Posted by: Lisa Hill | October 28, 2022

The Cult of Craftism? Let’s talk about it…

Apropos of a post and ensuing conversation at Whispering Gums about Australia’s literary culture and whether it ever gets discussed in the contemporary mainstream media, today I found myself contemplating a current article by author, essayist, and critic of contemporary literature G D Dess at The Millions, titled ‘The Cult of Craftism’.

Now, you need to read it yourself to see what you think, but briefly the contention is that contemporary writing has lost the plot (literally and metaphorically) because of the preoccupation with crafting perfect sentences.  The examples, of course, are American, and amongst other targets is the MFA and a sideways barb at writers who don’t do any reading of literature themselves. It’s entertaining to read, and it’s food for thought as well.

But it was the conclusion that interested me.  Dess refers to a survey which showed that out of frustration with contemporary fiction, readers were re-reading from the past.  As it happened, on the same day I stumbled on a reading challenge being undertaken by Mrs K Investigates, which will be based on a reading list from a blog called Furrowed Middlebrow. It’s based on a publisher’s “Middlebrow Syllabus” based on British fiction written in the first half of the 20th century. (Which he just happens to publish in reissued editions. Update, later the same day: apologies to Middlebrow… please see Liz Dexter’s comment below about how he’s not actually the publisher at all.)

And then there’s the Backlisted podcast. Despite my disinterest in podcasts, I’m fond of Backlisted.  They tend to start off with self-indulgent ramblings, but the discussion about backlisted books (of the ones I’ve read, and therefore listened to) is informative and entertaining.  This podcast appears to be popular, presumably because people are interested in the books of the past.  Are those listeners like me, enjoying revisiting books I’ve already read?  Or are they seeking new-to-them titles to read, perhaps published by Unbound, which crowdfunds reissues of backlisted books. Not the classics.  As far as I can tell when I’m not familiar with all the titles in the Backlisted index, they do 20th century fiction.

So I wonder, what’s going on? (Is anything going on, or is this article at The Millions just a clickbaited rant or a settling of writerly scores?) Is there a ‘cult of craftism’ in Australia? And if there is, is frustration with contemporary fiction sending readers back to the past?  If it that’s where they’re looking, are they seeking Australian books of the past, (possibly exploring the Untapped reissues) or are they looking elsewhere? I’m not talking about deliberate projects to resurrect neglected (usually women) authors; I’m interested in whether general readers who are just looking for a book to read, have given up on contemporary OzLit, and if so, is that because of ‘craftism’ or something else, and what are they reading instead?

You probably know what I think, but I’d love to know what you think.  I’d especially love to hear from lurkers, and from readers who’ve chatted about this with their bookish friends.  I’d love to hear from readers in other countries too, about whether they think there’s a ‘cult of craftism’ in their ‘national’ literature or not.

Please read the article first, and then, let’s talk!

On the Cult of Craftism


Responses

  1. Well, you know me, and I have a “deliberate project”.

    Like

    • Yes, and it has its place in the literary landscape and this discussion, especially your most recent AWW addressing it, more so than the earliest generations. Do you think — can you tell from comments you get? — that readers who contributed reviews or comments of AWW gens 3 & 4 authors were revisiting books they already knew, or were they encountering those authors for the first time?

      Like

      • Only the same 10 or so people comment, and you know them as well as I do. I think most of them know the authors, though occasionally we come up with a new one, but haven’t read the books before, or not for a long time and wouldn’t consider reading them except for a ‘project’.

        Your C. Stead project was interesting because it induced me to read all those great books beyond For Love Alone and The Man Who Loved Children and we were able to reintroduce Stead to a cohort of readers who had nearly forgotten her. The same is probably true of Thea Astley for instance (and I hope, one day,of Catherine Helen Spence).

        Like

        • Well that’s a thought, #smacks forehead I hadn’t considered my own role in this…
          I saw my Eleanor Dark collection frowning at me today when I was shelving a couple of new books. I have rescheduled an ED week for next year, but I will need to have more of hers already done on the blog before that comes along.

