Each month, we sit down with a Dublin bookclub to find out what reading delights they’ve been sampling. From those that have been going for 20 years, to those in their earliest beginnings, we’ve met bookclubs that are full of old friends, new acquaintances, colleagues, neighbours, and everyone in between. What they all have in common is a shared curiosity and a love of reading.
You might even be inspired to start your own …
Tell us a little about your Book Club….
Our Book Club is twenty one years old. We call it a Reading Circle! There are seven of us, all retired teachers. We take our homework seriously! We meet on the second Wednesday of every month.
And the kind of things that you do…food, trips etc.
We keep it simple, meet in each others’ houses at 7.30pm, have finger food and wine. We've gone to galleries as a group when there were exhibitions that matched our books, no trips though we keep meaning to do that.
Have you a preferred theme or genre?
No, we each take a turn, entirely our own choice.
Is there a title that stands out above all the others? Tell us about it.
Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain - set in first word war it’s a personal journey , a story of family and of world politics. It is the first instalment, covering 1900–1925, published in 1933 and covers her experience as a VAD in the first world war.
A book that changed your mind about something? How?
The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai - it deepened my understanding of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and the way it decimated the gay community. The book, a work of fiction, is set in 1980s Chicago and contemporary Paris. It follows a group of friends, spanning three decades through the AIDS crisis and beyond to explore the lives of survivors.
Tell us about your most divisive or challenging book?
Milkman by Anna Burns. It won the Man Booker prize in 2018 and is about coming of age during ‘the troubles’. It was a really difficult book - hard to read and troubled times.
What are you all reading right now?
Second Sleep by Robert Harris - it's a work of speculative fiction, set in Britain 800 years from now as following the collapse of technical civilisation known as the Apocalypse and the ‘Dark Age’ that followed, society is beginning to revive.
Your recommended read?
Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel - it’s so good! It’s historical fiction and a sequel to Booker Prize winner Wolf Hall and follows the rise and fall of Thomas Cromwell, the powerful minister in the court of King Henry VIII.