I have always loved to read, but truly found my reading mojo three years ago when I was introduced to the #popsugarreadingchallenge. Now in its seventh year Popsugar Reading Challenge. This list of 50 fun and unique book prompts helped me to diversify my reading by introducing me to niche genres, discover lesser known authors and empowered me to branch out of my usual book comfort zone. My goodreads ‘read’ list now racks up an impressive 289 books!!!
For months my bookish friend Lisa Simmons and I talked about joining a bookclub. In fact our mutual love of books is what cemented our friendship. Therefore in summer 2018 it was fate when I stumbled across a ‘lost’ book in the Manchester Arndale shopping centre. It was the summer of the ‘Bee in the City’ art trail whereby a colony of 230 decorative super-sized worker bee sculptures brought nine weeks of fun and fascination to the city.
The ‘lost’ book had been left on the ‘dare to bee different’ bee designed by Betti Moretti.
The book was ‘The Accidental Further Adventures of the Hundred Year Old Man’ by Jonas Jonasson. The reason this book caught my attention is because I had read the prequel ‘The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared’ and loved it.
The ‘lost’ book had a bookmark inside which read: “This book has been deliberately ‘lost’ by a member of Literature and Laughter for Ladies, a Manchester based women’s bookclub (hosted on www.meetup.com). We hope you enjoy the book. Once you’ve read it, we’d love for you to release it back into the wild (with the original bookmark) for someone else to find. In return, all we ask is that you ‘like’ the facebook page of Emmeline’s Pantry, an amazing food bank that supports women and their families in Manchester. We’d love for you to take a photo of the book you found and share it on social media using #emmelinespantry”.
I joined the LLL bookclub in July 2019 and it was the best decision I ever made. We were able to enjoy seven face to face meetings in The Angel pub before the COVID pandemic hit. From February this year the bookclub adapted to virtual online meetings and this group of women have become my most treasured support network. During national lockdown the monthly bookclub meets evolved into weekly online ‘nightclubs’ that saw us dressing up, getting drunk and dancing in our living rooms. I am so grateful for that ‘lost’ book that led me to a special group of forever friends.