Tell us a little about your Book Club
We are a local neighbourhood book club. None of us had met until we came to a meeting. We are always so surprised that we never recognise or know new members by sight, but such is busy modern life. Our book club started with one of our members, Áine, reaching out to the local residents' Facebook page, asking if there was any local interest and we have grown from there. We have been going since 2016.
We take it in turns to host the book club once a month and discuss the book over a glass of wine (or two) and nibbles. Last January, we read the Lighthouse Cinema's Film Book Club read and attended the showing as a group. Pre-Covid, members have also met up and enjoyed local cultural events together like live musical performances in Marrowbone Books and book launches and promotions.
Have you a preferred theme or genre?
We don't have a preferred theme but we mostly read fiction, although we did read Dervla Murphy's first travel journal and Alfred Lansing's account of Shackleton's trans-Antarctic expedition. One of the strengths of the book club is the rich and varied suggestions our members bring. We often remark how we would never have chosen that book ordinarily, but loved it, and how the book club broadens our tastes and knowledge.
Is there a title that stands out amongst others?
We have a few that stood out, I couldn't narrow it to just one. The beautiful story of Tom Michell and his penguin friend in The Penguin Lessons, a recent read which was adored by all was Maggie O' Farrell's Hamnet and A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende, who is a real book club favourite.
A book that changed your mind about something?
When asked this, a few of us referenced Dervla Murphy's A Place Apart. Other titles named were André Brink's A Dry White Season and José Saramago's novel Blindness.
What was your most divisive / challenging title?
I think it was Sally Rooney's Normal People.
What are you reading right now?
We are reading Home Stretch by Graham Norton. He is the only author to be featured twice so far, having read Holding in the book clubs infancy stage.
Your recommended reads?
The Penguin Lessons by Tom Michell
Hamnet by Maggie O' Farrell
A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Night Watch by Sarah Waters