As part of BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking Festival, The Reader Organisation hosted two free and fabulous ‘Book at Breakfast’ events held on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd November, at BBC Radio Merseyside. This year, we were delighted to be working with award-winning writers Clare Allan and Mark Haddon.
The turn-out on Saturday morning was fantastic! Once everyone had settled with coffee, croissants, and new acquaintances, Jane Davis kicked things off with an introductory chat before Clare read out an extract from her novel Poppy Shakespeare, which acted as the basis for group discussion about her work.
After the informal group discussions, Book at Breakfasters had the opportunity to direct any questions or thoughts about the novel to Clare Allan: both audience questions and Clare’s answers providing more thought-provoking possibilities for discussion.
Those attending were extremely impressed with what the morning had to offer, with most compliments focussing on the fact that the event ‘takes people out of their everyday lives to engage with stimulating discussions’; ‘makes people aware of mental health issues’; and, simply, how they were ‘inspired’, both by Clare Allan and by the lively discussions her presence initiated.
A big thank-you to Clare for being part of our event, her honesty and good humour made for a thoroughly enjoyable and stimulating breakfast. Thanks also to all those who attended: you helped to ensure the morning was the huge success it turned out to be.