Friday Comment: winter is coming. Here. Right now. So Read Stuff.

Today’s Friday Comment sees the first of a series of Montly Posts by Leeds Book Club. Follow them, find out exciting things, go to the book club meetings – oh my word, how many book clubs? – and meet new, fun people. And read stuff, too.

Howdy folks!

Well the clocks have (pointlessly) gone back; the nights are creeping in earlier and earlier and the weather…actually, that doesn’t seem to have changed much from one end of the year to the next!

Winter isn’t so much coming as knocking on the door, asking for a cuppa.

Out of the woodwork emerge the Smug Organised. You know the ones – always the first to ask where you are with your Christmas shopping, so that they can brag about their own progress. While I’m delighted that you’ve managed to get all yours completed…please don’t tell me about it!

At least not until the seasonal markets arrive!

As always, I’m excited to see Christkindelmarkt – the German Christmas Market – which hits Millennium square from the 9th of November till mid-December and – our more recent addition – the Moroccan Market which will be brightening up Briggate from the 18th of November onwards.

While last year Christkindelmarkt seemed a little familiar in terms of its selection, there are always great stocking fillers to be found. After 11 years in this city, it remains my marker that the festive season is definitely upon us – as regular and reliable as the  ‘Holidays are coming’ adverts! 

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Christmas Read-a-long

While we’re on the Christmas theme, it’s been a year since we divided and conquered A Christmas Carol, our first seasonal challenge. Though it’s a hard act to follow; I’m feeling pretty confident that family favourite the Wind in the Willows will delight and enthral us just as much. The read-a-long is open to anyone, so if you fancy revisiting this treasure or reading it for the first time, do join us!

Though I’ve read and re-read this book many times as a youngling; this is my first foray as a ‘grow’d up’ *cough* and I can’t wait to compare my reactions now with then. I used to LOATHE Toad for example – the reprobate – and ADORED the much more sensible Ratty, though time has rendered all the details fuzzy now.

Till my dying breath* I will always maintain that it’s pure co-ink-i-dink that LBC buddies –  the West Yorkshire Playhouse – just happens to be putting on a production of this over the Christmas period.

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Hearty Words

If you’re following me on twitter (@LeedsBookClub) – and why wouldn’t you be – you’ll have noticed a number of tweets about books that have had a positive impact on our lives and that have contributed to our wellbeing – be it emotional, physical or mental under #HeartyWords

It’s all the fault of @LeedsLibrary – this thinking. They and the Love Arts Festival crowd are co-ordinating an open conversation about books, literacy and the reader’s experience. They want to know what books make you tick and why. After all, books are often more than ‘mere’ entertainment; often they move us, inspire us – perhaps even help us to change our lives for the better. If nothing else, they reinforce that we are not alone; that our experiences – worries, pain, love and laughter – are universal.

Certainly my emotional development was greatly influenced by the books that I read in my formative years and I’d be lying if I pretended that I don’t frequently learn more about the world around me from the confines of a sofa than from bumbling my way awkwardly through it!

My favourite books tend to be ones that are recommended to me by fellow book lovers so I shall be using this not only for the chat, but also to add titles to my obscenely long To Be Read pile.

You can find out more about the ongoing project HERE but if you want to join in RIGHT NOW, then head to twitter/facebook/random open spaces** and answer one or all of the following using #HeartyWords:

What book makes your heart sing?

What book nourishes your soul?

What book takes you to another place?

Alternatively; you can pop into your local library and send your answers in on one of the specially provided postcards!

And for those of you with a creative bent check out these amazing related knits!

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Poetry Challenge 2013

Meanwhile I’m slowly starting to get organised for next year on the blog. 2013 shall be the year of participation for LeedsBookClub. Our first project will be to post personal poetry – we’d like your favourite poem please, with a few lines on why you enjoy it so. You can even pick a date for it to be posted!

Who knows – you might find your new favourite amongst them!

*I don’t really expect it to come to that, do you?

**Or not, if you’d rather

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