Reading between the wines…

Their_First_Quarrel,_Gibson

I can’t quite believe that my little book group; originally set up with the lovely Mr Simon Savidge way back in Spring 2012, is now just over three years young. On the first Tuesday evening of every month, usually following some frenetic last-minute reading, our seasoned group of readers settle down in a cosy Manchester eatery for cake, cocktails and lots and lots of book chat!

My family and my other half are big book lovers and can happily chat for hours on all things literary. There is I realise, however, an upper limit for most people that an addict such as myself simply never reaches…that’s where my fellow book gurus come in. We’ve been everywhere over the past few years; coming through our adventures stronger and bookier than ever. Here are my highlights:

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Although I consider myself a friendly kind of gal, I am a bit of a picky one when it comes to friends, often preferring the company of a cat, good book and a glass of gin (no shame!). The book group provides me with the superb company, at least once a month, of some really very special, enigmatic, sensitive, bright bright people. I bask in their awesomeness.

Novel Ideasbook-759873_640One of the best things about being a big reader, as well the myriad of worlds awaiting you between the pages, is the masses of knowledge you quite inadvertently soak up at the same time. Even for someone with such a penchant for literary fiction such as myself. The only thing that could possibly top this would be drawing on the substantial knowledge of other bookish people from so many difference walks of life. I feel enriched.

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We started off with the small stuff; i.e. a school trip or two here and there to local book haunts (e.g. the bewildering Aladdin’s cave that is Sharston Books). Before we even realised what was happening we had been catapulted into ever more surreal and special experiences. From a literary performance for a local artist (standing in a cellar on one of the hottest days of the year reading extracts from Sartres’ The Words), to appearing on BBC 2’s Eggheads. Ooo, it leaves me hungry for more!

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Although I suppose this topic could fall under the more general ‘novel ideas’, the constant discovery of a new author or genre of fiction/non-fiction has transformed my reading to such an extent that it deserves a heading of its very own. Although I have spread my wings over the past few years, it’s hard not to revert to type. I am still an enduring literary fiction lover and the blogs and magazines I read to inspire me follow that same thread. Thankfully my fellow book club members always manage to point me in the direction of something new. Short stories? Crime Fiction? Speculative Fiction? Yes PLEASE.

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I hate to break it to you all but the passions in my life do in fact extend beyond bookish stuff. Enter cocktails and cake. Since we all get on so well and the chat usually flows so easily (apart from when tacking a completely uninspiring book) that our enthusiasm usually runs to other things. Namely; our pet cats and just how delish the cocktails and cake at our venue are. (Pictured: the delectable French 75 cocktail).

Are any of you lovely people in a Book Club? If so, what parts do you love the most? If not, would you ever consider joining one?

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