What a successful book choice! Most of our readers loved The Library by author Bella Osborne, citing it as an easy to read, feel-good book. Our readers reported being engaged all the way through, laughing, and enjoying getting to know the characters.
The main protagonists, Maggie and Tom were engaging and likeable. We felt Tom was written as a believable teenager, complete with hormones and blushes, although we did debate whether or not his penchant for romance novels was believable. All in all we were just relieved that the bully Joshua hadn’t uncovered his book reading genre of choice. We liked Maggie’s hippy ways (there was some discussion of her martial arts prowess), and were relieved that she didn’t turn out to be too perfect a saviour for Tom. We enjoyed their intergenerational friendship and talked about their dependence on one another and how that came about.
We also discussed Tom’s Dad Paul and his grief and alcoholism and what that meant for Tom. Our readers enjoyed that the novel didn’t wrap things up too neatly for Tom and his Dad, it wasn’t an instant fix for Paul’s addiction and the impact it had on Tom’s life and feelings. We could see things from both sides, and that was well done by the author.
The book sparked a discussion of libraries and we heard some lovely memories of visiting libraries as children. No surprise to find out that our reading group were positive about libraries, and we’re proud that we are supporting libraries by borrowing our books from Warwickshire Libraries each month for the group. We were sceptical about the believability of the library continuing once it had been slated for closure, and certainly we thought the end solution was a little unsustainable given that at least 2 of the volunteers would be going off to University. Our discussion moved on to the importance of libraries in local areas, and how they’re staffed and used as focal points for communities. Given the times we’re living through, they’re also important as somewhere to get warm for free.
All in all, a successful reading choice, and one that was thoroughly enjoyed by our group.
The next read for the GEH Wellbeing Reading Group is Washington Black by Esi Edugyen, with a meeting at 12.30 on 3rd November 2022. It’s a perfect book to read during Black History Month and all colleagues are welcome to join in. Books are available to pick up in the library, and we look forward to seeing you there!
Excitingly our sister library based at SWFT will be launching their SWFT Wellbeing Reading Group, with a “getting to know you” first meeting on 19th October. For more details contact firstname.lastname@example.org