I’m quite excited about the Iris Murdoch and Book Groups project today – and a bit nervous, too.

Yesterday was my Doing Libro Work At Home day, and I managed to carve out of the afternoon a bit of time to work on the Project. As well as my study of Murdoch’s novel, “The Bell” and book groups around the world, I am also writing up a case study of the group I and some friends formed to read all of Murdoch’s novels in chronological order. This is also a study of “ordinary people”, rather than academics, reading Murdoch and will look at our experiences in the group. Although we haven’t quite finished the reading challenge yet (we’re on “The Green Knight” so only one more to go!), I asked all of the participants to give me a short biographical paragraph, a note of whether they’d read any Murdoch before, and what they thought the experience would be like. I thought I might as well extract this information from everyone now, as I’ll be asking more questions later when we’ve finished! Anyway, I had all these lovely messages from my fellow group-members, so took the opportunity to start to write up a bit about the group, how we formed, how we function and what we expected of the project.

So yes, I’ve got some words on paper (screen) – very exciting. I had to stop to work on someone’s essay on Money, but never mind, it’s a start.

The other exciting thing that’s happening at the moment is that my Test Book Group, the lovely Urban Coffee Company Book Group, lead by my friend Laura, have been reading “The Bell” all month and are discussing it… TONIGHT! They’re piloting the whole experience, questionnaires and all, and also providing feedback on the questionnaires so I can hone them for all my other book groups. Some of these are reading the book in April, so once I get the feedback in I need to get a move on and do something with it! I don’t mind if everyone hated the book and think it’s a useless book group read, as long as they can give me reasons and as long as they think SOMETHING!

So, fingers crossed that something useful and interesting comes out of my guinea pig group – and that they have found the process useful and interesting too!

If you’re interested in taking part, or if I don’t have your email address yet, please contact me at lyzzybee AT googlemail DOT com