Yelp book club

I’ve mentioned before how sad I am that my feminist book club stopped meeting and actually there have been a couple of discussions of getting it going again, but in the meantime I need my book chat fix. That opportunity to sit in a coffee shop somewhere and discuss books is one I really relish and I quickly realised I couldn’t just wait for my old club to restart.

Fortunately, way back in January a talk thread was started on the Yelp Glasgow site – C wanted to start a book club and was wondering if anyone was interested. Um, yes please? Unfortunately I couldn’t make the January or February meetings. Being out of the loop I nearly missed the March meeting too – I saw the event listing just five days before the group was due to meet. Fortunately, they were reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, I book I read in August, so I decided to go along.

Book Club
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. Image credit: Flickr

It was great! We met in Bennu, a coffee shop at the bottom of Gibson Street in Glasgow’s West End. Once upon a time Bennu used to be called Biblocafe and was run by Lou who was brilliant and just slightly odd. She filled the cafe with second hand books that you were welcome to leaf through while you sipped your coffee and that were for sale if they happened to grab you. It was amazing but like all good things do it eventually came to an end.

It reopened as Cafe Phoenix and continued to sell books and coffee for a bit but eventually the books had to go and in its current incarnation as Bennu the only books in the cafe are the ones customers bring in themselves. That sounds like a shame, but actually Bennu is a really nice space to sit in, it’s light and airy and while I’m sad I can’t buy a book there I’d be very comfortable reading one there. Plus, they make a mean latte, so it’s not all bad.

Yelp book club
Bennu in Glasgow. Image credit: Yelp

We sat around and discussed the book for a while and then randomly selected one of the book clubbers to choose next month’s read. In the end Bluebeard: The Autobiography of Rabo Karabekian (1916-1988) by Kurt Vonnegut. The only Vonnegut I’ve read before is Slaughterhouse-Five, which I loved just like everyone else who’s ever read it. My friend S is a massive Vonnegut fan and I was recently discussing Vonnegut with P, having not realised that a lot of his work had strong sci-fi themes. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to reading this one.

I’m also definitely allowed to break my, “buy no books until you’ve sorted out your to-read list” rule if it’s for a book club.

I’m glad to find a new book club and I really hope this one lasts a bit longer than the last one. Although even if the feminist book club does get going again, I think I’ll keep going to both. Because I am a big nerd.


22 thoughts on “Yelp book club

  1. There’s a book club I’ve been wanting to join but the meetings conflict with another group I participate in so I’ll live vicariously through your experience for now. This one sounds fun. Maybe I’ll check out the book so I can become a virtual book club memberπŸ˜€

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Although I love books and reading, I’ve never really been that interested in the idea of a book club. I can see why people might like the idea: reading books they wouldn’t otherwise read and talking about them, but the idea of reading someone else’s taste in books doesn’t really appeal all that much, and I tend to review all my books on GoodReads, and can talk about them with friends with similar tastes.

    Dunno, maybe I should at least go along once or twice to one (if I can find one) to see.

    Also, may I recommend for a book club (or even not), The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. It’s an absolutely marvellous book, and even comes with suggested discussion points for book clubs at the back.

    Oh, and I used to absolutely love Biblocafe. It was a really nice place to hang out and Lou was a great host. She would just talk to whoever was in the shop, drawing you into conversations and making it feel like a real community hub. As you say, however, all good things, and all that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Chosing books to others tastes has definitely been a concern, which is why the feminist club was good: We had a list of texts we wanted to get through across the year (best laid plans, etc etc).

      However, I’ve found so far it’s been fine, and I think as long as the group is big enough no one will mind if you decide to sit one of the books out. One of the men who comes to this one has never yet read the book and just likes to come along to see what everyone else thought of it.

      I do miss Lou. I wonder what she’s doing now.


  3. I’m reading this book at the moment, it’s a lovely read but fits too many of my book challenge categories, I don’t know which one to put it against. I’d love to join a book group but just don’t get the time. One day X


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