This week's What I'm Reading blog post is from Cat, one of our volunteers who is a member of the Glossop Lowbrow Book Group.
I have been a member of Glossop Lowbrow Book Group for just over 6 years now, I joined to make friends when I moved to Hadfield and it's been great! We are a friendly bunch of 30 somethings (and beyond) who all love reading, but as the group name suggests, are not up for things getting too serious. That being said, we do enjoy when the book talk is full enough not to drift off too soon, so something with lots of content to discuss is a good place to start. We generally meet in a pub of choice, of that month's ‘host’ of the book, one Thursday a month at 8pm. Details can be found: https://glossopbookgroup.wordpress.com/
Due to this, lots of my reading is influenced by the book group, or researching what I would like to suggest next . The thing I enjoy about being a member is that it introduces me to books I wouldn't have ever thought of reading... although, sometimes this is a struggle! However, the number of times I haven't really enthused about starting something and it surpassing my expectations is a real reward.
Last month's book was my choice, Beside Myself by Ann Morgan. I hadn't actually read this before suggesting it, a risky move, but it came recommended from a friend’s book group as it divided people and made for good conversation. It is the story of twin sisters and their lives following a childhood game that goes wrong. It is a bit of a mystery, and it was that aspect of wanting to find out the truth that kept me reading. However, we were all mixed in our opinion of what actually happened and writing style, techniques used, and so on. It roused discussion for the group, and did make me want to keep page turning... it also had a lot of interesting ideas raised, but I think the overriding issues most of the group faced were the actual execution of those ideas.
I have just finished Eureka Street by Robert McLiam Wilson, which I read is a coincidence as Lucy mentions this in her blog. I totally agree that I feel I don't know enough about the troubles, so I will be taking her recommendation of Making Sense. Book Group is tomorrow, so I don't know what the group will make of it, but I caught moments to read this book on holiday in Italy... on buses, airports and things, and thinking that I wouldn't have enough time to finish it, how many pages I had devoured in each sitting. The story follows two friends, a Protestant and a Catholic, in Belfast before and after the most recent ceasefires, so these characters and their stories I found were relatable, human, funny and real amid everything that was happening around them. I definitely was left wanting to learn more about the history of the troubles and will look up Lucy's recommendation.
Our next book is The Kiss by Kathryn Harrison, which is a real life story of incest, so I am really intrigued about that! My next choice is being read in a few months, How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran. I volunteer in the book shop on a Monday morning, and as well as serving customers and tidying up the books, I love some time to browse the shelves for myself. I picked up this book one particularly rainy and cold Monday, and I sat with a coffee and started to dip in... it had me gripped straight away, and chuckling to myself (luckily no customers came in at that point). I haven't got that far through yet, but am looking forward to reading more ready for my month at book group.
Come in and say hello next time you're passing on a Monday morning and recommend me my next read!