Happy New Year!
I can’t believe how fast this year has flown by, it truly seems like only yesterday when I was posting about my New Years resolutions for 2014. But I am happy and admittedly somewhat surprised, that I have indeed managed to keep my resolution of reading and reviewing a book a month. I hope that in reading my reviews, it has not only prompted you to read the books but to also help motivate you to find more time to read. We all lead such busy lives, but we must always remember to find time for ourselves and reading is a perfect way to fill this time. Reading shouldn’t be considered an indulgence, it is an absolute necessity. It provides us with escapism from the norm, a chance to dream and imagine ourselves in somebody else’s shoes and along with everything else it keeps the old grey matter ticking along by educating us in the process.
So, having proved to myself that I can keep a resolution, I have decided not to make any this year. Instead, I want to think about starting up a book club on this site. Offering a forum for others to recommend their favourite books, in order to broaden our reading horizons. It’s all well and good me talking about the books I have enjoyed, but I am just one reader amongst many and I am keen to read other titles, some of which i may never have even heard of. So, I hereby officially invite YOU to join thegoodnovel book club.
There are simply loads of book clubs scattered around the country and I can guarantee that most will fit into one of two categories. Firstly, the group that take it completely seriously, with a very academic list of classic ‘must read’ novels combined with the hottest newly released titles and winners of the latest award. Don’t even think about attending a meeting without reading that month’s book. You must have a copy that includes pencil scribbled notes of reference, colour coded post-it notes pointing you to the important passages within the book and be prepared to have quotes to back up your arguments and if at all possible bring other sources of reference. This kind of approach is fine for some people but it’s not really my cup of tea. Which brings me nicely onto the second type of book club, and this is exactly the kind that I belong to with a group of my close friends. It would be wrong of me to say that it is merely an excuse for us all to meet up once a month. That is without doubt an overriding factor yes, but what is truly great about the book club which I belong to and indeed many other book clubs out there, boils down to the true, core purpose of a proper book club – to be exposed to books that you wouldn’t normal even think to look twice at.
We all have a genre that we prefer to read. I, myself like dystopian fiction, in fact it is what I chose to write my dissertation on when I was at university, but I am very aware that it is not a genre favoured by everybody. However, I am sure that it’s association with geeky science fiction, is enough to put some people off and if given a chance more people would actually find that they enjoy this type of book. I tend to always steer clear of crime and thrillers, not really sure why but they just don’t spark much excitement in me. Yet, I found Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code books absolutely unputdownable, proving you really can’t judge a book by it’s genre.
I’m not asking for you to join this book club, with a view to you following a set list of books that must be read month on month. No, what I do ask is for you to pass on your recommendations of books you have read and enjoyed so that you can pass that joy onto others. It would be great if we could all pass friendly comments about a book, maybe raising issues about a book that others may not have considered and sparking up lively debate about the characters and the themes explored within a book. I would also be interested in hearing some of your top ten lists. For example if you had to list your top ten classic novels what would they be? Or if you could only rescue 5 books from a burning library, what would they be? And what 5 books are you looking forward to Sharing with your children for the very first time?
I will of course be offering my own views and answers to these questions in the coming months and with each new article I invite you to add your own.
I will also be trying to keep abreast of any interesting news in the book world, eg new releases, publishing news and hot new authors to look out for.
Please do join in as without you this site will be far less interesting and ultimately I want us all to be reading as much new and varied things as possible to keep our love of reading thriving in a digital world where written pages are increasingly losing out to video games and cyber worlds.
Read on fellow bookworms, until we meet again…