Kate Griffin Photography // child & family portraits in Surrey, Hampshire & London » celebrating family life in london, surrey and hampshire

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11.11 book group // book 2.11 – “room” by emma donoghue

We started in the library. I thought it would be cute to photograph Sophie with this month’s book selection sat in the colourful kids area with a backdrop of neatly stacked books. There are some great little chairs at the library, one tiger, one zebra – plus she had kindly brought along poppy horse to model alongside her. This was going to be great. The stuff that book worm dreams are made of. Until I did the polite thing and asked the librarian if I could take a quick picture. We were kindly, but quickly shown the door. Damn and blast. Luckily it was a gorgeous sunny day in Cranleigh.

And Sophie got a sticker. Oh the irony.

library sticker // © kate griffin photography 2011 // guildford portrait photographer

Have you finished book 1 yet? One Day got a really good response from everyone. Phew. So hopefully you’ve come back for the next selection. If you want to catch up you can read my review and add your thoughts here.

But here’s where it gets interesting for me – because from now on I won’t have read the book either. Because what good is a book group to discover great new reads if I’ve always read them beforehand? Selfish, I know but I loved hearing you all tweet about the book as you read through it. I fancy a bit of that communal reading action too.

Chucked out of the library, Sophie and I decided to wing it. After she fell over, grazed her knee then made friends with an entire class of kids returning from a swimming lesson, waving at them like the Queen and shouting “hello” we got down to the serious business of revealing book 2 of the 11.11 book group. Drum roll please…

book 2 selection // © kate griffin photography 2011 // guildford portrait photographer

Ta da! This month I’ve chosen the Man Booker shortlisted novel Room by Emma Donoghue.

Sadly, this book has already brought me a little trauma. Unbeknownst to me, it is also a selection for the TV Book Club on Channel 4. That was a bit annoying, but I can deal with that. I’m not that much of a book snob. Sort of. But what made me shudder was the sight of the TV tie-in sticker on the front of the book. MY BOOK. Arrgghhh. I hate stickers on books. I’ve returned them for less. It arrived through the post literally an hour before I was due to meet Sophie and her Mum, so there was no option but to gently peel it off and pray that there was no residue left behind.

It turns out that having Sophie help me reveal the book selections means that I am having to rethink several entries in the list of my acceptable forms of interaction with books. It seems that her preferred method of passing the book back is chucking it at me, her mum or the floor. She also hugs it quite tightly (which is lovely, shows good, early signs of book love) but perhaps enough to create folds in the cover and creases in the pages. My copy of Room has survived almost completely unscathed – but in the right light, you can still make out the ghostly outline of marketing sticker.

What’s the Room about? Well the premise seems to be shockingly simple: “Jack is five. He lives with his Ma. They live in a single, locked room. They don’t have the key.” Described as “both hard to put down and profoundly affecting” by the Sunday Times and “potent, darkly beautiful, and revelatory” by Michael Cunningham (I LOVE him, have you read The Hours?) I have one of those good, gut feelings about this book.

So gather your novels people of the book group and get yourself immersed. I’ll see you in a month (if not before on the blog) and we can see if we have another hit in our hands.

P.S. Are you new here? Hello. Lovely to have you. Want to know how to join the book group? It’s easy. Get the book. Read it. Tell us what you think.

Ooh…have just read this, so I can read One Day while you guys are reading Room.

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