Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Reading groups

Since the act of reading , at least by most literate adults, is normally a silent, solitary occupation, the act of joining or even setting up a reading group might seem to contradict the reason for reading. However I have found that talking about books in a group who have all read the same book as me certainly adds to my reading experience and impacts on how I remember a book, and may make me read something that I intend to read when i can summon up the energy, will or whatever to get round to it. I am enjoying Yiyun Li's Thousand years of Good Prayer at the moment, a title I came across last year and suggested to one of the book groups, as did another member, so we'll be discussing that later in July. An upcoming book group read is Kiran Desai's The Inheritance of loss, which I read last year just after it won the Booker. I found it an interesting read, although not a perfect book. The contrast between the lives of the judge's granddaughter, living in the foothills of the Himalayas, and his cook's son in America was quite well done . I can still remember the atmosphere of the judges house that the writer evoked for me and the restaurent in America where Biju worked. Whether it was the best novel published in 2006 is probably a moot point, as is whether or not I re-read it.

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