Archive for October, 2011

Two months in a nutshell

Laura is bad

First of all, I hang my head in shame when I see how long it has been since I last wrote this blog. I am an incredibly neglectful book group leader. I could make excuses, but really it’s just a bit rubbish. So, apologies. I’ll try not to let it happen again.

Especially  as I really, really love book club, most particularly the way that despite 3 years (!!) in the job I still have no idea how you will all react to a particular book. Just for laughs I try, before leaving the office to come to a meeting, to guess which way it will go. And for the past two months I have got these predictions massively, woefully wrong. A quick summary:

When God was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman

What I thought you’d say: Hate. Too whimsical, waffly and annoying. Looses steam half way through and just peters out disappointingly.

The verdict?: Pretty much universal love. Praise for the evocation of childhood and sibling love, the eccentricity of the characters and family and loved the fairy-tale quality of both the story and the writing. Difficult topics treated in a sensitive and realistic way. Although you agreed that it did loose a bit of pace, most of you whizzed through it and couldn’t put it down.

The Possessions of Dr. Forrest by Richard T Kelly

What I thought you’d say: That you enjoyed it. Cracking story with a good pace that really held your attention. Effective use of gothic tropes in a modern day setting. A bit daft but a lot of fun (and properly scary in places).

The verdict?: Pretty much universal loathing. Hated the heightened gothic language, couldn’t differentiate between characters, not interested. General dislike of the gothic genre. Unnecessary “confession at the end which simply reiterated all that had gone before. Few redeeming features. (Except for Julie who LOVED it).

The interesting thing is that, hate or love, these were two great meetings with lots of chat, laughing and discussions (and cake, don’t forget the cake!!). So though I cant always predict which way you’ll all go, I suppose I can rest assured that you’ll definitely have an opinion and that always makes for a great book group.

It’s Mr Chartwell by Rebecca Hunt next. Obviously no predictions, but I’m certainly looking forward to hearing what you have to say!

About the group

Sunderland Book Group meets on the third Wednesday of every month at 6pm at Holmeside Coffee in Sunderland.

If you would like more information about what the group is reading, please visit

October 2011