2017 – what’s happening this year?

The Project Read 2017 books
The Project 2017 books

Hello! 2016 was a quiet year for the Group with regards reading and any associated activity on social media. Sam and I keep talking about getting the Readers on the Edge back together again and reinstating the monthly meetings, maybe shaking the format up a bit, but right now that is all still in the planning stage. Do get in touch if you are interested.

However I (Cas) woke up on January 1st determined to make some headway on my “To Be Read” pile. Having spent most of the past year reading almost entirely fan fiction, one of my resolutions was to read more actual books. So Project Read 2017 was born.

I went through all my bookshelves and pulled out anything I hadn’t read yet, piled them all on the sofa (I’m not kidding!), and compiled the list.

You can follow my progress on Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, or here on the blog where I will be posting reviews. Want to read along with me? There is a bit in the sidebar telling you what I am currently reading.

27 books. One year. I can do this.

Wish me luck!

State of the Union

So it has been nearly two years since that fateful Twitter conversation that got the Readers on the Edge together for the first time to discuss Ocean at the End of the Lane. Wow. We’ve discussed a LOT of books in the past few years!

The time has come, however, for me to step to one side and to let someone else take charge. Sam has very kindly agreed to take over the reins.

A few other changes.

  • We’re moving the meeting night to Wednesday – so, 2nd Wednesday of every month is now book group night.
  • We’re going to trial The Mitre as our regular spot. It’s quiet, has reasonable food, has lots of space, and is nice and central.
  • We’ve picked the books for the next six months (see the Reading List). Super organised I know! We thought that having more of a “plan” and knowing what was coming would be a good idea. When the time comes to pick the next six months, everyone puts an idea in the hat and then we do a draw.
  • The person whose suggestion it is that we read is that book’s sponsor. All that means is you’re the one who leads the discussion about the book and (hopefully) comes with a few prompt-questions prepared.
  • We’re going to keep this website up and running, because it’s a good way for potential new people to find us (as Cathryn and Stacey can attest!). The Facebook group is going to stay our main forum for discussion and event planning but if you’re not in that, don’t worry! Just shoot us an email (edgeofreading@gmail.com), say hello on Twitter (@edgeofreading), or leave a comment.

Er, I think that’s it! We’re always on the look-out for new members so if you fancy discussing an eclectic range of books with a group of super-friendly publishing peeps, get in touch!

Black Chalk

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Black Chalk by Christopher Yates promises to suitably twist our brains and make us unable to look at our hometown in the same way ever again.

One game. Six students. Five survivors. It was only ever meant to be a game. A game of consequences, of silly forfeits, childish dares. A game to be played by six best friends in their first year at Oxford University. But then the game changed: the stakes grew higher and the dares more personal, more humiliating, finally evolving into a vicious struggle with unpredictable and tragic results. Now, fourteen years later, the remaining players must meet again for the final round.

What day? Tuesday 21st April (everyone working in publishing = London Book Fair = pushing things back a week)
What time? Please all start gathering for food and drinks and general chat from 18:00, with book discussion starting at 18:30 prompt
? Still deciding this! Suggestions in the comments/twitter/the FB group please!

Miss Phryne Fisher Investigates

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Welcome to the Jazz Age and Lady Detectives with difference! Say hello to Phryne Fisher, in Miss Phryne Fisher Investigates by Kerry Greenwood.

Bored socialite Phryne Fisher leaves the tedium of the London season for adventure in Australia! Tea-dances in West End hotels, weekends in the country with guns and dogs…Phryne Fisher – she of the grey-green eyes and diamante garters – is rapidly tiring of the boredom of chit-chatting with retired colonels and foxtrotting with weak-chinned wonders. Instead, Phryne decides it might be amusing to try her hand at being a lady detective – on the other side of the world! As soon as she books into the Windsor Hotel in Melbourne, Phryne is embroiled in mystery: poisoned wives, drug smuggling rings and corrupt cops…not to mention erotic encounters with beautiful Russian ballet star Sasha de Lisse; England’s green and pleasant land just can’t compete with these new, exotic pleasures!

What day? Wednesday (not Tuesday, but WEDNESDAY) 11th March 2015
What time? you know the drill – gather from 18:00, talk about the book from 18:30
Where? The Chequers

Stop What You’re Doing and Read This!

Stop What You're Doing and Read This cover

February implores us to Stop What You’re Doing and Read This!

So we will.

Reading provides a unique kind of pleasure and no-one should live without it. This title tells us about the experience of reading, why access to books should never be taken for granted, how reading transforms our brains, and how literature can save lives.

What day? Tuesday 10th February 2015
What time? as always, people gather from 18:00 and discussion starts at 18:30
Where? The Red Lion

The Rosie Project

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The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion is going to be the first book of 2015.

