There’s a book club out there for everyone

Melanie Mitchell
Melanie Mitchell
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Book enthusiast Melanie Mitchell aims to get the community reading more. To spur you on, she offers her Book of the Week and Books to Watch choices

When the chemistry is there you might well have stumbled on to a lifelong relationship. When it’s not, well, don’t despair, and try another one.

BOOK OF THE WEEK The Mark and the Void by Paul Murray.

BOOK OF THE WEEK The Mark and the Void by Paul Murray.

There’s a book club out there for everyone.

Your first stop should be your local library.

Go in and ask about the groups they’re running, or if you’d rather check them out online first Google Hantsweb and search for reading groups.

Don’t worry, there’s no commitment involved – apart from the reading of course.

Finding a book club can be a bit like searching for your soulmate and involves a bit of trial and error

Mel Mitchell

My Books to Watch this week include two of the titles chosen by the Portsmouth Book Club for the summer.

Their next meeting will be held at The Barley Mow in Southsea on August 12 at 8pm and new members are welcome.

Find out more and get in touch with them at

n In my Book of the Week, Irish author Paul Murray has a lot to live up to after the success of his previous novel and cult classic Skippy Dies.

But if early reviews are anything to go by, the much-anticipated The Mark and the Void (Hamish Hamilton, published July 30) is another comic masterpiece.

Already hailed as his best book yet, it is based on the Irish financial crisis and follows banker Claude and down-on-his-luck author Paul as they negotiate a world in turmoil and try to find meaning in their lives.

Finely judged writing from a fine writer, by all accounts.

n You may have seen the TV series but even if you have, it would be worth reading the book that inspired it.

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury Tie-in edition, 9th April) has now sold over a million copies.

Two competing magicians battle each other in the 
early 1800s, causing more trouble than even they can imagine.

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (Canongate, March 11, 2013) tells the story of bullied 16-year-old Nao in Tokyo and novelist Ruth who is living on a remote island across the Pacific.

When Ruth finds a Hello Kitty lunchbox washed up on the shore she finds herself pulled into Nao’s drama and a future she wasn’t expecting.

n Mel Mitchell is originally from Portsmouth and now lives in Gosport.

She is Publisher Liaison for newbooks magazine and its related website, based in Stubbington.