Tag Archives: Michael Morpurgo

Why I’m no good in a book club

Maybe people who know me would roll their eyes and mutter, “Of course” at this, but it turns out I’m a bit of a contrary so and so. I love getting book recommendations and finding new books and authors I can fall in love with, but I don’t like being told what to read.

This first became apparent at secondary school. Someone in my class read War Horse and loved it, then one of his friends read it on his recommendation and so on. When about four people had read and enjoyed it, our English teacher suggested, “Why don’t we make it a class project that everyone reads it?” This was greeted with enthusiasm by most of the class. In a manner typical to me, I didn’t protest, but lowered my eyes and mutinously thought, “I’m not reading it just because everyone else is!”

The cover of Michael Morpurgo's WWI novel, War Horse
War Horse

A couple of decades later and I STILL haven’t read War Horse. My mum read it before the film came out and lent me her copy – which sat on my bookshelf for a year before I gave it back.

Picture of Katy Haye, contrary reader
Contrary Mare

In my defence, I don’t THINK this is entirely due to contrariness. I don’t like reading about World War I (I studied WWI poetry for A-level and it just makes me weep – we sent those poor boys to hell) so the book probably just isn’t for me.

To give myself a second chance, I’ve joined a few groups on Goodreads. So far I haven’t joined in with any monthly reading challenges because none of the books suggested have been on my “must read” list, but maybe (only maybe) I’ll relax enough to read something blind, just because other people are reading it and think I should, too.

Who knows, I might discover a treasure.