In aid of World Book Day I would like to talk about my very pseudo-intellectual middle aged, alcohol fuelled book group.

When I first moved back to my native Wales, I asked a mother in the playground if there was a book group, and I was pointed in the direction of a rather sour looking scrawny lady, who informed me they were not ‘taking in new members’. As a champagne Socialist and all round champion of inclusivity, (and because my pride was wounded), I started my own.

We meet every month at different member’s homes, provide nibbles, everyone BYO, and we discuss the book (amongst other things). Sitting in a circle, we have to describe what we liked or didn’t like about the book, and mark it out of ten. This can be a smooth and swift process if the book is universally hated, or the debate can rage for hours. Sometimes the books are ‘chick lit’, (sigh), and at other times the book club has been forced to read something ‘heavier’. I do remember the anguish when they
were blackmailed into reading ‘The Road’ by Cormac McCarthy, a  fictional post-apocalyptic nightmare which was apparently inappropriate for the summer holidays.

What I love about this group, apart from the exceptionally witty female company, is the number of books we have read that would never have otherwise entered our kindles. Authors from foreign lands, whose texts have been translated, like Gabrielle Garcia Marquez. You cannot anticipate what texts will be chosen next, or the club’s reaction to it. I was particularly surprised that The Life of Pie fared so badly. In celebration of International Book Week, we will be dressing as a character from our
favourite book, in my case, a homeless man, and drinking alcohol as mentioned in the text. In my case, none at all, maybe I will change my book choice……..Happy Reading.

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