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LoveReading Book Club Feature #13: The Trentham Talking Book Club

Charlotte Walker

By Charlotte Walker on 2nd September 2019

The Trentham Talking Book Club is a club of 12 members in Staffordshire. Together, they have read a huge variety of books, presented in an amazing list! They really have read everything! Take a look…

When did your Book Club launch and How did that come about?

The Trentham Talking Book Club, came about in September 2017, when someone asked who would be interested in a book club, in our local area, on a local community page on Facebook. Several people said yes and the Trentham Talking book club was born. Our book club is celebrating its second year this year, we are celebrating with a cream tea at a local tea room.  What could be better, friends, books, tea and cake!

Talk to me about how it’s developed over the years.

Over the two years, the book club has gone from six members to twelve.  We had never met or knew about each other before the book club even though we lived in the same community.  Now we have twelve friends who support and are there for each other.  We are from all walks of life and we all get on.  

Describe your book club in three words.

Amazing, Supportive, Friendship.

How do you choose your books?

Choosing books is on a take turn basis. Each of us has a month and we choose a book for that month, being twelve members, it just fits nicely with the twelve months of the year.

How often do you meet and where do you meet?

We meet once a month, the first Friday of every month, at a local hotel that has their dinning area closed of an afternoon so we have a quiet area where can talk laugh and put the world to rights.

What is the format of your meetings?

It’s very informal, we sit with tea, soft drinks (wine if we have had a hard week or month) and we chat about our book of the month but we also chat about our upcoming travels, life and what is happening in our local area. We don’t have a strict format for our gathering and we are such good friends we don’t need a lead or head to lead the meeting. We all listen to each other and we are relaxed enough to be able to not rush a book and say so.

What are you reading right now?

We are reading ‘The Art of Racing in The Rain’ by Garth Stein.

Do you have a favourite format of book (ebook, hardback, paperback, audio)?

We have a mixture, we have readers who like audio, some like books, others kindle.

What were your top 5 books of 2018?

The Siege by Helen Dunmore.

The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain.

Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie.

Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd.

A Man called Ove by Fredrik Backman.

What are your favourite books of 2019 so far? 

The Corset by Laura Purcell.

I am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes.

The Sealwoman’s Gift by Sally Magnusson.

The Choice by Edith Eger.

Dear Mrs Bird by A.J Pearce.

Wise Children by Angela Carter.

Do you collectively have a favourite author?

Not really, as we are all different and have books we enjoy. But that is what is so special about our book club. We have all picked books that are out of our comfort zones, some we have really liked and others we have not.

Do you collectively have a favourite genre?

To be honest we don’t have one, Some of us like historical based novels others like more modern-day fiction. That’s the ongoing theme of our group we are diverse and like to read something that we would never have considered before.

Has there been a particular highlight of your time together?

Finding the book club and forming the friendships and bonds we now have.

If you were to give anyone out there some advice on setting up a book club what would it be?

Keep the book club small maximum of twelve is ideal. It’s felt if we had grown any bigger, we would have split into two groups.

Finally, we are more than a book club, we a more than members of a book club, we are friends we have formed bonds and deep friendships.  We support each other with our life’s endeavour’s for example supporting one of our friends fledging business, supporting a tea morning for charity.  We have, as a group, made friends for life.

You can see their book list here: 

Books we have read so far:

2017

1. The Siege by Helen Dunmore.

2. The Dry by Jane Harper.

3. Truly, Madly, Guilty by Liane Moriarty.

4. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith.

2018

5. The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond.

6. Tin Man by Sarah Winman.

7. The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain.

8. Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie.

9. Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd.

10. A Land of Permanent Goodbyes by Atia Abawi.

11. The Card by Arnold Bennett.

12. A Man called Ove by Fredrik Backman.

13. The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman by Denis Theriault

14. The Sealwoman's Gift by Sally Magnusson.

15. The Choice by Edith Eger.

16. Travelling in a Strange Land by David Park.

2019 

17.  Dear Mrs Bird by A. J. Pearce.

18.  Six Suspects by Vikas Swarup.

19.  Watching You by Lisa Jewell.

20. Wise Children by Angela Carter.

21.  I am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes.

22.  The Corset by Laura Purcell.

23.  Hush Hush by Mel Sherratt.

24.  Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein.

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