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LoveReading Book Club of the Month #2 : Burgess Hill Mums Book Club

By Deborah Maclaren on 13th August 2018

In our second LoveReading Book Club of the Month we are heading to Burgess Hill, West Sussex for the Burgess Hill Mums Bookclub. We spoke to Francine to find our more about her book club (which now has over 40 members) and what books they're loving at the moment.

When did your book club launch? And how did that come about?

I had been wanting to join a book club for a while, and as I couldn’t find a local one in the area I decided to set one up as a way to meet new friends and read more books. We are a young book club and have only been running since the start of this year.

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

Our first book club began as a mum’s meet up which was promoted through the Mush app, and then progressed from there as friends and friends of friends have joined. We meet once a month, but we also have members who enjoy being part of the book club remotely. It’s nice to know when I am reading a book that others are sharing the exact same story at the same time.

Describe your book club in three words

Our members have said:

‘friendly, fun and welcoming’

‘fun, chilled, lovely’

‘fun, friends and frolics’

How do you choose your books?

A different member takes a turn to choose a book each month

How often do you meet?

Once a month

Where do you meet?

We usually like to meet at our local tapas bar

What is the format of your meetings?

It is first and foremost a relaxed and informal atmosphere, we enjoy meeting for tapas and chatting about books and whatever ever is on our minds.

What are you reading right now?

To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf, our first classic! 

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

Probably paperback, although some members like to download the books to read on their tablets.

What is your favourite book of 2018 so far?

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and Wild by Cheryl Strayed are both strong contenders with our book club.

Do you collectively have a favourite author? 

No, our group have a very varied taste between members which makes each month exciting as we never know what book could be next!

Do you collectively have a favourite genre?

We jump between genres, which is great as I get to read books I would never have considered before. This year we have read a Sci Fi, ‘Far Fetched Fiction’ (thanks to author Robert Rankin!), a travel memoir, and a young adults novel among others.

Has there been a highlight of your time together?

‘Making some great new friends’

‘Have loved every meeting and making great friends’

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

Social media can be helpful to communicate news and events and reach new members, we currently use Facebook to run the club. But really, if you are thinking of starting one, just do it – it’s been so much fun, and a great way to meet new friends. 

Here is our year of books so far:

January: Wild by Cheryl Strayed

February: The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse by Robert Rankin

March: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

April: Beartown by Fredrik Backman (also known as ‘The Scandal’ in the UK)

May: The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

June: Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler

July: Artemis by Andy Weir

August: To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf