8 November 2021

Special Guest Post By Christina Young, founder of Gloucester Book Club

Hello,  my name is Christina Young and I’m the founder and organiser of Gloucester Book Club.  I’ve  always loved reading. I’d spend hours as a child curled up in an armchair with adventure stories, ignoring everything going on around me in my fervour to get to the end of a book.

Book groups looked like fun and a great place to meet a few new friends, whilst sharing my love of books.  My frustration at not finding one in my local area, grew to the point where I took matters into my own hands and Gloucester Book Club was born in January 2014.  

It turned out I wasn’t the only one looking for a book group, and numbers quickly grew so large that one meeting a month was no longer enough to satisfy the appetites of Gloucestershire readers.  We have over sixty members and schedule five meetings a month to cater for our members.  We’ve made some great friends, with the social aspect being one of the most important opportunities a book club offers.

Book Club was a life saver over lockdown! When we could no longer meet face to face, our meetings took place online and our strong foundation kept our connections going over those difficult months.  We are now back to face to face groups, but we will continue to hold two online meetings a month because they have proved a popular choice for some.

Book Lounge Podcasts 

During a light bulb moment, about six months ago, I decided to try producing a few group podcast discussions about some of our most popular reads. It’s been a huge learning curve, but so much fun getting to grips with editing and producing.  We’ve still got lots to learn, but we are really enjoying sharing our discussions with a wider audience.  If you’d like to listen, you’ll find Gloucester Book Club on Spotify, Google and Apple podcasts, and AnchorFm.

We read across a wide variety of genres, including contemporary and historical fiction, with some non-fiction and memoir, philosophy and science.  As far as our favourite books are concerned, it’s been extremely hard to choose but here are a few of our most popular, over the years we’ve been reading together.

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne, Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, Tin Man by Sarah Winman, Days without End by Sebastian Barry, Normal People by Sally Rooney, and last but not least Disgrace by JM Coetzee.

What do we love most about books and reading?

It’s escapism and emotional engagement. Books challenge attitudes and views, they allow the reader to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.  They provide diversion and distraction, which is like a form of therapy. They transport the reader to another time and place.  Most of all, they can bring people together to share a common experience which is what makes a book club a joy. 

Find us on Meetup.com, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Christina Young

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About the Author

Christina Young is a passionate reader who also happens to be the founder and organiser of Gloucester Book Club. When she doesn’t have her nose in a book she’s producing podcasts with her book group and writing flash fiction. A retired nurse, she spends time volunteering and is the occasional co-host on local radio. She has two grown up daughters, a grandson and a much-loved pug. Christina lives in Gloucestershire. You can find out more on Instagram gloucesterbookclub, at https://linktree/gloucesterbookclub and follow Christina on Twitter @lbookclub1 and @christinay1958

Gloucester Book Club discuss Home Fire, by Kamila Shamsie:

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