14 years of bookgroup and Dorothy Must Die

My bookgroup was mentioned briefly in my last post. I’ve written about my group before but I will give you a quick rundown on how we operate: We are a hotch-potch group that meets up monthly. We read widely. So much so that we never ever read the same book. Setting a specific title would makes us feel too much like we were about to sit for an exam. It would be an examination as to who had more insight, and if there is something we all proudly enjoy, it is the ability to read without the need for insight (not that insight doesn’t occur – it just is not a prerequisite). Instead, we read on themes. Just in the past year we have read on superheroes, dangerous ideas, birthright, flexing muscle, wink wink nudge nudge, Jesus and the list goes on. I don’t know of too many bookgroups that are structured the way that our group is structured. Which is a pity as I have been exposed to so many different authors and writing styles over the years due to this format. I know that some teen bookgroups run on this sort of premise, and there is the Rugby League Bookclub (this is all kinds of cool – more organised sports should do this!).

Gorgeous artwork by Onnie Cleary in the loo at Cafe Guilia

Similar to the burger menu item at Cafe Guilia (our current venue for bookgroup) which is simply described as “Burger – is good” so too does our bookgroup have an ethos of “Reading – is good” and we gather monthly to hear the adventures of each of our reading choices. We cheer those who find a strong link to the theme and we give a monthly award for the reader with the most tenuous link to the topic. Over the years, we have been known to have waitstaff join us, people at the table next to us throw in their suggestions as well as having a number of guest appearances from partners, children, friends and hanger-on-ers. Continue reading

Blogging in haste

For the first time in nearly a month, I am between tasks so I thought I would take a super quick moment to write a blog post. Earlier this year I accidentally agreed to take on more teaching and staff training than I should have. The past semester has resulted in my own studies being left far behind (I was already behind the point that I wanted to be) and my own reading for pleasure is barely happening. But, as experience has shown me, if I don’t read for pleasure, I lose my drive for both working and studying so I juggle my time around and between late nights and commuting to work I have managed to read a couple of novels and a handful of picture books.

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 11.56.55 pmSarah MacLean’s No Good Duke Goes Unpunished

“He is the Killer Duke, accused of murdering Mara Lowe on the eve of her wedding. With no memory of that fateful night, Temple has reigned over the darkest of London’s corners for twelve years, wealthy and powerful, but beyond redemption. Until one night, Mara resurfaces, offering the one thing he’s dreamed of . . . absolution.”

I liked the premise of this book. The prologue is quite thrilling, starting out joyfully and then having Temple wake up covered in what he thought was Mara’s blood with a household of people staring at him. This feeling occasionally returns throughout the book but, though the plot was mostly sound, the writing style drove me batty. It constantly used the 3 repeats device eg “She felt it. She knew it. She mourned it” (made up example: not in the book). I actually like this device when it is used sparingly but unfortunately it wasn’t. Continue reading