The important bit!

Bookworms meet monthly on the third Wednesday of each month at 10 am.  
We may meet at different venues – please contact Lesley for details.  Please remember to check the Calendar in case of any late changes to schedule.

Our group is led by Lesley Barclay, and she may be contacted at 01643 703302, or by email at  Please note that this group has limited membership. If you are interested in adding your name to a waiting list, click here.


Thus far this year we’ve read The Librarian by Salley Vickers – at least we tried. Only one of our number actually finished it; not one that impressed us I’m afraid; A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway – a memoir of his time in Paris in the 1920s; The Man I Think I Know by Mike Gayle – a engaging story of the unexpected friendship between two very different men; The Good People by Hannah Kent – a beautifully written if unrelentingly miserable tale set in Ireland in the early 19th century. On this last book, in 2016 we read Burial Rites by the same author, highly recommended. Our next book will be The Confession by Jessie Burton.

We met a week early this month, but in future, in order to accommodate the other things that happen in our lives, we’ve decided to shift our monthly meetings to the third Wednesday in the afternoons, starting at 2.30. We’ll still be meeting in each other’s homes and aren’t in a position right now to take any new members sadly.


We all enjoyed The Wind in the Willows – reading it, that is. Sadly, owing to the dreaded Covid, the performance we were due to attend was cancelled (the cast was forced to isolate, pushing back rehearsals and thus knocking out early dates, including ours). One member of the group did get there and thoroughly enjoyed it, though.

The ‘tried and true’ approach seems to have been successful for us in 2021, as To Kill a Mockingbird was also a winner: not always an easy read, but worth the effort. We’re entering 2022 cautiously and hoping to discuss some engaging and stimulating books.

October 2021

Variety being the spice of life, we’re doing our best to ring the changes with our reading list, which has a new title squeezed in. We’re off to ‘The Brewhouse’ in December to see ‘The Wind in the Willows’ so decided we’d read/re-read it beforehand. This will be our pre-Christmas treat; any excuse for a night out.

September 2021

Up and running again, we eased ourselves back into harness with a Mark Billingham thriller. For our October meeting, we’re tackling A Year of Marvellous Ways by Sarah Winman, a novel set in 1947 Cornwall; Marvellous Ways is a 90 year old woman who strikes up an unlikely friendship with a young soldier. We have a wish-list to take us into next year that includes To Kill a Mockingbird and an Ernest Hemingway memoir (more or less accurate according to the recent tv series about him) as well as a couple of more recently published novels: The Librarian (Salley Vickers) and The Man I Think I Know (Mike Gayle). We’re trying to include The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett but getting hold of library copies is proving challenging as it’s a hot ticket right now, and we do try to use our library service as much as possible. Happy reading one and all!

Group information

This was the second book group to have been formed, from a modest beginning with four members. Over the years, we’ve numbered as many as twelve, a logistical stretch as we meet in other’s homes, but have levelled out at between eight and ten recently, making accommodation more manageable.

How we make our reading selections has changed, but we do make every effort to obtain multiple copies from the library and only resort to buying books occasionally.  Although most of our choices are fiction, across a variety of genres, we do dip into non-fiction and even poetry on occasion.  It’s impossible to predict who will love or hate any book, so lively debate is the norm.

Apart from reading, we’ve been known to leave the cosiness of our living rooms and head out to literary festivals around the south west as well as talks by authors held locally.  The arrival of Minehead’s very own literary festival has been most welcome.

Earlier in the year…

After the long break, in June we had a most splendid lunch at Reeves in Dunster that afforded the chance to catch up on life in general as well as books. Rules and guidance permitting, we look forward to resuming regular meetings (even if outside) on the second Wednesday each month. We have yet to plan our programme, but expect to continue supporting the library as our main source of reading matter. The opportunity to meet again was much anticipated and so welcome when it actually happened; no more spanners in works would be appreciated.

2021 May We have AT LAST finally met, actually in person, in the flesh. Denied this for almost 18 months, we decided to treat ourselves to lunch out with the chance to catch up on what we’ve each been reading as well as whatever other news there might be and how we plan to proceed. The Mirror and the Light is my own current reading matter, not one for the group at not far short of 900 pages, but I’m pleased to be getting to grips again with Thomas Cromwell.

After the long break, we’re trying to get back into a rhythm of regular reading and reporting, and are trying out a new format.  We have a selection of three books each month, with the option of reading just one or as many as we like, and emailing the group with our comments. 



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