Marmiteboy - Urbane Warrior.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

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.


Anonymous Gimpy Mumpy said...

MB what sort of books do you prefer? Any particular genres or authors? I also love to discuss great books, however I tend to enjoy the off the wall types and lots of science fiction and fantasy novels :)
I started a blog some time ago where I discuss books, and it lead to being sent some advance reader copies of soon to release books. Free books are great, but the catch was that I felt obliged to write a review and some of these books were crap :)

9:57 pm

Blogger marmiteboy said...

Hi Gimpy,

I'll enjoy all types of books but I have a particular fondness for the British Crime novel. I like travel books too as I havn't got the strenght to go on a big trans continental adventure.I like the books of Primo Levi who went through the consentration camps and wrote so movingly about them and I'm an Evelyn Waugh fan too. He is a fine writer. Hunter S Thompson makes me laugh as does PG Wodehouse.

I've not read very much SF except a few Ray Bradbury short stories and some Phillip K Dick. And fantasy really isn't my thing. I do enjoy odd books though. I've been reading quite a few Japanese novels recently. My favourite author being being Haruki Murakami.

10:21 pm

Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Lady Bracknell would not describe reading as 'a hobby'. In her view, shelter, sustenance and an excellent supply of reading matter are the necessities of life.

Lady Bracknell could no sooner stop reading than she could stop eating. (Given that she has diabetes, should her ladyship refrain from eating, she will die, of course. But without access to books, she would not wish to live.)

'My Sister's Keeper', however, although not entirely without merit, is a very long way indeed from being superb.

10:33 pm

Blogger Katie said...

I love books too! I like reading biographies of famous people and I like reading books from television programmes and films.

I think Im going to have to write one myself entitled" The trials and tribulations of a single girl"

Ha! Ha! Sort of like a Bridget Jones thing!

2:41 am

Blogger Katie said...

Hi Marmiteboy, On your blog you said about my blog for all my blogpals you're included in that if you want! Check my blo out it's cool at the moment!

12:32 am

Anonymous Gimpy Mumpy said...

Philip K. Dick books are brilliant, my favorite is The Man in the High Castle. Have read Murakami's, Kafka on the Shore and enjoyed it except for the bit about the cat torture, wish I had skipped that part.

Some of my favorite mystery authors are Charles Todd, Elizabeth George, Ian Pears and Donna Leon. Arturo Perez-Reverte is another favorite, however not all of his fit into the mystery category.

I will look up Primo Levi next time I am at the library or book store.

4:43 pm


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