Meeting with Madeline Miller at Foyles, June 2012
Meeting with Bethan Roberts at Foyles, November 2012
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In the spring of 2001, an advert appeared in the gay listings of Time Out asking people interested in founding a reading group to get in touch.
The group met for the first time in June at the Oak Bar on Green Lanes in Newington. Seven people attended the meeting. In August 2001, the founder had to leave London and moderation of the group befell one of the founding members who created a website and set up the Yahoo! Groups mailing list.
The London Gay Reading Group now boasts over 400 members of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities. We (about a dozen members at a time) usually meet on the second Sunday of the month in central London to discuss a book of gay interest.
Books are chosen from suggestions made by the members attending the meetings. We try to choose books of good literary quality but we also like to be adventurous and original in our choices.
In addition to being an enjoyable and informal social experience, the group is a great way to discover new authors or works outside our usual personal horizons.
A growing list of authors (Laurence Brown, Marion Husband, Stella Duffy, Alan Sheridan, VG Lee, Rex Patten, Mikey Walsh, Sarah Waters, Tom Rob Smith, Ned Beauman, Michael Arditti, Jackie Kay, Bethan Roberts, Madeline Miller, Meg Rosoff, Neil McKenna, Damian Barr and Jonathan Harvey) have been kind enough to join us in our discussions of their books.
We have also worked with the Open University on a research project (word) on reading groups and the way their members communicate and use language. More recently, we've taken part in research on the way men express their feelings in public.
In June 2013, we were featured on Resonance FM's Out In South London radio programme (listen here).
Click on "join" above to register to our Yahoo! group and receive details of future books and meetings.