National Reading Group Day 2018

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National Reading Group Day, which we run in partnership with the Booksellers Association, is a celebration of reading groups throughout the country and the positive effect these groups have on their members. It marks the start of Independent Booksellers Week.

This year, National Reading Group Day will take place on 16 June, and to celebrate we want you to tell us about the books you have read that caused an emotional reaction – the books that made you laugh or cry (or maybe both). We know that books with an emotional impact are often the ones you remember most, and that the reactions might differ throughout the group! Is there a book that made you laugh out loud, while the rest of your group didn’t crack a smile? Or were you left dry-eyed when others member were in floods of tears?

Send us your recommendations by completing a quick survey, and in next month’s Reading Groups newsletter, we’ll share our final list of the best Books to Make You Laugh and Cry.

Need inspiration sooner? Last year for National Reading Group Day we asked for the most divisive reads in your groups – take a look at our Marmite Reads now.

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Get involved

Want to tell us more about your reading group? Send us your story and we might feature you in an upcoming article.

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Review your most recent books, and see what other readers have thought.

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I love books that make me laugh and cry, as well as raising uncomfortable questions. The Maid’s Room by Fiona Mitchell is one such book. It centres around Filipina maids working for a pittance in Singapore, while looking after the children of wealthy expats. There are funny moments but the novel has a darker heart, examining exploitation and featuring episodes that fit right into the #MeToo movement. It’s a story about modern-day slavery, and explosive fodder for book group debate.

The other book I loved that was dotted with humour and dug deep emotionally was Francesca Jakobi’s Bitter. It centres on Gilda, a prickly snob, so confounded by her son’s choice of wife that she ends up infiltrating their lives in increasingly crazy ways - it’s funny, unsettling, and deeply sad, but it’s uplifting too.


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Arthur C Clarke Centenary

The Arthur C. Clarke Award is the most prestigious award for science fiction in Britain. The annual award is given for the best science fiction novel first published in the United Kingdom during the previous year. The award was established with a generous grant given by Sir Arthur C. Clarke and the first prize was awarded in 1987 to Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. The winner receives a prize consisting of a number of pounds sterling equal to the current year (£2017 for year 2017).

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