Cricklereaders October Meeting

The book chosen for October’s meeting is Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro.  Born in Nagasaki, Japan, in 1954, Kazuo Ishiguro moved to Britain at the age of five. He is a multi-award-winning author, including the Nobel and Booker Prizes. The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go were both made into successful feature films, bringing his work to an even wider audience. Despite his lofty position as a literary author, his works are accessible and very human. Klara and the Sun was described by The Sunday Times as “A masterpiece of great beauty, meticulous control and, as ever, clear, simple prose.”

We will be meeting at the library before this next meeting to view the space and decide collectively whether to hold the next meeting there or continue on Zoom. If you would like to join, please email cricklereaders@cricklewoodlibrary.org.uk.

Cricklereaders

Fancy joining a book group, but not sure how to go about it? It’s difficult during the pandemic, to be sure. Well, look no further. We’ve done the leg work for you by starting one of our own at the library. In an ideal world, we’d be holding group meetings at the library, obviously, but during lockdown, that’s not possible. So, we’re inviting interested parties to sign up to an online book group for now, with the idea that we’ll transition to in-person meetings as soon as the pandemic allows.

We have four potentially interested readers already – why not think about joining them? There are no hard and fast rules about anything at the moment – when and how often you meet, how many members the group will have, how you will choose your reading materials – all that is yet to be decided by you, dear readers.

While borrowing books is difficult due to the pandemic, we’ve negotiated a discount for bulk purchases from local bookshops, so sourcing books once chosen should be a cinch.

For more information on how it could work, email cricklereaders@cricklewoodlibrary.org.uk.

It’s all about the book group….

I don’t know if anyone else has experienced this lately, but it seems like everywhere I turn, I bump into another book group. I’m a member of one myself, and have been for several years. I’m not quite sure how it started, but it was certainly on the go before I joined, when I was invited in by one of the Anson Mums, and I enthusiastically agreed. We’ve been meeting on a more or less monthly basis, since I joined, for about 5 years, and we’ve read a huge number of books together, ranging from a non-fiction travel book by Sara Wheeler, through classics like Mapp and Lucia, and taking in some excellent books in translation that, frankly, I would never have tried had they not been suggested by another member of the group.

The first recorded reading groups were among women working in factories in the nineteenth century. The current movement gained momentum in the 1980s, becoming mainstream with the launch of Oprah’s Book Group and making it onto UK TV courtesy of Richard and Judy in 2004. And now, according to research undertaken a few years ago, there are tens of thousands of groups meeting regularly in the UK reading everything from literary classics to technical manuals! Celebrity recommendations can be life-changing for authors – the Richard and Judy/Oprah effect was a huge factor in propelling sales of 2012’s Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn into the 8m copy-plus bracket. (Tip – you don’t have to be female to be in a book group – blokes can join/start one too!).

It’s common for libraries nowadays to run book groups, and we hope that Cricklewood Library, when it opens, will join those ranks. In the meantime, if you’d like to get a book group going and all you need are like-minded readers, we can help you find them. Drop us a line on our info@cricklewoodlibrary.org.uk address and we’ll link you up with others who’re keen to get reading socially as well. It can be a lot of fun – sometimes we joke that our group is more about the wine and snacks than the literary chat, but you can run yours in a more (or less!) highbrow way if you want.

There are even children’s book groups nowadays, and we’ll be back with another post shortly on this phenomenon and other tips on getting your kids enthused about reading.

For suggestions on choosing your first book, why not head over to Love Reading or Good Reads for some inspiration? I’ve shared our reading list on Good Reads in the footer of this message so you can see what’s in our cupboards, so to speak.

Good luck and happy reading!