Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Book Club newbie

I've been a bit of a bookworm for as long as I can remember reading.  I just love that feeling of getting really wrapped up in a story & I have the whole scenarios painted vivdly in my over-active imagination!  One of the worst feelings for me has to be reaching the end of a brilliant book, I just want the story to go on & on......
Joining a book club has been on my list of things to do for a couple of years but it was only through a chance discussion at the school gates one day that I realised quite a few of the mums had formed a reading group & the next meeting was to be held the next evening.  I asked about the type of books they read as being totally honest, I don't want to read heavy, lengthy tomes - I read for total enjoyment.  Admittedly, I do want to break out of my literary comfort zone of my usual & much loved crime thrillers though.  I also love to read light-hearted, fun chick-lits (not my favourite term in the world!) too.  But I hoped by joining a book club, it would push me to read & hopefully enjoy, something I wouldn't usually choose.
The first meeting I attended, the group had read Tout Sweet by Karen Wheeler, a story of a city girl who upped sticks & moved to rural France.  Although I didn't have time to read this before the meeting, I have been urged to by the other ladies to give my thoughts on it, mainly as I lived in rural France myself for 7 years!  So I'll read it at some point & get back to it.

So the read for March was The Shape of Water by Andrea Camilleri.  This was volume 7 of a series about an Italian detective, that a couple of members of the group were raving about.  I decided to download the first book of the series to begin with as I wanted to get a feel for the character beforehand.  I have to say, it took me about 6 chapters before I could really get in to the first book but I really enjoyed the actual book club choice.  Although it's a detective series, therefore solving crimes & murders, it's not quite as grisly as my usual crime reads.  The main character, Inspector Montalbano is getting older & wants to retire but he just can't seem to cut the ties from his police force.  He's a really likeable character, although grumpy as hell....almost like an Italian Rebus!!  He's a total foodie & I love the way the author describes in great detail his 3-course meals & the ambiance of the restaurants.  I could almost be sitting on the restaurant terrace smelling the garlic & fresh seafood, feeling the warm air on my skin & listening to the waves gently lapping in the distance....ahhhhh!!!  I will definitely be working my way through the rest of the series & trust me, you will want to be booking a trip to Italy after reading them!
This brings me to this month's read *silently groaning*.  The group have decided, so that they don't always stick to one genre of book, that every 3 months, they will alternate between a light-hearted read, a heavier story & then a classic.  This month we have the' heavy', which is Exodus by Leon Uris.  As soon as I realised it wasn't available on Kindle, alarm bells started ringing!  I ordered it from my local library & could've cried when I collected it.  Not only is it 636 pages long, the writing is miniscule so I just know I'm going to get horrible eye strain reading it.  And to add insult to injury, there are 10 pages missing smack bang in the middle of the book!!  It's really not making me want to read it but I finally started it late last night.  I will persevere & try & get through it but I'm not entirely sure I will finish this one, plus the fact that during the school holidays, I get very little time to myself.  I usually try to snaffle an hour during the daytime for a sneaky read but not for the next 2 weeks!!  The story was made into a film starring Paul Newman & just by total coincidence, I noticed it was on one of the Sky movie channels last I recorded it as a back-up plan!!  I will really try not to cheat though (although I know a couple other BC members have also got the film to watch too, mentioning no names!!)

Anyhoo, I'll let you know when, or even if, I finish it.  But if you're looking for a totally brilliant read, take a look at this.  I only bought it because it was on a daily Kindle offer & it really was fantastic.  Think of a really clever Forrest Gump type character that keeps flitting between present day & his past, & you'll get the gist of it!
I'm next on the list to host Book Club on 20th April so I'll be back after then with a review & to let you know what May's book will be.  Now, what wine, nibbles & cake shall I lay on?  That is, afterall, the most important part of Book Club!!
À tout à l'heure!!

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