Monthly Archive for September, 2010

Happy Third Birthday!

I was reading “Madame Bovary’ on the platform of Durham station – our book for September – a couple of weeks back when it suddenly occurred to me that our reading group had been going for three years.  That’s thirty six books from right across the world – Africa, America, Australia, Scandanavia, Europe – no-one could say we’re conservative readers, and that list has provided a platform for many other books we’ve talked about from children’s books like ‘The Secret Garden’ through to Thomas Hardy and Dickens.  I can’t think of a single book that hasn’t been enthusiastically chewed over, sometimes spat out, but more often thoroughly relished.

It’s also given me an excuse to elevate my hitherto pastime reading to ‘work’, especially when there’s any washing up to be done, or my bete noir, hoovering.  I can look at the dog hair building up in the corner of the room like a dustball and ignore it in favour of ‘work’ and the teetering pile of greasy plates in the sink can wait whilst there’s a book to be checked out for the reading group, maybe even two or three books.  This has had unexpected consequences.  On my usual Saturday morning tirade about the filth and untidiness of the children’s bedrooms, 11 year old Eve looked at me crossly from under her heap of duvet (unwashed for weeks, I fear) and told me she could not clean her room because she was ‘working’, and waved her book, the size of  housebrick, dismissively at me. And what am I to say?

For the next few weeks I have an even greater excuse to ignore the domestic vortex as I’m hosting some events for the forthcoming Durham Book festival  (18th 28th October) and a pile of books await discovery.  Our latest book for October, ‘Small Wars’ by Sadie Jones is being featured on Sunday 24th Oct. from noon until 1pm at the Town Hall where you can see Sadie discussing her latest novel.  The hoover can grow old and die for all I care – I’m working.