTMAS Photo West Yorkshire Playhouse

It’s hard to believe that Raymond Briggs created his irreverent version of Father Christmas over 40 years ago, especially as it feels at once fresh and fun, as well as established and traditional in this gloriously visual show.

Seamus O’Neill once again ably embodies the hero of the season. Bluff and gruff, yet calm and collected; Father Christmas allows us a peek into…

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Helen & Kirsty – The Travelled Reader book group – Our next read for book club with @jdwleedsstation

LeedsBookClub

On Sunday 30th Novemember Helen and Kirsty will be discussing:

The Maze Runner (The Maze Runner #1)

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When the doors of the lift crank open, the only thing Thomas remembers is his first name. But he’s not alone. He’s surrounded by boys who welcome him to the Glade – a walled encampment at the centre of a bizarre and terrible stone maze. Like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they came to be there – or what’s happened to the world outside. All they know is that every morning when the walls slide back, they will risk everything – even the Grievers, half-machine, half-animal horror that patrol its corridors, to try and find out. – Amazon.co.uk

And if you get chance go see the film and tell us what you think!

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So join us at 6pm on November 30th at Weatherspoons in Leeds Train Staion.

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But reading…….

 “I think the act of reading imbues the reader with a sensitivity toward the outside world that people who don’t read can sometimes lack. I know it seems like a contradiction in terms; after all reading is such a solitary, internalizing act that it appears to represent a disengagement from day-to-day life. But reading, and particularly the reading of fiction, encourages us to view the world in new and challenging ways… It allows us to inhabit the consciousness of another which is a precursor to empathy, and empathy is, for me, one of the marks of a decent human being.”

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― John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things

What is Literature for?

Found on Brainpickings here

IT SAVES YOU TIME

It looks like it’s wasting time, but literature is actually the ultimate time-saver — because it gives us access to a range of emotions and events that it would take you years, decades, millennia to try to experience directly. Literature is the greatest reality simulator — a machine that puts you through infinitely more situations than you can ever directly witness.

IT MAKES YOU NICER

Literature performs the basic magic of what things look like though someone else’s point of view; it allows us to consider the consequences of our actions on others in a way we otherwise wouldn’t; and it shows us examples of kindly, generous, sympathetic people.

Literature deeply stands opposed to the dominant value system — the one that rewards money and power. Writers are on the other side — they make us sympathetic to ideas and feelings that are of deep importance but can’t afford airtime in a commercialized, status-conscious, and cynical world.

IT’S A CURE FOR LONELINESS

We’re weirder than we like to admit. We often can’t say what’s really on our minds. But in books we find descriptions of who we genuinely are and what events, described with an honesty quite different from what ordinary conversation allows for. In the best books, it’s as if the writer knows us better than we know ourselves — they find the words to describe the fragile, weird, special experiences of our inner lives… Writers open our hearts and minds, and give us maps to our own selves, so that we can travel in them more reliably and with less of a feeling of paranoia or persecution…

IT PREPARES YOU FOR FAILURE

All of our lives, one of our greatest fears is of failure, of messing up, of becoming, as the tabloids put it, “a loser.” Every day, the media takes us into stories of failure. Interestingly, a lot of literature is also about failure — in one way or another, a great many novels, plays, poems are about people who messed up… Great books don’t judge as harshly or as one-dimensionally as the media…

Literature deserves its prestige for one reason above all others — because it’s a tool to help us live and die with a little bit more wisdom, goodness, and sanity.