‘Try Books!’ book group meets in ‘Donde’, 37-39 Honor Oak Park, SE23 at 8pm on the third Tuesday of the month. We generally read contemporary fiction; there are occasional excursions into Victorian novels, non-fiction and even (on one occasion) poetry. The only restriction on choices is that they ought to be available in paperback; we also avoid books (and indeed authors) that the group has already tackled. We have a rota to say whose turn it is to choose the books, and they are chosen two months in advance. The meetings conclude with people giving the book a mark out of ten and perhaps even commenting on other people’s marks.
The books to come in the near future are:
My Brilliant Friend (Elena Ferrante, 17 March)
The Shock of the Fall (Nathan Filer, 21 April).
There are usually 5-8 members present at a meeting; for special occasions the number may get up to 10 or so.
The book-choosing rota is now: Stephanie, Heather, Howard, Aruni, Jo, Jocelyn, Dick, Vicky, Louise, Christine, Judy, Suzannah, Linda.
The group started about June 2003 in the former ‘Bar Equal’ (now ‘Stone’) on the other side of Honor Oak Park and migrated when its original home was closed for a long period.
Books we have read recently include: The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter (Carson McCullers), Gone Girl (Gillian Flynn), This Boy (Alan Johnson), Almost English (Charlotte Mendelson), and A Winter In The Hills (John Wain).
People wanting to join are very welcome to get in touch. Do feel free to ring 07914 632 563 or email email@example.com for more information or to ask about coming along. The group’s philosophy is to go on welcoming new members for as long as we can.
As I say in my other book club posting, if you’re interested I think the main thing is just to give it a go and not to agonise about it–and if it doesn’t appeal to you, don’t come again! (Otherwise you can waste a lot of time worrying about it.) In my experience, you really need to let your subconscious process the experience–it may be that you’re quite uncomfortable but feel there’s something in the experience you really have to have (and that was my experience of joining a group of strangers as against ones at work); or on the other hand it may all be perfectly pleasant, but then you really don’t see the point of doing it again…
For the period November 2011 to December 2013, there were 12 people who enquired about joining, of whom two came to at least one meeting and one became a regular member–in the same period, two existing members moved away and so left the group.