Over 10 years ago we had a very drunken conversation in the pub about starting some sort of club. We threw around the idea of a wine club but in the end we decided to start a book club, which is actually a wine club in disguise and have been going strong ever since.
We meet the first Thursday of every month. Whoever is hosting puts on the food, chooses the next book and the rest of us bring wine. There is either 10 or 11 of us, I can never remember, woman from all walks of life: dentists, doctors, optometrists, teachers, PR, engineers and lecturers.
Over the years we’ve been through marriages, children, divorces and death, all the normal things that life throws at us. We’ve experienced every emotion from laughing to crying. I look forward to it every month and consider these women to be some of my closest friends.
I think the secret to our success is that we don’t take it too seriously; we don’t present the book or have formal questions or ratings. If we like the book we talk about it a lot, if we don’t, we say it was shit and move on to gossip. I can’t remember the last time I finished a book.
This week we had a special treat. Lucy from www.heavenisacupcake.net popped around with these gorgeous cupcakes just for us. They went down a treat and no one noticed that I hadn’t read the book. Look closely at the detail, she’s even written The Blind Assassin on one of the hand-rolled books. We were all truly impressed and they tasted divine.
If you have a special occasion coming up and live in Herts do give her a dingle and tell her I sent you.
And if you ever want to start a book club, I’d highly recommend it and I’m more than happy to help.
I don’t know why I didn’t think I was going to like this, when in fact I really did. There are 6 Chapters that you can download for children age 2-6 (Shape, Size and Colour, The World Outside, Making things, Rhythm and Dance, Songs and Rhymes and Story Time). I absolutely love the music in the intro, the characters are gorgeous and what I like most of all is that there are over a 100 printable activities.
You follow the 3 characters Buddy Boo the bear, Eric the raccoon and Willow the owl through the Land Of Me. At each stop, children have the opportunity to choose elements of the adventure. My favourite is Anthony the Mexican Anteater in the desert, he’s a scream. We made a castle out of jelly in the mud!
There’s also the opportunity to explore Literacy, with a place to add your own text, there’s also information about the creatures and places you visit and if you watch carefully, in the background, you may see the other characters getting up to all sorts.
The only negatives I found were that it takes quite awhile to download. So, make sure you do this before you sit the kids in front of the PC. Secondly, as I’m a user of iTunes and rarely pay more than .59p for kid’s apps, I thought that £6.95 per chapter may be a bit dear. However, you can download the first chapter for free from here.
Plus, this weekend they are offering a whopping £10 off. All you need to do is type ‘happy’ into the discount code panel at checkout.
Disclosure: We received all 6 chapters in return for this review
It’s been a long time since I found myself reading into the wee hours of the night (1am). I’ve been reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett, for my own Book Club and I couldn’t put it down. I finished it in two sittings.
The Help was set in 1962 in Jackson Mississippi; a few years after Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus to make way for white people. An unlikely friendship develops between, Skeeter the daughter of a Cotton Plantation owner, who’s white, recently graduated from college and dreams of becoming a writer and Aibileen, a black maid of one of her friends, who has raised 17 white babies in her time.
Skeeter wants to write a book from the perspective of the maids working for white families. However, she needs 12 maids to interview and this is going to take a lot of trust as the consequences to these women are grave.
A lot of the book was predictable, but I found myself laughing, cringing, shaking my head, angry, hopeful, frightened. I don’t want to spoil the book for people, but it was interesting to read it 50 years on and to see towards the end that there was a glimmer of hope for change.