At a playgroup eight years ago, I overheard one new mother telling another, 'I'm starting a bookgroup. Would you like to come?' To be sure, it was rather rude of me to gatecrash, but I do owe a great deal to that enterprising woman. There are the fifty or more books that I wouldn't have read otherwise, for one thing. Then there's the wine, the friendship and the wine.
Some people have come and gone, but most are in it for the long haul. We've fussed pregnant women, jiggled babies and now compare notes on how to motivate teenage daughters. In short, this is much more than a bookgroup.
The books we've read have inspired debate, theatre trips and a tear or two. This week we discussed The Shipping News and ate Swedish pickled herring, washed down with a gin and tonic. So much of the book seems to revolve around meals of some kind. Can we tempt you with a squid burger or shark fin soup? And as the sun set over Lancaster castle, we talked of icebergs and Newfoundland skies.
Book groups come in all shapes and sizes. Mine is a perfect fit.