International Club of Berne


  • Wednesday, 30th September 2020 at 6pm - 8pm
  • Wednesday, 14th October 2020 at 6pm - 8pm
  • Wednesday, 25th November 2020 at 6pm - 8pm
  • Wednesday, 30th December 2020 at 12pm - 2pm
  • Wednesday, 6th January 2021 at 7pm - 9pm
  • Wednesday, 24th February 2021 at 7pm - 9pm

Location: to be decided

Book Groups

When    Wednesday, 30 September and 21 October at 18:00

Where    Online Zoom meeting / In-person meeting TBD

Contact    Graham Tritt 

Deadline    Please register by the Monday before

We discuss short stories occasionally in a chat (please join and in online Zoom meetings. We have one longer book each month. In this way, we can accommodate a range of interests as expressed by members.

The book for September is The Future Earth: A Radical Vision for What's Possible in the Age of Warming by Eric Holthaus (256 pages, published June 2020). This hopeful book shows how to reverse the effects of climate change. 

The next book is Haweswater by Sarah Hall (288 pages, 2016). An old village in a northern English valley should be evacuated, flooded and devastated. The love story is clear and Sarah Hall excels with prose as lyrical as poetry.
The Sophie meetings are restricted to paid-up members of the International Club. Zoom meetings are open.


Displaying 9 comments
Graham wrote
at 11:36am on Thursday, 7th January 2021
We choose for the meeting on 24 February: Agent Running in the Field by John le Carré

Copies at the Berne librariesé/dp/1984878891/

Product details

Publisher : Penguin; 1st edition (October 17, 2019)
Publication date : October 17, 2019
Language: : English
File size : 5707 KB
Text-to-Speech : Enabled
Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
Print length : 286 pages

Product details

Publisher : Penguin Books (August 18, 2020)
Language: : English
Paperback : 288 pages
ISBN-10 : 1984878891
ISBN-13 : 978-1984878892
Graham wrote
at 2:41pm on Wednesday, 6th January 2021
Last year I received a book which I mentioned, "The Stone Flood" by Franz Hohler.

In 1881, seven-year-old Katharina Ryhner is sent up the mountain to stay with her grandmother while her mother gives birth to a sixth child. The little girl is worried. In her parents' inn down the valley all the talk has been of the danger of landslides, and it has not stopped raining for days. At school, the priest has started telling her the story of the Great Flood.
When the baby is born and the time comes for her to go home, Katharina, filled with an increasing and inexplicable sense of doom, refuses to leave. Soon afterwards she hears a deafening thunderclap. She looks down the valley: a huge chunk of the mountainside is hurtling towards her home.

This beautiful and melancholic novella, set in the Glarner mountains in Switzerland, is told from the viewpoint of a child whose innocence of the world is combined with an acute sense of the danger present beneath the harmony of nature. Seven-year-old Katharina Ryhner is sent up the mountain to stay with her grandmother while her mother gives birth to her sixth child. It rains everyday and all the talk is of the danger of landslides. The little girl worries. When the time comes to go home, Katharina, filled with an increasing and inexplicable sense of doom, refuses to leave. Then, hearing a deafening thunderclap, she looks down the valley: a huge chunk of the mountainside is hurtling towards her home.
130 pages,

Available for Fr 12.95 from Lehmanns
Graham wrote
at 11:13am on Wednesday, 6th January 2021
A proposal: I think we could read any of John le Crre ...

The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (1979) (two British spies are operating in Berne!)

A Perfect Spy! (1986) (also partly in Berne)

Our Kind of Traitor (2010)

The Constant Gardener (2004)

Agent Running in the Field (2019)
Graham wrote
at 11:12am on Wednesday, 6th January 2021
Ulrike proposes Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

2017, 336 pages

Synopsis: One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating’s christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny’s mother, Beverly—thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families.

