Book Club / Books / Reviews

milk and sugar book club

Wanna get involved?
Drop me a DM on Instagram or send me a message saying ‘book club’ here.

So, it’s happening and we all have the lovely Phoebe to thank. After reading one of my book reviews, seeing my ‘let’s start a book club’ throwaway comment and messaging me – we are now here.

“It said hit up the DMs for a book club – can this be a thing????” 

phoebe harding, instigator of this club and person to blame if all goes tits up x

With over 70 people showing interest on my stories and over 30 (and growing) of you now signed up, the milk and sugar club is a go.

Hannah, why milk and sugar?
I’m glad you asked my dear imaginary friend. When I crack open a book, I like to have a steaming cup of joe by my side. I might prefer a steamy real-life version of Joe, no not THAT Joe, but beggars can’t be choosers eh. I like to consume my literature with that glorious black ink steaming through my veins. Some people prefer tea. I mean, it’s okay, not quite coffee, but I’m always willing to expand my horizons. Maybe we could even toy with the odd espresso martini, or tea-infused cocktail. Oh the world is our oyster.

Both tea and coffee often warrant the question:
milk and sugar?

But, what’s the relevance to a book club Hannah?

The underlying meaning: how do you like it? is exactly the question we shall be asking at the end of every month when the group have slurped their way through another read.

So yeah, that and I couldn’t think of anything else while eating my cereal this morning. If it’s lame, we’ll deal with that later.

“Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are”

Mason Cooley, Professor of speech and language

Book club

I’m still ironing out the many creases that come with the fact I have never actually been part of a book club, let alone run one before. But, I am up for the challenge. Hopefully after studying language for 3 years, this will be another way to put that questionable amount of money to good use.

Commitment issues…
So, I don’t know about you lot, but I feel like I’ve given my bookcase some deep-rooted commitment issues. It seems the tables have tuned this time though and I’m the 20-something young boy, with a skin fade, who can’t make up his mind. I am breadcrumbing my own dear shelves.

I’m sure it’s the same for a lot of you, but over the years as real life has hit, reading has slowly succumbed to placing last on my list of priorities. Once I’ve started a book I’m committed, but sometimes it can take me months to get through it, I often lose where I am or start forgetting bits of it altogether.

I’m hoping this club will keep us all on track to read at least one book a month, and as an added bonus, draw together an empowering group of people. And it’s even more vital to stay connected now in the current coronavirus climate where loneliness is a big concern.

But, I’d like to reassure you. By signing up, you are not signing your life away. This is not Herbalife or Arbonne and I will not be badgering anyone. Frankly I’m too forgetful and do also have a full time job. Feel free to drop in and out as you please. If some months you’re too busy or don’t fancy the book – totally cool. But please please please can some of you at least reply and converse with me so I don’t feel like a sad teacher at the front of a classroom.

How it will work
The plan is to announce the next month’s read on the 15th of each month. This will hopefully give people enough time to buy the book online or, when normality resumes, in store. If we can, it would be great to shop in independent book shops or use Hive to support the industry, but I solemnly swear that no one is to judge an Amazon purchase on my watch.

First month
May might be an interesting one due to, oh you know, the global pandemic – so let’s get stretching for a flexible first month. If books arrive late, we will cross that bridge when we get to it on our daily government-sanctioned walk. In general though, we will have a whole month to get through the book, either dipping in and out like a cold pool on a hot day, or demolishing it in one go like the entire contents of your fridge in lockdown – who knows.

The discussion part
Then, at the end of each month – maybe the last Wednesday or Thursday (something a bit random so not to clash with real life) we could all embrace this new-found love for technology and have a group zoom call to discuss? My brother said a woman at his work always lies down on her side for their company-wide calls and has quickly become known as the babe-station lady. Let’s make our zoom calls super duper fun. Or boring I don’t know. Just ideas at the moment.

Theme, or lack of
I don’t want to set a particular theme for the books because I love to read a variety – but in all honesty they’re likely to range from witty and lighthearted to dystopian, as these are my fave. But, from the sound of it – that’s what most of you all love too! If there’s anything you ever fancy reading or suggesting though – I’m all ears. Yes, you’ve caught me, Instagram filters hide all my extra ears.

The caffeine part
Ultimately, I would love love love to make this a little different and fun for us all. I’m still pondering how we can seamlessly weave the caffeine part in, but that can be tea-sed out along the way. Maybe if we share our favourite coffee ideas or drinks recipes, fresh ground bean companies, herbal tea places etc. as we go along. I just love anything faffy like that to accompany my books – so again, lemme know if this appeals and if you have any ideas for us all!

Look, even writing that I sighed quite a lot, so I’m sorry you had to read it all.

Here’s a summary:

  • Next month’s book announced on 15th monthly (someone remind me to set a monthly calendar reminder, lol)
  • Zoom call last Weds/Thurs of every month – themed and fun
  • Some kind of caffeine theme – let’s get the jitters together x
  • Enjoy and don’t feel too committed – we are not the psycho tinder match that found your insta and now won’t leave you alone (pls send tips for dealing with those tho) 

If you’ve stumbled upon this article by chance and now want to get involved.

Only joking… for now x

To get involved:
Drop me a DM on Instagram or send me a message saying ‘book club’ here.

In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.

Mortimer J. Adler, american philosopher and author