          Like

  2. I try to keep Oz Lit on my radar along with reading international authors but still I frequently return to old favourites these last few years. Book talk is in short supply in my life other than conversations with librarian daughter and this great blog.

    Like

    • Hi Fay… I wonder what your librarian daughter would say about it? I know in my local library they feature a lot of new and newish Oz genre fiction on their promotion trolleys, litfic, not so much whereas at Sandy Lib it’s more the other way round.
      Though whether the promote them because they want more borrowers for them or because they’re already popular, I don’t know.

      Like

  3. I still believe that the problem is always too little craft rather than too much craft. Craftism, to me, means making each of your sentences as interesting as possible to make the whole more interesting. One of the examples he uses is Anthony Doerr. He praises Doerr’s individual sentences. At the same time Doerr’s novels are like 500 pages long, so Doerr’s craftism is not preventing him from producing long moving stories.
    What I see as a problem is that some of even the main critics see themselves as book promoters rather than book critics and thus overpraise.

    Like

    • I hear you. Here in Australia it’s said to be because nearly all the reviewers are writers themselves so they don’t like to upset the literary milieu, but I suspect that it’s a problem in many places because the funding model for the impartial literary critic is broken.

      Like

  4. Just to defend Furrowed Middlebrow (disclaimer: I met him for lunch and book shopping last week but he has no hold over me), he co-publishes the reissues, as in he sources the copies for the texts, advises on what might be good to republish, etc., but Dean Street Press do the publishing, distribution, etc. I don’t believe he makes a lot out of it, he wrote his syllabus before the republishing really got going, and by no means all the 100 books on the list have been published by Dean Street Press. I know from following his blog for years that the love for the books came first and the chance to help re-publish them, share them and get them into the hands of readers like me who weren’t able to source or afford them is the main impetus there.

    On the main point, I enjoy modern books but perhaps not “literary fiction” as I enjoy literary as well as middlebrow fiction from the past.

    Like

    • Oh, I didn’t mean to attack Middlebrow, but I can see why you think I have. I’ll edit what I’ve written to include your comment here.
      LOL I had to Google ‘middlebrow’ to see what the distinction was between it and LitFic, *smacks forehead* I had always assumed that they meant the same thing!

      Like

      • Thank you so much for your graciousness and flexibility. It did read a bit attacking but probably only to certain folk! I am very much a middlebrow reader still, I feel, in my modern reading: though my obsession with Iris Murdoch is highbrow, my matching obsession with Larry McMurtry is middlebrow at best!

        Like

        • No worries, as we say here in Oz!
          I don’t know what I am, high or middlebrow…. I loved Iris Murdoch for a while, and still have some of hers to read on the TBR. I’ve never read McMurtry but I like Rumer Godden and Nevil Shute.
          TBH I could be wrong but I don’t think Australians use the term ‘middlebrow’ much. We do have book snobbery, of course, but I think that’s more about genre fiction than what we are calling middlebrow here.
          But I don’t really know…

          Liked by 1 person

          • Godden and Shute are middlebrow; genre is lowbrow. I don’t think there’s as much snobbery about current middlebrow stuff as reviving the older stuff, like Virago refusing to republish Dorothy Whipple. Why did you go off Murdoch?

            Like

            • It was The Book and the Brotherhood, which I read in 2003 and now know was one of her last books, when she was resistant to being edited. I thought it was too long and meandering, and I couldn’t see the point, whereas the others I’d read (The Sea, The Sea; The Nice and the Good and The Bell) captivated me.

              Like

              • My husband wasn’t keen on TB and TB either, though I love it and it’s one of my favourites. He also liked The Sea, The Sea and A Good Apprentice. It is worth going back to some of the earlier ones if you have the time and inclination.

                Like

                • *chuckle* Entirely by coincidence, I read almost three-quarters of The Italian Girl yesterday. A friend was very, very late for a meetup, and The Italian Girl had been in the back pocket of the passenger seat for years (literally) as an insurance against getting caught out without a book to read. I’m finding it a bit melodramatic, but I haven’t yet had time to think properly about what she’s doing with it, beyond telling a rather improbable story.

