Book-club reads

Are you in a book club?

I’ve run one for the best part of 15 years, but my book club doesn’t follow the usual format. It’s more like a mobile library. Each month, one member hosts the club at her house. We don’t go for fancy cuisine like some book clubs do – just wine, cheese, crackers and grapes – though, lately, chocolate has sneaked in, too – and, all too often, we find an excuse to pop open a bottle or two of bubbly.

We meet once a month. The hosting member introduces 3-4 new books to the club. Ideally, she’s read them – sometimes she hasn’t, but that’s fine: we’ll still love her. Those exciting new books are added to the book-club suitcase, from which the members choose however many books they want to take home that month.

After the hostess has presented the new books, everyone takes turns to talk about the club books they read that month and we all chip in with discussion.

There’s no pressure to read a certain number of books a month, and no pressure to read any specific book. I don’t have the time or energy to struggle with a book I’m not enjoying so my book club is all about sharing good books with friends, and enjoying the pleasure of reading, not forcing yourself through something you don’t want to read.

On Saturday 3 November, I’ll be introducing my top five book-club choices on ‘Talking of Books’ on Dubai Eye 103.8. Tune in from 11.20am (GMT +4) or listen online.

What are your favourite book-club reads?