Book Club: Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach.

June 30, 2010

A group of school mums have organised a book club, and I was excited to be asked along.

We met for the first time last night.

The idea is to each choose a book, have everyone in the group read it over the month to 6 weeks and then to get together and talk about it. Not rocket science, just a chance to get together without our entourage and chat.

Our first book was ‘Jonathon Livingston Seagull” by Richard Bach.

Have any of you read it? What did you think?

Some quick thoughts about the book, and last night..

  1. A very short book. Great for a first book and to get started.
  2. Unfortunately for a few of us, the front cover said….. ‘the most inspiring fable of it’s time’ …. and then the little book didn’t live up to the claim. In fairness, though, it was written in 1972, so it was possibly one of the inspirational writing trailblazers. I asked 11 year old to read it to see what she thought, and her review was ‘shrug and head wobble’…. so no inspiration there either.
  3. A number of the mothers had read the book earlier in there lives (at the end of school beginning of uni phase) and again for the book club. It was interesting how the way they read the book then and now was different. In their late teens it had been a planning launch pad for their lives, and very significant, and but now the book read more comfortingly.
  4. It has some ‘Christian’ overtones and terminology’s but because it focuses all the striving and doing and achieving on us and our greatness, it’s not Christian at all. We need Jesus to rescue us, we can’t make it on our own even if we are fabulously gifted. He’s the great one… not us.
  5. I kept thinking about the movie ‘happy feet’. Sorry! Maybe it was the bird connection, or maybe I’m just really immature. ‘Happy feet’ would make it into my top 10 favourite kids movies.
  6. We kept coming back to talking about elite athletes….. which I should point out …. non of us are! I found it curious and enjoyable.
  7. Melted camembert cheese with rosemary sprigs and garlic, is awesome. Thanks Lucy!

Our next book is ‘The 19th wife’ which I am very excited to read.

I will let you know how it goes.

2 Responses to “Book Club: Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach.”

  1. Ashish patel said


    firstly, i like the idea of your book club.even we used to do that in back home i mean india. my english might not be good. coz, i have studied this book in my own language. we used to call it study circle. we used to pick a book n discuss it for a week. this is a tiny little book about 12- 15 pages but we have discussed it for a months. so inspirational if you get real meaning what they want to say.

    i have read this book 8 years b4 and today i was just looking on internet to buy it and found your book club thing.

    well book says that it is not just a story of a bird but its ‘you’ ‘every body’.
    thats about breaking your own limits. its saying that there is a always space on top. no competition zone. once you achieve top level i mean success you will find many more like you. but even after success seagull came down too look for many more like him- who wants to achieve something, who dont care about being outcast, who is determine to do something-doesnt matter how hard its gonna be.

    if a tree starts giving a fruit- they lean down to earth a bit. like wise jonathan came back after breaking his own limits to ground to look for more people like him.

    because of my english and 8 ears back i have read this book i couldnt express well. but once i read it again and go through my notes taken b4 8 years i can try to translate to you.

    i am pleased to read about your book club.doing nice activity. actually i like this concept.


    ashish patel

    • allysonadeney said

      Thanks for your comments Ashish!
      It seems to be a book that speaks to people in ways that you describe, at different stages in their lives.
      I personally found the idea of solo success to the loss of everything else unappealing. I am ambitious to do good (as one working for God) in all that I do, but I don’t think greatness is achieved at the expense of others, but along side others and by blessing others. He presents himself as a judgemental bird in a number of ways, and his desire to help others is wrapped up in them being like him!
      A number of women in the group had read the book in their late teens and it had inspired then to achieve their goals. I think if I had read it at that age I would have experienced something similar….
      I would love to hear how it reads now that you are 8 years older and wiser. Please let me know!

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