It's that time of year again - the Booker Prize longlist has been announced!
As in previous years, book group members have agreed to each take a title, to read it and champion it (or otherwise) in a special meeting.
From our appraisal we draft our own shortlist of six, and even dare to pick a winner, and then wait with interest to see if we correspond with the judges' decisions announced a few weeks later.
As you might expect, coming together to talk about the books is good fun and very enlightening. Often the most surprising titles are given enthusiastic and thrilling recommendations by members of our group, thereby encouraging us all to try new authors, stories and genres.
We've allocated readers for this year's shortlisted books and will be gathering on Monday 4 September to compare notes. If you want to read along, contribute your views about a particular book or books, or would just like to sit in on the meeting, please let me know.
While we don't have our usual book group meeting in August because of the Bank Holiday, there are plenty of other ways to think about books and reading this month.
Tomorrow night there's a film to watch in Woodbridge at the Riverside Cinema. 'Hello, Bookstore' is a fly-on-the-wall documentary of an American bookshop, meeting the owner before, during and after the pandemic as he endeavours to deliver books to his community come what may.
And in a couple of weeks it will be the FolkEast Festival at Glemham. In addition to the music programme, authors will be talking about their new books. Saskia Sarginson and Kate Sawyer will be there, and I'm interviewing the marvellous Margaret Meyer about 'The Witching Tide' on Friday morning. On Saturday Polly Crosby and Sarah Hardy will be talking to me about their wonderfully evocative historical novels, both set in Suffolk. Perhaps I'll see you there?
Thank you for reading.