You may recall that early last month I wrote a post entitled Calling all London book bloggers. Want to join our book group? I was essentially responding to Simon's plea to start a relaxed, friendly group in central London.
Well, I received a few emails from interested parties, as did Simon, who also managed to rope in some of his friends, and together we hosted our first book group meeting on Thursday evening. There were 11 brave souls in attendance, and over several convivial drinks, we took it in turns to share our favourite books with one another as a kind of getting-to-know-you session.
Ever the dutiful reporter, I took along a notebook and jotted down the titles that were named (long-time readers of this blog will automatically know which one of these I chose):
- Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
- My Brother Jack by George Johnston
- I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
- A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
- Persuasion by Jane Austen
- The Pursuit of Love/Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford
- In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
- Diaspora by Greg Egan / Dawn by Octavia E. Butler
- Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson
- A Place to Live: And Other Selected Essays of Natalia Ginzburg by Natalia Ginzburg
- A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
I am hoping this incredibly varied selection, which spans everything from science fiction to non-fiction, classics to best-sellers, will be indicative of the kinds of books we will read over the months to come, a real mish-mash of styles and genres to broaden everyone's reading palette.
We plan on meeting once a month and we'll take it in turns to choose a book for everyone to read and discuss.
The first selection, made by Simon, is The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, so even if you don't live in London and can't make the group, you're more than welcome to read it as I'll be reviewing it here at a later date, so you can drop by and leave a comment.
If you're interested in attending the group, or want to find out more, Simon's published a very comprehensive page on his blog which should answer your questions. Alternatively, you can email me.