The Book Club Boutique

Something of a slightly different blog post for you all today as its not a  readers rambling’s or a book review but actually a review of a bookish event. As you may all be aware Kimbofo and I have set up a Book Club (which starts on Thursday) after my researching that London didn’t seem to have many or any. I contacted libraries which of course run them and a few as mentioned on and tried a few but nothing stuck, in fact I didn’t get any replies at all from some people I contacted.

Randomly, after having organised the new book group, my lovely friend Lotte emailed me saying that there was a night that we simply must try. The night was called ‘The Book Club Boutique’ and so last night we decided that in the name of ‘book group research’ aka ‘being a bit nosey’ we would go and check it out.

The Book Group Boutique is “London’s newest literary salon and Soho’s only free weekly spoken-word book club. It was created by the notorious poet and raconteur Salena Godden and her partner-in-crime Rachel Rayner in ‘Dick’s Bar’, the cosy basement bar at 23, Romily Street. The salon brings poets, authors and book lovers together to hear new and established writers, spoken word acts, and eclectic music in an informal speakeasy environment. This is no square affair; there is dancing, merriment and mingling over cocktails from the infamous Dick Bradsell and a different DJ every week.” Sounded perfection, something a bit different where book lovers could get together listen to poets and writers and natter endlessly about books!

Though in reality it wasn’t actually a book group, as in reading and nattering about books kind of group, it was a fun night. I did worry a little at the start when someone started singing ‘welcome to the book club boutique’ with a bass guitar over and over again but I needn’t have as there were several highlights. Two in particular… I am not the biggest fan of poetry I will admit but Mark Walton was fantastic, funny, emotive, just wonderful raw poetry. I will be buying a copy pronto and I never buy poetry. There was of course one more major highlight for me and that was…

Savidge Reads Meets Stella Duffy... outside a bar!

Savidge Reads Meets Stella Duffy... outside a bar!

… The delight that is Stella Duffy! Who took to the stage to read a very funny poem before doing a reading from the wonderful ‘Singling Out The Couples’ and then later from her Saz Martin crime series. In fact that reminds me I need to read the second of those as I loved ‘Calendar Girl’. You all know how I am a huge fan (without verging on being a stalker) of Stella’s and it was lovely to see her and have a good old natter over some wine. So if your in London and fancy a very unique and interesting night then I would say drop in to ‘The Book Club Boutique’ and give it a whirl. It made me wonder what other literary events there are out there especially after yesterday and discussing the Daphne Du Maurier festival in Fowey after my review of Justine Picardie’s ‘Daphne’. I would love, love, love to go to that… what other great bookish events do you know of I might be missing out on?


Filed under Book Thoughts

6 responses to “The Book Club Boutique

  1. Sounds great! I never seem to find out about bookish events until after they’ve happened, but I suppose that is because I never really search for them.

    I’m going up the the Edinburgh Festival this year, so hopefully I’ll be able to see a few bookish things amongst the comedy.

    I look forward to seeing you at our own bookish event on Thursday!

    • I am very excited about Thursday. I had lunch with the delightful Kimbofo today in advance and it all sounds like its going to be super (and not too hardcore either – just fun). Am envious of you going to Edinburgh it has to be said!

  2. Sounds like fun. Really makes me miss living in the city. I’ve grown fairly tiered of the suburbs to be honest. Buying a house may not have been the best move.

    On another note, Dakota picked you!!! You’ve won the Olive Kitteridge giveaway over at my site. If you’ll send me your information I’ll put the book in the mail to you later this week. I think you may have mentioned that you already read it. If you’ll let me know I’ll see if I have anything else you’d like

    You can contact me at 204mountain at comcast dot net.


  3. stelladuffy

    hey lovely Mr S,
    I thank you (again) for the kindess.
    the ‘someone’ who was singing ‘welcome to the Bookclub Boutique’ was the gorgeousnesss that is Salena Godden (poet/writer/singer & whose gig it is). And my second reading was also from Singling … but hey, by then I was two martinis down, you were possibly more (what with not needing to stay er … ‘sober-in-order-to-read-well’!), and there’s no reason you should be able to spot my reading material at a distance!
    as for book event/gigs :
    well, Edinburgh is always lovely, Cheltenham’s great (have just had to turn down a panel and teaching a workshop there this year as it clashes with some theatre I’m working on, but will def be there next year), Harrogate is brilliant for crime fans (and those of us who occasionally write it), Fowey is a delight. As is Laugharne. (and seaside gigs are always splendid anyway!) Scarborough have a newish festival that is going from strength to strength (I did the first one, also a watery pleasure). And if you want to combine lit with music and festival atmos, then Latitude is brilliant. You could spend most of the day listening to book types, catch a spot of theatre. some poetry, some comedy, and still see half a dozen music types. AND (for thos eof us who would run screaming claus/agro-phobically from somewhere as packed and big as Glastonbury) it’s still quite a reasonable, small size …
    oh, and I’m being ‘writer in residence’ at Havant this year. not yet sure what that’s going to entail – whatever I make up perhaps!
    eek, am sure there are more and have no doubt forgotten one I always get invited to and love and will now offend the organisers heartily, but that little lot should do for a start. if you get planning now, you could practically block out your whole year to come!

    • Oh thanks for all those recommendations Stella thats very, very helpful. Fowey I would kill to go too! Out of the others I think I would be most keen at Edinburgh and the seaside ones, you can’t ever get enough of the seaside can you?

      Lattitude is on my hitlist already… but for next year as from the 11th I have two twin girls of 9 months old for a week+ – interesting times. But next year its a must!

      Looking forward to your blogs on Havant and the like!

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