                  Like

          • I have seen the term middlebrow used here, but I think it’s going out of fashion. A few years ago I wrote a post on Ernestine Hill, and quoted an academic who wrote this:

            “Although these so-called middlebrow writers [such as Ion Idriess and Frank Clune] have been frequently scorned by critics and neglected by subsequent Australian literary history, they were very influential cultural brokers who mediated debates about place, race, and culture for the interested general reader.”

            A very interesting point, eh?

            I wouldn’t agree with Liz that genre fiction is lowbrow. I think, in fact, genre fiction spans the whole gamut – but it depends on how you define “genre fiction”. Take Wolf Hall for example. It is regarded as the historical fiction genre though it’s not the traditional, formulaic, end of that genre. What about some of those dystopian and science fiction classics like A brave new world, and 1984?

            Like

            • I’m not sure where I read it now, (A Very Short Intro to Contemporary Fiction?) but it was said that the whole point of genre fiction is that it conforms to expectations. So by that definition, its limitations are its strength; it’s what people like about it. It’s often ‘comfort reading’ because it doesn’t make demands and readers don’t want it to.
              Whether it’s labelled lowbrow or not, there’s IMO no snobbery in this distinction. Some of the world’s greatest composers wrote ‘genre’ symphonies and sonatas; that is, their music conformed to the rules and instrumentation of the form and it’s beautiful. OTOH a composer like Berlioz threw out the rules in Symphonie Fantastique and that’s beautiful too, but the audience was in uproar because it didn’t conform to expectations. Agatha Christie wrote genre fiction and so does Donna Leon in her Brunetti mysteries. Both are superb writers who give enormous pleasure to their readers, including me.
              *pause, searching blog, yes, it was Eaglestone in a Very Short Intro*
              “A work of genre has limits and rules. Thrillers have adventures; detective stories have detectives (usually) and certainly detection; science-fiction throws a ‘new thing’ (robots, space travel) into the world and sees what that does; romances have love and its vicissitudes.”
              That definition suits my purposes. It’s that kind of predictable form and sometimes content that I call genre fiction, and I distinguish it from other kinds of fiction using what follows in Eaglestone’s VSI:
              Literary fiction, OTOH has no limits. It can do or say anything, but it’s usually more demanding that genre fiction. Because it can do anything, it can include genre fiction in its mix too, as with Orwell’s 1984 and Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go which are both LitFic and SF. Jane Rawson by his and my definition does not write genre fiction, she writes LitFic by playing with elements of genre fiction. Angela Meyer’s Moon Sugar which I’ve just read isn’t genre fiction either, though I’ve called it a genre-bender because it has elements of more than one type of genre within what is IMO a literary novel.
              I limit my use of the term ‘genre fiction’ to include only the formulaic type.

              Like

              • Agree with all you say … “true” genre is exactly what that writer says, by my definition – predictable, formula-following. But I prefer definitions to be flexible rather than narrow. I think it’s useful to call Wolf Hall historical fiction, even if it isn’t of the bodice-ripper, historical romance type. After all, “genre”, even though it has a predictable formula, does change over time? There are new crime genres appearing I think? Where do they come from? From people pushing boundaries? Just throwing ideas out here.

                I agree that genre-benders are often litfic because they do break from formulas and push boundaries. I like many of them – like Rawson.

                Like

                • I think that historical fiction is a special case, but I don’t really know how to explain why. And I must stop chatting, I have 154 pages to go of A House is Built for the #1929 Club and I will need to write my review before Latin tomorrow afternoon!!

                  Liked by 1 person

                • Go to it!

