Monthly Archive for September, 2009

Lionel Shriver exclusive reading group event!

Lionel Shriver is coming to ‘The Sage’ to do a special reading group event on October 24th!  If you’ve read any of her books, probably the most famous being, ‘We need to talk about Kevin’, you’ll know she can spin a good yarn and keep you reading into the small hours.  She’s here as part of Radio 3’s ‘Free Thinking’ festival and has agreed to do an exclusive event for all the ‘New Writing North’ reading groups.  Her book, out in paperback, is called ‘A Perfectly Good Family’ (somehow I guess this might be ironic?) and she’ll be talking about the book and taking questions.  We’ll then read the book for our November meeting on the 3rd.  Don’t forget to present your Reading Group card at Blackwells and you’ll get £2 off the price of the book. 

See you all at the next meeting on October 6th where we’ll talk about Jake Polley’s ‘Talk of the Town’.

Book crossing!

In my last post I wrote about a scheme whereby you can leave a book on a train/park bench and then trace it’s whereabouts as it’s picked up and passed on – a sort on “Incredible Journey’ for books.  Have a look at  

Happy Birthday to us.

Hard to believe but it’s our second birthday and we’ve read a fair few cracking books (and some turkeys as well – my fault for getting carried away in the first fifty pages…).  Little did I know but it’s been something of a salvation for me as the past year has been spent in and out of hospitals with my daughters, waiting endlessly waiting, having scans, x-rays and becoming familiar with the WRVS women for chocolate and tissues.  And many of the books have been read trying to take my mind off it all.  Once, when I was reading John McGahern’s ‘Amongst Women’ one of the male nurses, and an Irishman, leaned over and said “Awesome book”.  He was damned right as well.Last week a woman I interviewed last year for a radio programme I was making emailed me out of the blue and told me that she’d picked up a copy of ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’ at an Oxfam shop in Inverness and it had my name in it! There’s some strange book karma at work here.  One of the lunchtime members told me that it’s now possible to trace your second hand books via a barcode and see where they end up!  I’m going to leave one on a train with a little note inside saying ‘pass this book on to another reader’ with a contact number so I can see how far it gets.Thanks to all for coming yesterday – it was great to see so many of you there after the Summer break and although Roger Deakin’s watery homage to Britain’s lakes and rivers got a mixed reception it was good to get back in the swing of it again.  Next month is Jacob Polley’s ‘Talk of the Town’, the first novel from Jake who’s better known for his poetry which is wonderful.  He’ll be at the Durham Literature Festival later on in October with sixty other authors – I’ll publish more here when I know the dates and the line-up.In the meantime check out some great authors appearing in Newcastle throughout October and November including Seamus Heaney and Carol Anne Duffy.  Go to good reading – I’ve got yet more hospital appointments in September with my girls.  See if any of the nurses or doctors recognise Jake Polley.