As a Newham councillor, responsible for Libraries, I pushed for Stratford Library to create a book club. The very brave officer doing it asked me, please, not to attend.
It was thought my views on books were a little too passionate and I might overwhelm the group with my enthusiasm. I was devastated, but could only acquiesce.
Imagine my delight at discovering a book club right under my nose, in my very office. My staff, volunteers, their friends and families are members. I dropped suitably heavy hints till I was invited to join. I’m so excited. I offered my home as the next venue and am constantly offering suggestions for our next read.
Maybe that audacious Council Officer had a point.
Last year, readers complained that my summer reading suggestions were late. This year’s are a little earlier.
My fiction list includes romance, history and, inevitably, crime.
I can’t wait to devour the sequel to award-winning “Wolf Hall,” by Hilary Mantell. “Bring up the Bodies,” covers the disgrace and execution of Anne Boleyn. My second is “The Memory of Love,” a saga of amorous betrayal, exploring the human consequences of Sierra Leone’s civil war. Crime fiction: “Traitor,” by Rory Clements; Anthony Horowitz’s Sherlock Holmes novel “The House of Silk,” and “Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter,” by Tome Franklin.
Mediaeval history fascinates me. Holiday reading includes biographies of Edward III (Mark Ormrod) and Henry VII (Thomas Penns’ “Winter King”). In readiness for the big constitutional debate concerning House of Lords reform, Roy Jenkin’s “ Mr. Balfour’s Poodle” comes, too.
That's my summer book list. I'll be doing well, if I get through them all.
Previously, readers have kindly sent me their own book recommendations. It’s always a pleasure to receive them.
I hope we all have a golden summer.