I’m Lauren, and I’m the discussion leader for the Mitchell Classics Book Group. In 2012, our reading group was one of the Reading Agency’s Dickens Champions. This year, the Reading Agency is giving reading groups across the country a chance to be part of the Austen Project, which is a fantastic opportunity to read and blog about some of the best works by Jane Austen, and I really hope that you’ll consider taking part.
Our reading group really enjoyed being a Dickens Champion, and without a doubt, it was not only fun, but a richly rewarding experience as we had the chance to read, and in many cases re-read some of our favourite books by Dickens. By reading and discussing several of Dickens’s books within a relatively short time, our group found we were able to compare and contrast his books in a way we hadn’t been able to before. This allowed not only a deeper level of discussion, but it also renewed our love of favourite heroes (Oliver, and Pip) and wish for the rightful comeuppance of the worst baddies (Uriah Heep, and Sikes).
I would encourage all reading groups that love Jane Austen’s books to sign up to the Reading Agency site to follow the project, and especially to give The Austen Blog Project a go! Even if you have never blogged or written about your favourite author or book before – don’t worry! For many folks in our reading group, it was first time they had done anything like it, and the friendly folks at the Reading Agency made it all very easy. So all you Jane Austen fans out there get cracking! Just fill in the online form and, who knows, your group could be selected – good luck!