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Bookgroup of the Month Archive

Every month we feature a different bookgroup. We'd like to hear from other bookgroups. Please email us at info@bookgroup.info and tell us about your group. If we choose it we'll send you a book voucher for 10.

Alvering Library Reading Group, London

Bookgroup of the Month, January 2007

Who are you?

We are a lively - and opinionated - group based in Alvering Library, Wandsworth. Like Topsy, we have "just growed". Starting with 4, we now regularly muster 20 at meetings - and then there are those who couldn't make it that day. While we are mainly a "Ladies Group", we are not exclusively so and have at least 2 husbands who come regularly.

How did you get started?

As part of a drive to enhance "Reader Development" (so called), my Branch Manager and I canvassed readers. When we had 4 names we held our first meeting and have not looked back.

How long have you been going?

We will be 7 years old in March 2007.

Where and how often do you meet?

We meet once a month - usually the first Tuesday, in the Children's Library from 12.00. Since several members work, we try to keep to an hour for the discussion - but people can linger if they want to.

What sort of books do you read?

We try to be far ranging and interesting - but getting enough copies can be a challenge - recent reads "Suite Francaise2(Nemirovsky); The Summer Book (Jansson); Birthday Letters (Hughes); Samuel Pepys: the unequalled self (Tomalin); Bleak House (Dickens)

Which books have provoked the best discussion?

The books that provoke the best discussions are the ones where the group is divided in its opinions - Perfume (Suskind); Mrs Dalloway (Woolf) and The Time-Traveller's Wife(Niffenegger). However, the universally liked " To kill a mocking bird" gave us one of our best sessions ever.

What was your worst read?

"The Left Hand of Darkness (Le Guin) found almost the whole group ranged against two champions. It was rubbished.

Anything else?

We do not confine ourselves to the library and have enjoyed some very convivial evenings in various member's houses, a garden pary and a picnic in the park. We have welcomed authors - and I hope treated them quite well - and we are looking forward to our first venture into "cross media" discussion. We plan to read "The Leopard"(Lampedusa) and then watch the film

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