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The Sophie Group

What is it? The Sophie group is a "Readers Club" which meets monthly to discuss a book or an author, or an agreed theme. Topics are set several months in advance, to give members time to find and read the material.

Topics are often chosen to lead to discussions of ideas rather than simple romances or crimis. The group was named after the book "Sophie's World, which was discussed at one of the early meetings. Meetings are usually on the last Wednesday or Thursday of each month and are held in different locations but always central in Berne. Guests are welcome at no charge, but should mail Graham for information.

The Sophie Group started as a special interest group of the International Club of Berne. Membership of this costs 35.- francs a year or 45.- for families. The ICB organises many activities including a monthly meeting with a presentation of an interesting topic.

Further information is regularly exchanged on a mailing list, a yahoo group sophie-group. Apply to join this by sending an email to sophie-group

There is also a Swiss mailing list for book clubs, see Bookclubs-in-Switzerlandand also see the Basel talk parties at Bergli Books

The following list is incomplete and contains some errors of date.

Date Theme Area
September 25 Villa Stucki  The Alchemist Paolo Coelho  Inspiration
August  Lord of the Rings by J. R. Tolkien and the film and New Zealand by Graham Fantasy, film, travel
October 23  the works of Arthur C. Clarke  Science, future
November 27  
December  Seven Minutes by Paolo Coelho, Soul Strippingby Paula Charles, and Sex in the City currently on TV Dreams and reality in the sex trade
January 30, 2004 Starbucks  Clan of the Cave Bear and others by Jean Auel Society, history
February 26  Men are from Mars ... and other books by Gray and Pease  Men and women
Allegro  Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaardner Philosophy overview
March 25 2004 at the Galaxy  Earth in the Balance by Al Gore and other books Environment, global warming
April 29, 2004 at Salem Spital  The Art of Travel Alain de Button  Philosophy and travel
May 27, 2004 Starbucks  our experiences and the meaning of travel
June 30, 2004 Beaulieu C Chariots of the Gods and other books by Erich von Däniken  Mysteries of archaelogy and evolution
July 29 Interlaken  visit to Mystery Park
August 25 Waldeck  The Celestine Prophecy by Redfield Inspiration, life philosophy
September 23 Starbucks  World War II in general  History and politics
October 28  Savoy  Stupid White Men and other works by Michael Moore  Politics
November 25 at Loeb  Oracle Night by Paul Auster  
December 29 at Salem Spital no special topic Sophie Dinner
January 27 Allegro  Do Animals Have Morals? a philosophical question
February 24 at Jaeggi The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons by Dan Brown and possibly Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco  Religious societies, conspiracies
March 24 at Stauffacher isms a discussion on political idealisms
April 27 at Villa Stucki including dinner and readings Fables and Folk Stories by Hans Christen Andersen and others origins of stories and equivalents in different cultures
May 25 Homo Faber by Max Frisch the conflict between engineering and humanity, or between men and women
Jun 30  
July 27 at the RFose Garden Kahlil Gibran: The Prophet poetry readings
Aug 31  Douglas Adams: Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe, etc. the film and the stories
Sep 29 Simplify your Life / Body Language experieces and desires
Oct 26    
Nov 30   economics and politics ?
Dec 29  Dinner together general discussion
2006 - the year of crime stories
January C. S. Lewis: The Narnia Stories (film and the first book) morals and their use in entertainment
February Saturday, Ian MacEwan suspense
March Memoirs of a Geisha (film and book, Arthur Golden) Cultures and stars
April Mozart, Amadeus (any sources) In this anniversary year - what was Mozart like
May at the Swiss National Library Patricia Highsmith, Mr Ripley, Rent-A-Woom, Sweet Freedom exhibition, film
June at the Rose Garden poetry readings, romantic poetry Poe, Browning, Shakespeare, and others
July 27 Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle trip to Meiringen and Reichenbach
August Agatha Christie, Final Curtain the last and best of Hercule Poirot, murder by proxy
September Friedrich Dürrenmatt, The Physicist Theater at the Waldau on Sept 9
October   not yet decided
November P. D. James Inspector Dalgliesh, and the Future of Man
December dinner (no topic)
2006 - oriental year
Wed 24 January Holy Cow, Sarah MacDonald comparative Eastern religions
Wed 28 February Runaway and other stories, Alice Munro the life of a Canadian woman
Tues 20 March James Heriott, vet stories Yorkshire, language, myths,
Thu April 26  Fables and arab stories  The origin and history of fables 
May 23  The Jacoubian Building, Al Aswami  including presentations from the author and the translator
Wed June 20  poetry evening, Rumi etc oriental poetry
Wed 25 July  Next,Philip K. Dick  science fiction and the future 
Wed 22 August  Seventh Scroll, Wilbur Smith  history of Egypt 
Wed 26 Setember     
Monty Python Movie evening 
Sunday 4 November  Halloween poetry workshop gothic romantic poetry 
Wed 21 November  The Schwarze Spinne, Gotthelf Swiss-German gothic story
Sat 24 November The Birds and Rebecca by Hitchcock and Daphne du Maurier Movies 
Wed 28 November Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier  
Fri 28 December  year end meeting including poetry workshop 
Bridget Jones - two movies Movie evening