Now twenty years old, the Shared Reading group reads (aloud!) and discusses classic works of literature and poetry. Over the years we’ve covered: Joyce’s Ulysses; Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales; Ovid’s Metamorphoses; Shakespeare’s Sonnets; Australian Poetry; as well as the poetry of Emily Dickinson and Gerard Manly Hopkins; and not to forget all of Proust! (See below for a complete list.)

Hosted by our very own Rayne, with discussion led by various enthusiasts, Shared Reading is in-depth and of value to anyone wishing to further explore the literary canon.

In 2022, we’ll be reading Oscar Wilde’s short stories, Miles Franklin’s My Brilliant Career, and more books to be announced.

Meets: Monday evenings at Fullers Bookshop, 5.30-7.30pm
Duration: varies (typically 8-12 weeks)
Cost: $150.00 (typically, but can vary)
Numbers are strictly limited. To register your interest in joining the next group please email Rayne:

A history of our Shared Readings

Shared Reading is now in its fourth generation. It was started in 2002 by Irene McGuire, who passed the torch to Ali Allfree in 2010; she, in turn, handed the reins to Tim Jarvis in 2018, who passed them to Rayne Allinson in 2021. Hugo McCann was the indomitable group leader from 2002 to 2013; he was ably succeeded by John Sexton, who led the charge on Proust (2014-2016). Since then, we have had different leaders for different groups. Peter Stanton’s War and Peace (2017) will long live in the memory of those lucky enough to have been there; and Ebi Haas’s springtime sessions (2018-) have become a perennial favourite. During 2020, Shared Reading was temporarily suspended, but Robert Jarman’s Moby-Dick (running February-March, then October-November) straddled the year.

What follows is a complete list of all the of books we have read.

Irene (2002-2009)
James Joyce, Ulysses (2002-2003)
The Poetry of Seamus Heaney (2003)
Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales (2003)
Ovid, The Metamorphoses (2004)
T S Eliot, The Waste Land and Other Poems (2004)
Dante, Inferno (2005)
The Poetry of W B Yeats (2005)
Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse (2005)
Sophocles, Antigone (2006)
Poetry Between the Wars (2006)
Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot (2006)
The Sonnet (2007)
Irish Poetry (2008)
Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time (vol. 1) (2008)
Virgil, The Aeneid (2009)
Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time (vol. 2) (2009)

Ali (2010-2017)
Paul Muldoon (ed.), The End of the Poem (2010)
Shakespeare’s Sonnets (2010)
Harold Bloom (ed.), Till I End My Song (2011)
Painting and Poetry (ekphrasis) (2011)
Jorge Luis Borges, Labyrinths (2012)
Australian Poetry (2012)
The Poetry of Emily Dickinson (2013)
James Joyce, Ulysses (2013 — yes, again!)
The Poetry of Gerard Manly Hopkins (2014)
Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time (vol. 3) (2014)
Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time (vol. 4) (2015)
Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time (vol. 5) (2016)
Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time (vol. 6) (2016)
Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace (2017)
Neil Astley (ed.), Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times (2017)

Tim (2018-2021)
Homer, The Odyssey (Emily Wilson trans.) (2018)
Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain (2018)
Elias Canetti, Auto Da Fe (2019)
The Poetry of Les Murray (2019)
Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment (2019)
Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (2020)
Samuel Beckett, The Complete Dramatic Works (2021)
Anton Chekhov, Fifty-two Stories (2021)

Rayne (2021-)
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway (2021)
Vasily Grossman, Life and Fate (2021)
Oscar Wilde, Selected Stories (2022)
Miles Franklin, My Brilliant Career (2022)
Charles Dickens, Hard Times (2022)
Franz Kafka, Metamorphosis and Other Stories (2022)

(Last updated September 2022)