The first rule of Book Club

I’ve been curious about joining a book club or reading group for a while, but I wasn’t sure if they’d be too formal/pretentious/middle class/girlie for me. The Crawley branch of Ottakars (when there was one), had a book club that looked pretty interesting, but it met on the wrong night for me to get to, and I kind of let the idea drop.

When I went to the Labour Party meeting a couple of weeks ago, I was told that a few members had started up a group this summer and all were welcome. So, with my evenings spare, I went along to see what it was all about.

I hadn’t time to get hold of, let alone read, the last book: Alan Judd‘s The Kaiser’s Last Kiss. It had mixed reviews from those who had read it, but it’s a fairly short book and it’s about a quirky point in history (when the Nazis invade Holland and set up a guard around the old Kaiser). Over the next six weeks, I have to read two books (both now on order). Firstly the Booker nominated The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters (not my usual cup of tea, but it’s set near Rugby and the whole point is to read something different, I guess). After that, it’s Mitch Albom‘s Tuesdays with Morrie, which is based on conversations between the author and his old teacher as they met many years later.

We also read some poetry. Well, the others read poetry. A bit of Keats, Carroll, Jenny Joseph, Burns… I don’t really read poetry – a lot of the time I just don’t get it. But what I do like is song lyrics, which are essentially in the form of poetry. So, I memorised these lines:

What do you mean, I don’t believe in God?
I talk to him every day.
What do you mean, I don’t support your system?
I go to court when I have to.
What do you mean, I can’t get to work on time?
I got nothing better to do
And, what do you mean, I don’t pay my bills?
Why do you think I’m broke?

Which is the opening verse to Peace Sells by Megadeth.

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