Archive for March, 2008



It’s the afternoon after the night before….and the first Blue Lounge Book group was ace on toast.

We had about 30 people turn up to discuss Richard Milward’s ‘Apples’ and the group was a mix of ages and backgrounds, and everyone had something to say (which was good for me).

There were apples, sour apple chews (cos some of the book is sour innit?) and a suitable compilation cd of songs picked by the author and me.

One group member summed the book perfectly up as ‘West Side Story meets Jeremy Kyle’, and aswell as discussing what we liked or disliked about the book, the group threw up debates on Thatcherism and its effects on Teesside’s youth; how men have been influenced by a patriarchal system; taking drugs in your teens and your later years; bad sex awards; and whether or not this book should be given to GCSE student. 

Special thanks goes to the Blue Lounge for providing us with a lovely venue, serving excellent cocktails (Raspberry Martinis in particular) and sorting out food for a bigger group than expected. Any feedback on the night is much appreciated…..if you’d like to see any changes to the night, let us know in the comments section! 

Next month, it’s more of the same on Tues 29 April 2008 from 6.30pm-8.00pm and I cannot wait! The next book is Something Borrowed by Paul Magrs, which is set in Whitby and includes zombies, antique shops and Icelandic history.

You can get the book from Middlesbrough Central Library for free and if you want your own copy, remember you get 20% off at Borders in Teesside Park! 

Do you remember the first time?


So, the first book group is happening, ooh, tomorrow. And I can’t wait. 

I’m just re-reading Apples, sorting last minute notes and ideas, finding out the book was nominated for the Bad Sex Award 2007 and have a suitable CD to play alongside the book…being anally retentive can be quite good sometimes. 

So yes, if you’d like to come along to sit and read, drink, talk or just listen it would be lovely to have you – We’re at The Blue Lounge (hence the mysterious group title) from 6.30-8.00pm, tomorrow on Tuesday 25th March.

Be lovely to have you.

From your first cigarette…


I’m typing this with the help of a real life LOLcat who likes to poke her paws at the keyboard, so please forgive any typos.

So, it’s not long until the first night at The Blue Lounge, and I am looking forward to it A LOT.

Without sounding like that scary man in glitter platforms, if you want to be in my gang, my gang, well, there’s one thing you have to do (Well, you don’t have to, but it would be wise to do this ok?)

Unlike most gangs, there are no uniforms, signs or initiation rights, oh no.  In the Blue Lounge Book Group Gang, there’s one rule. Yes, you CAN talk about book group, in fact that’s encouraged.

What you have to do to join is… the nice people at New Writing North at (hello Sandra and Claire!) and tell them you want to come along. Simple? Yes.

So what’s the catch? None.

If you email them they will send you a snazzy little card to put in your purse/wallet/pocket/behind your ear which will get you money off drinks to drink whilst at The Blue Lounge AND 20% off book group books at Borders.

Smart eh? You didn’t get that with the Jets and the Sharks did you? Course if you’re the type who doesn’t like rules feel free to just turn up. S’alright!

About the group

The Tees Valley Book Group meets at Stockton Central Library at 6.30pm on the first Tuesday of the month.

If you would like more information about what the group is reading, please visit


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