Saturday, April 07, 2012

book group

By chance, I listened to a “Readers’ Lives” programme on Radio4 last night. It was about a book group, formed in “affluent Putney” some 10 years ago. I’d first heard the programme about this time last year – just as we (Catherine, Felicia, Gareth, Lal, Ruth, Liz, Moira, Alan+I) were forming our own book group (entitled “The Slow Readers Group”!).
The Putney group consists of six women but, as the BBC website is quick to emphasise, “this is no casual club open to the public but a close knit circle of friends and bibliophiles whose group is exclusive”. As you will have noted, our group is a little different in that it “allows” (encourages? tolerates?) men and we certainly don’t vet potential members! The Putney group also meets over dinner; we’re happy to make do with wine+nibbles. In addition, most of the Putney group seem to be dog owners(!) and, as they just happened to mention, Jilly Cooper had previously joined them to discuss one of her books they’d been reading (as you do). As yet, we haven’t aspired to celebrity appearances.
Actually, for all my inverted snobbishness, the Putney book group does sound very enjoyable and worthwhile. I’ve certainly been enjoying our own group meetings – it’s good to read stuff that you wouldn’t otherwise have read. On the negative side (and this is purely something that applies to me personally), our discussions always seem to reinforce a) my inability to recall details, b) my inability to remember characters’ names (this also applies to the other little things, like the name of the book or the author!) and c) my lack of intellect(?) when it comes to fully understanding plots and other significant matters!
Photo: our group's current book.

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