Just had my second bookclub meeting. It’s been much more interesting than I imagined. Learning a lot more about the people in the group than I expected, and exploring different viewpoints (from within a white, female, Uni educated group as was pointed out tonight with a smile!)
Choosing the next few books was a lively discussion in itself. A range of reading styles exist – historical such as Penelope Lively; challenging & factual “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”; relaxing escapism of “chick lit” or biographies; crime fiction without gore.
We found some connections – the analysis of people in families by Joanna Trollope meshes happily with the feminist sci fi of Sherri Tepper. Historical and factual both recommend Bill Bryson. Some ‘worthy’ titles added to the list as people feel they should read Tim Winton or Wolf Hall or He Died with a felaffel in his hands. Actually that last one has to be in as one our bookclub members lived with the people in the book, so we can get an inside perspective!
We also have someone in our midst who has genuinely never heard of Stephen Fry. I find this fascinating – as I was deprived of tv as a child I am often in groups where I am the only person who hasn’t heard of major figures. Her husband is an Apple user and she watches British tv series, and still he has escaped her. Have suggested QI as a starting point and added his autobiography to our list of books to consider in the future.
Tonight’s book was 88 Charing Cross Rd by Helene Hanff. I found I had to read it rather like a school English textbook, rather than a fun book, inorder to make myself finish it. I was surprised to discover I can read a book that is all letters. Previously I have disregarded such tomes after the first 2 letters, but I had to read until the end of this one. Next month’s book is Breathe by Tim Winton, another title I just couldn’t finish previously, and now will have to. As well as offering lively conversation bookgroup is good for me for discipline …
Another thing that surprised me today, was that even though I have been given an iPad for the day, I was still able to show some discipline and get some work done. Previously I would have been all absorbed in my new toy, taking on only work that could be done on the new toy. Waiting so long for the joy seems to have made it less exciting. Also (yes @malbooth you are right – sigh) it’s not that great for work purposes. I struggled to get documents loaded and viewable, although the typing keyboard in Pages is a dream with the foldup case easily standing it at the right angle. However no multitasking is painful, everytime I leave 1 app and move into another, only to find I want to go back, you need to login etc all over again.
So maybe I’m growing up. Or maybe iPad just isn’t exciting enough! Is fabulous at home though. Playing happily now!