Category Archives: Meeting

Carmel Harrington Visits Our Book Club

Carmel Harrington Visits Our Book Club

Our book for April was Beyond Grace’s Rainbow  by Carmel Harrington. At our meeting on Tuesday we were extremely lucky to have Carmel  join us for tea, chats and cake. Carmel lives nearby and offered to come up to our book club if we wished. We jumped at the chance. Kim made wonderful cupcakes, iced to match the cover of Beyond Grace’s Rainbow.


Beyond Grace's Rainbow


Beyond Grace’s Rainbow is in the Romance section and it was a new venture for the book club to read this genre. We had read only one or two ‘chick-lit’ style novels before. Beyond Grace’s Rainbow isn’t a typical romance though. It is written in a conversational style that keeps it light but the subject matter is quite heavy. I loved the local references, the shops, areas, things that are uniquely Irish and make you feel you’re closer to the characters. I also loved the nod to rural Ireland and the ways of the people both past and present. The big twist in the story was a huge comment on rural Ireland in the past.

I feel we interrogated poor Carmel, Where did she get the ideas for the story, the characters etc.?,  how does she write novels while she has two small children?, where does she fit in the time? What is it like to under pressure to write the next novel? She patiently answered everything, and we went way off the point and back to it again like we normally do at our book club meetings. She was instantly liked and fit in great to our little circle. We spoke about our children, where we were all from, living in Wexford, days out, everything.

Carmel brought us goodies books and book bags and we played book bingo to see who would win them. She also signed our copies of the book and book marks.

Carmel has promised to come back to us to discuss her new novel The Life you Left, due out in the summer. It is a murder mystery, we are looking forward to reading it and considering the twists in Beyond Grace’s Rainbow, I’m sure its going to be a great read. We will look forward to interrogating discussing it with her then.

Thanks again Carmel for taking the time out from a very busy editing schedule and driving up to Gorey on a Tuesday evening. Having an author discuss the book with us really opened up new questions, I feel we got a more indepth look at all aspects of the book and were able to see it from the unique vantage of the author’s own eyes. We really enjoyed the chats and look forward to next time.


April’s Meet on World Book Night


Due to difficulty sourcing  copies of  ‘Secret Diary of a Call Girl’ by Belle De Jour our book for May will now be ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ by Tracy Chevalier. At least three book club members have already read it, but I for one will be re-reading. It was my chosen book for World Book Night 2013 and I gave away most of my 40 copies yesterday. Great turn out for World Book Night Book Club meeting, seven members attended.


2013-04-18 18.12.39

We gave away copies of Girl with a Pearl Earring to the hotel receptionist, and some hotel guests, and fellow lobby loungers. They were mostly well received. One girl said she hadn’t read a book for more than two years, so she was a perfect target audience. A man grumbled that there was no horse racing in it and his wife grumbled the print was too small, but they went off with a copy anyway. It was lovely to give away a book I had enjoyed so much when I read myself. I will be finding my own copy and re-reading it for May.

We discussed Gone Girleveryone gave it 3, 4 or 5 stars, and the girls who hadn’t ready went home with borrowed copies, wanting to read it after our good reviews.

Sinéad chose our June book which will be The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce. Merle is up next to choose the book for July.

Happy reading folks.

1001 books you must read before you die


Last meeting we suggested picking future books by choosing a number at random and doing the corresponding book from the 1001 books you must read before you die list.  Thanks to Merle for doing the research on this.

First explaining the list is Wikipedia entry:

Then official website of list is: it’s searchable and sortable and gives bit of information about book and author when you click on title but I thought doesn’t give an easy overview of the list, which is what you get on next link.

Seemingly there are 3 editions of the list and both times new titles have been added and some scrapped, this last link has supposedly all the books that have ever been chosen so there’s actually 1305 books on it :
Even if we don’t go with this idea it’s quite interesting to look through it.


We can discuss this more on Tuesday night anyway. Looking forward to the first book club of 2013.


September’s book club meeting


September’s meeting was a roaring success with a grand turnout of eight out of nine of us! Welcome to new member Sarah. We celebrated  the book club’s second birthday with tea, coffee, delicious home made iced banana mini-muffins from Merle, and rather large ‘bite-sized’ brownies. Unfortunately we forgot to take photos. I made everyone fill out questionnaires and have lots of ammunition now for the ‘Who-we-are’ section of the blog. Watch this space.

Sinéad had a total of four books on her shortlist for November’s book choice, and she/we chose ‘Solace’ by Belinda McKeon which she has been enthusing about for quite a while. Gorey library are looking into sourcing some copies for us so please let me know if you need a copy.

For October’s meeting we will be discussing ‘Boxer Beetle’. As we will be starting to think of what books to buy our little ones for Christmas, we are each going to bring along a few of our children’s favourite books so we can talk about them and recommend to each other. 

October’s meeting is the 4th Tuesday of October, the 23rd, as opposed to the _last_ Tuesday of the month as I know at least two of us who are away the last week of the month. It still leaves 4 weeks to read Boxer Beetle. Looking forward to getting stuck in.

Happy reading!

Book choices update


Taking it in turns to choose books is working well I think. The next few turns are:

Laura M – October
Sinéad – November
Siobhán – December

The previous choices were:

Anne Marie – Birdsong
Merle – Pigeon English
Jennie – Fifty Shades of Grey
Laura K – The Housekeeper and the Professor

Remember books chosen two months ahead so Laura M you up next. 🙂

Summary of March 6th meeting


We discussed Watermelon, which we all agreed we didn’t like either the style or the protagonist. I don’t think we’ll choose chick lit again for a while.

As agreed at last meeting, The God of Small Things is our next book.

Anne Marie suggested for the next book to do a book swap. So each of us will bring a favourite book and then pick a name from hat to pass the book to. That will be April’s book.

From then on we are going to take it in turns to choose a book. We will do it alphabetically so the order will be: Anne Marie, Jennie, Laura K, Laura M, Merle, Sinead, Siobhan.