The Book Group
You may be surprised to learn that Southend on Sea is not a cultural oasis. Not unless driving a crappy Vauxhall Nova with a stereo system that is worth more than your car and wearing Burberry is deemed as culture where you live. So the arrival of a reading group at Southend library was a major event at chez Marmite.
You see I LOVE books, so a chance to talk about books wot I've read seemed too good an opportunity to miss. And it's a safe activity for a crip and doesn't require any kind of physical exertion. A fine hobby for a mobility impaired crip is reading.
I wondered who would turn up at the first meeting last November and was pleasently surprised at the numbers. There are about 12 of us who go regularly. I'm ashamed to say that I'm the only bloke who goes. Whether this is because all the other blokes in Southend can't read (a distinct possibility) or they see a reading group as a bit girlie don't know. All I'm sure of is that it's really rather pleasant. We turn up get given tea and chocco biscuits and talk about the book we were given to read the previous month.
And that's the best bit, the books.I've read loads of books by authors I would never have contemplated before. As it's a group of almost exclusively women I have discovered some great female authors.I am now a huge fan of Jodi Picoult, whose 'My Sister's Keeper' is superb. (I expect Lady Bracknell's secretary companion to vehmently disagree.) I've since gone on to read several of her novels. We were given 'The Jane Austen Bookclub' to read after Richard and Judy bigged it up on their show. To a woman (and 1 man) we all thought it was shite. Several other 'Summer Reads' were given the same critical analysis.
I think what I'm trying to get here is, give reading groups a go.If you don't want to join a formal one set one up with a few mates. Books, for me, are essential to the well being and talking about them and discussing them is nearly as good as reading them.
Oh, I finished a short book I picked up at the library yesterday on the train on the way home tonight. It's called 'Let Me Go' by Helga Scheneider. It's well worth a read.