A thirty-nine-year-old geneticist, Don’s never had a second date. So he devises the Wife Project, a scientific test to find the perfect partner. Enter Rosie – ‘the world’s most incompatible woman’ – throwing Don’s safe, ordered life into chaos. But what is this unsettling, alien emotion he’s feeling?

What day?: Tuesday 13th January 2015
What time?: discussion starts at 18:30 – get there from 18:00 to order food and have a general gossip
Where? O’Neills on George Street

Review of Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

Cuckoos Calling Cover

I’ll start with a confession.

My name’s Charly and I’ve never read a Harry Potter book.

I know, I know, the 90s were awesome and I work in publishing but the fact is I’m nearly 30 and have no experience of J K Rowling’s writing. Until recently.

As a fan of crime stories, thrillers and suspense I was delighted to learn that Rowling, as Robert Galbraith, had created the private detective Cormoran Strike, introducing him to the world in The Cuckoo’s Calling.

To be honest, Strike’s name alone was enough to win me over. But actually the story was interesting, entertaining and had enough threads to keep me reading keenly on.

I really enjoyed the characters, many of whom mirrored one or more celebs, and the plot itself was great, with ‘whodunnit?’ remaining a total surprise.

This is totally my kind of book. If (like me) your TV viewing choices include Lewis and Silent Witness, curl up with this book. You’ll love it.

Beside Ourselves with Joy!

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves cover

Polly’s to blame thank for our next book, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler. One of the Man Booker 2014 shortlist, I’m rather excited. It even comes with proper notes for bookgroups at the end, so we can pretend to be organised and have a “proper” meeting and everything!

Rosemary’s young, just at college, and she’s decided not to tell anyone a thing about her family. So we’re not going to tell you too much either: you’ll have to find out for yourselves, round about page 77, what it is that makes her unhappy family unlike any other. Rosemary is now an only child, but she used to have a sister the same age as her, and an older brother. Both are now gone – vanished from her life. There’s something unique about Rosemary’s sister, Fern. And it was this decision, made by her parents, to give Rosemary a sister like no other, that began all of Rosemary’s trouble. So now she’s telling her story: full of hilarious asides and brilliantly spiky lines, it’s a looping narrative that begins towards the end, and then goes back to the beginning. Twice. It’s funny, clever, intimate, honest, analytical and swirling with ideas that will come back to bite you. We hope you enjoy it, and if, when you’re telling a friend about it, you do decide to spill the beans about Fern – it’s pretty hard to resist – don’t worry. One of the few studies Rosemary doesn’t quote says that spoilers actually enhance reading.

We will also be having our Xmas celebration at this meeting, so it will be over food. Details to follow.

Date: Tuesday 9th December
Where: The White Rabbit
When: 18:30 kick-off

Eleven Cubed

Cover of Eleven by Mark Watson

So, on the 11th day of the 11th month, the bookclub shall read… Eleven by Mark Watson. (See what I did there, with the clever post title and everything?)

This is the story of radio DJ Xavier Ireland, who by night offers words of wisdom to sleepless Londoners and by day keeps himself to himself. That is, until a one-of-a-kind encounter forces him to confront his own biggest regret. Meanwhile, a single moment sparks a chain of events that will affect eleven lives across the city, with unstoppable consequences…Eleven is a tale of love, loss, Scrabble and six degrees of separation, asking whether the choices we don’t make affect us just as powerfully as those we do.

Why this book? Well, because Mark Watson will be one of the authors at November’s Short Stories Aloud, that’s why.

Day: Tuesday, 11th November
Time: 18:30 to start the discussion, but as ever get there any time from 18:00 to start on the food/drinks/gossip
Where: Far From the Madding Crowd

If you could confirm your likely attendance on facebook/in the comments here/on email/in a text that would be great 🙂

Listen to the Call of the Cuckoo!!!

So we slightly sucked in September. Bad us. October will be better, I promise!

Cuckoos Calling Cover

We shall be reading The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith for October.

When a troubled model falls to her death from a snow-covered Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts, and calls in private investigator Cormoran Strike to look into the case. Strike is a war veteran – wounded both physically and psychologically – and his life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline, but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model’s complex world, the darker things get – and the closer he gets to terrible danger …A gripping, elegant mystery steeped in the atmosphere of London – from the hushed streets of Mayfair to the backstreet pubs of the East End to the bustle of Soho – The Cuckoo’s Calling is a remarkable book. Introducing Cormoran Strike, this is the acclaimed first crime novel by J.K. Rowling, writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

Date: Tuesday 21st October 2014
Time: 18:30 (though gather from 18:00 to eat food and gossip)
Where: TBC