I’m starting a book club. I am massively excited about this because I love my new job but I hugely miss the bit about my old job where I got to talk to strangers about books all the time and where I got to have an opinion on which of all the new books coming out were the ones that people should read. Last week I was walking through the ground floor of the Waterstones in Piccadilly and I saw a man reading the back cover of Tigers in Red Weather. I just couldn’t help myself from stopping to chat to him about it. And that’s a normal thing to do if you work in a bookshop – a bit trickier to pull off if you are passing through with your coat on. Anyway, I woke up on Saturday morning and thought, I don’t have to miss those things, I can have a book club. So I asked on twitter if anyone would come and a pleasingly amount of people said yes so we are up and running.
(I have always wanted to make up FAQs. Obviously none of these Qs have been Ad, frequently or otherwise)
Why is it called The Tuesday Book Club?
Because I thought it would be nice to have a name and because it will happen on Tuesdays. Miss Marple was a member of The Tuesday Club – though that club solved mysteries rather than reading books (who knows what we might end up doing!)
Is there a physical meeting?
Yes. We’ll meet at 7pm on the last Tuesday of every month in central London.
First meeting will be at The Old Crown, 33 New Oxford Street – this a nice pub with a little room on the first floor that I’ve booked for us.
Who can come?
Everyone welcome. So far its an exciting mash-up of people I know really well, people I know less well, people I know from twitter and people I don’t know at all. I get genuinely excited about different people getting to know each other and I love whatever the opposite of a clique is – an open house?
Can I be a virtual member?
Yes, please! I’m hoping that people will follow along. Part of the inspiration for this was when a friend told me she’d used my blog recommendations to set up a book club.
How will you choose the books?
The first book is Heartburn by Nora Ephron. In general, I’ll choose a new book. I’ll be choosing books that I love that sit in the bit of the venn diagram where literary and commercial fiction overlap. I’ll also be picking the sort of books that are good to discuss. Sometimes I finish a book and desperately want other people to read it so that they can discuss it with me – that the sort of book I’ll be choosing. I’ll probably also balance the list a bit so that if you stick around for a year you’ll have read a set of really interesting and contrasting books. (The photo is of the sort of books we’d have been reading if we’d been doing this up to now.)
Will you ever pick a book you don’t like?
No. Part of the reason why I want to do this is that I love recommending books and need to find an outlet for it so that I stop wanting to accost strangers on the tube. I’ll probably edge away from the really obvious choices and big books and try to pick out the books/authors that everyone will be talking about tomorrow, rather than the ones who are already established.
Will we have fun?
Oh yes! I think we’ll have a blast.
Do I have to tell you if I’m coming?
That would be nice. I need to decide where to go. Any suggestions?
Do you have lots of exciting plans for the future?
I do, actually. What a perceptive question! If this works I’d like to experiment with competitions and special guests and podcasts and all sort of things.
What’s in it for you?
Your company! I work from home now and I miss the comings and goings and having lots of people to talk to.
I read a quote from Julia Child the other day that said ‘Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.’ That’s what I’m doing here. I’ve got something I’m passionate about but a lot of joy in reading is about sharing stories with other people. That’s where this comes in.
Also, part of my new job is persuading people of the benefits of reading and book clubs and I’m sure it will help me to do that if I’m actually going to one.
I used to write a column about new books and I’d love to do that again. This might spur me on to doing it.
What if I don’t like the books you pick?
What a shame! Never mind, reading is a subjective thing. I like well-plotted books with heart and emotion. You could have a look at my previous posts if you wanted to be sure we are a good fit. I’m preoccupied with war, death, siblings and adultery so those themes tend to crop up a lot. I also like books that make me laugh and cry so we might be in for some roller coaster evenings of group hysteria.
How can I get in touch with you?
On twitter I’m @cathyreadsbooks. You can comment here or you can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
What about getting a twitter hashtag?
What a brilliant idea. I can so tell we are going to get along. #Tuesdaybookclub – If you have a look at it you’ll see some of the lovely chaps who have already thrown their hats into the ring.
I’m sure there will be. Ask away. See you, I hope, at 7pm on Tuesday 28th August to discuss Heartburn. It’s about a woman called Rachel who is seven months pregnant when when she finds out that her husband is having an affair.