Spanning five decades, Commonwealth explores how this chance encounter reverberates through the lives of the four parents and six children involved. Spending summers together in Virginia, the Keating and Cousins children forge a lasting bond that is based on a shared disillusionment with their parents and the strange and genuine affection that grows up between them.
Graham wrote
at 8:00pm on Saturday, 7th November 2020
The book for 25 November is "Haweswater" by Sarah Hall (288 pages, 2016). An old village in a northern English valley should be evacuated, flooded and devastated. "Sarah Hall excels with prose as lyrical as poetry".
Graham wrote
at 10:16am on Monday, 5th October 2020
Climate change and biodiversity will be the theme
of an open Zoom meeting on Monday 5 Octobert at 8-9 pm

To join the meeting and talk about global problems,

The next physical Sophie Group meeting on 7 or 14 October
Graham wrote
at 5:31pm on Saturday, 3rd October 2020
Sophie's Bookclub meeting from 6- 7: 30 pm. I think this is not enough time for in- depth discussion. Too short in my opinion.
I think it is nice to have time at the start to say hello to everybody, have a cup of tea or coffee and a short exchange. Team spirit, a sense of community grows... Then the book discussion starts. ..
It should last in my opinion at least until 8:00 pm.
What do other members think?

Really nicely said, Marianne. It is a chance for exchanging and listening to people we sort of know but otherwise all have different programs. I am not sure, is 6 OR 7 PM start what is meant. My preference is 7 til 9 or so.

Jacqui and Ulrike agreed

Yes for smalltalk and community building, we should have 2 hours. My preference is for 6 to 8 pm or a half hour later, as I play tennis at 9 pm. In September it will be dark at around 8 pm I think

Perhaps, if you must leave to play tennis, we can stay longer and talk, exchange ideas and experiences and get to know eachother better.

From my experience, about 1.5 hours is as much as the average persons expects to stay, and a half hour extra is no ptoblem for most of us. Most come to talk about the particular book, and few are impatient with the initial time socializing and talking in general about our current reading. There are many other frequent club events (see where many member meet.

We should also allow for those who would like to take part but cannot get to the physical discussion. So we use this chat group (previously the yahoo email group which also had file archive :-)

Graham wrote
at 5:23pm on Saturday, 3rd October 2020
Joëlle 11.1.2020
I am also getting confused. It’s the first time I will participate at this meeting. How does it function. ...

Graham 12.1.2020
We normally start with a round of brief opinions. Then we go through the discussion points which we’ve found an advanced. Then we cover any further discussion themes or special views. Then we have a final round of opinions. Total time is around 1.5 hours

Nadia wrote
at 10:05am on Wednesday, 30th September 2020
Oh, je, Ive registered but I don't have "whats up". My mobile and others are not compatible with "whats up" ((((. Nevertheless, I wish you much fun there! BW. Nadia


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Chat Groups

By Graham on 10th January

Here is the list of WhatsApp groups as printed in the January-February Newsletter
General Groups

TGIF (Thank Goodness It’s Friday)
    8 Jan at Schwellenmatteli
    5 Feb at Restaurant Da Vinci
General conversation and support                   

Discussion about corona, etc 
   Monday, 18 Jan – Current news

Discussion on communicating, health, etc ;  
   Monday, 15 Feb – Valentine’s Day

Discussion on global problems
   Monday, 4 Jan – Resolutions
   Monday, 1 Mar – Global warming

Discussion on politics and economics  ; Monday, 1 Feb – A new US

Language Cafés

Parla Italiano
   Tuesdays, 26 Jan and 23 Feb
Café Français    
   Wednesdays, 13 Jan and 10 Feb

English TeaTime         ;  
   Thursdays, 21 Jan and 18 Feb

German Conversation                  
   Thursdays, 28 Jan and 25 Feb

Café Español  
   Thursdays, 7 Jan and 4 Feb






   9 or 23 Jan – Lake Thun area
   6 Feb – Hike+BBQ
Walk & Talk       
   17 Jan –  Galeries in the Old Town
   31 Jan –  Aare walk or museums
     7 Feb – City East Hills
   21 Feb – Gardens walk
Rackets (tennis, badminton, squash)
   27 Dec and 7 Feb


Winter Sports
   2 or 23 Jan –  Snowshoeing Gantrisch
   3 or 10 Jan –  Schwarzsee
   24 Jan – Skating, KaWeDe
   14 Feb – Skating, Weyermannshaus
   28 Feb – Skiing

Special Interest Groups

Movies and videos     

Museums, Art and Nature  ; / Events

Musical Culture

Book Readers
   6 Jan, Haweswater, 18:00
   24 Feb, Jphn le Carré 18:00
   Also:   short stories and sci-fi and crime

Life-Long Learning   (we also have math and I.T. chats)

Gardening (see Walk & Talk events)   


Wine & Dine and Zoom Parties
   Friday, 15 Jan – Cooking with Carla
   Friday, 29 Jan – Whisky Tasting
   Friday, 19 Feb – Masked Party

Handcrafts, painting, etc


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International Club of Berne

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