Thursday, 3 March 2011
What are you reading?
In light of World Book Day today, I thought we'd talk about books. I recently joined a book club with a group of other mums in my local area. I had been wanting to join one for a while so I was delighted to be asked by one of the members in this particular group if I'd like to join them, as they needed to replace a couple of people who have moved away. I only know this one mum out of the whole group and I don't even know her very well so it's good to meet some new people, as well as to read some books I probably wouldn't have chosen to read myself.
In the one meeting I have so far attended, we each went along with 3-4 suggestions of books the group could read and then picked a book for each month of the year ahead. We have a good mix of fiction, non-fiction, light and more highbrow, thick and thin books. A couple of the books were chosen because we thought they would make interesting discussion amongst mums so later in the year we will be reading the controversial Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua and The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas, set in contemporary Australia and about the consequences of a parent slapping an unruly 3-year old (not his own child) at a suburban barbeque.
It's easy to get caught in a pattern of reading the same genre of book or books by the same authors. I always like to know what my friends and family are reading and it can be a good way to hear about something interesting that I think I'd like to read too. I love to get totally immersed in a great book but I also like the challenge of persevering through a book I find difficult to get into at the start. Sometimes you get surprised and end up enjoying a book that you thought you would never finish so it's good to stick with it. At the same time, I don't think one should feel any guilt at giving up on a book without finishing it. Reading, after all should be a pleasure so there's no point in reading if it feels laborious.
What kind of books so you enjoy reading? Are there any you've read that sparked a really lively discussion with friends or family? Are you in a book club and if so, how do you select the books you read? What are you reading at the moment?