                  Like

  5. Thank you for your always interesting blog. I particularly appreciated this link to the The Cult of Craftism as it expresses – some – of what I and book group friends have been struggling to articulate. It comes up when we try to pick our next book which is almost always contemporary fiction. There is a plethora of choice but the books are often disappointing and so rarely deliver on the hype.
    When choosing, we are looking for depth, something meaningful, but novels touted as “dealing with” a topic rarely do so satisfactorily. Often, as Dess maintains, the writing can be competent, somebody has been on a Creative Writing course it is clear, but plot, character and a deeper meaning come way down the list of the writer’s priorities! Too many novels meander and peter out.
    It is then a relief to go back to a non contemporary novel, or obviously to find a modern one which satisfies.
    This year our standout book has been The Magician by Colm Toibin. The best word I can find for our collective appreciation is …satisfying. At last, a proper book. Which then led to me reading Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann himself, again a “satisfying” experience.
    I keep coming back to this indefinable quality of “satisfying”. The novel doesn’t have to be perfect but you know when a writer has something to say and has delivered on it. Many contemporary writers show a decent writing competence but have nothing to say and characters which do not live. I totally agree with Dess when he says many show their ignorance of the great works which have come before them.
    One possible reason for the trend discussed is the publishing industry. We all love books, right? So we want book publishers and sellers to flourish but books need to be sold so can be overhyped, leading to frequent disappointments.
    Final comment. I am Scottish and read a lot about vibrant Australian/NZ fiction but I get all excited then have to try to remember/note interesting ones as they take at least a year to be published over here. Damn!

    Like

    • Hello Linda, and thank you for your most interesting comment:)
      Firstly, how wonderful that The Magician led you to Buddenbrooks! That was my first Thomas Mann novel and I loved it…
      Because you read my blog (thank you!) you know that I read all kinds of books, from the totally weird Finnegans Wake to occasional genre fiction and everything in between, from new releases and all the way back to Homer. Yet I would have to say that I find it hard to recommend books that work for book groups. Occasionally I do, but not often. Because as you say, it’s the marriage of an interesting ‘issue’ with plot, character and a deeper meaning is what matters. For me, the plot is negotiable, I don’t mind if it’s a bit wishy-washy or obscure, but I’m fascinated by character and I’m not really happy with books that don’t have good characterisation. (Which is why I don’t often review short stories, because there’s not much room for character development in a short story.)
      Just thinking of my most recent review, Limberlost by Robbie Arnott, I think that it has wonderful characterisation that is revealed over the course of the story. The writing is beautiful, but not at the expense of the story. I’m trying not to gush, but I think it’s a nearly perfect novel.

      Like

      • Thanks for taking the time to reply. And your title is noted!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Not sure I can say anything relevant re Australian books or publishing trends, but I tend to be very suspicious generally of these MFA courses. It seems to me to be training everyone to write in the same kind of way, and I want variety in my reading. Frankly, many of the books I love would never have been written or published under today’s systems and I think that would be a massive loss. Which is perhaps why I gravitate back to older books and love to read a rediscovered work! :D

    Like

    • I have that thought sometimes too, but also the converse, that some of today’s books would never have been published in the past. The discourse around that is that there were ‘gatekeepers’ protecting privilege but I think it’s more that the Bloomsbury publishers, for example, were incredibly well-read themselves, well-travelled and surrounded by highly intelligent people such as the philosopher Bertrand Russell. Those cultural factors set their standards for them.
      But unless they grew up in unusual households like mine, most of today’s young and youngish writers have wasted half their lives watching screens instead of reading. By the time they leave school, if their ambition is to be writers, they are already ‘behind’ in their reading (of anything, though we’d hope it might be literature). And it shows in the narrow focus and conformity that they bring to their writing. It may be beautifully crafted, but mostly it’s reproducing ideas that are already in the mainstream arena. They sell because they are ‘comfortable’. They are not challenging anybody’s world view.
      The Australian books that I read and review here, are not like that. They are mostly from small publishers who aren’t hamstrung by the sales department.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Totally agree. My own (grown up) kids seem to have a much narrower view of the world, and in fact general overall knowledge re past culture – and they had more limited screen time when younger. I think wide reading does broaden the mind, and that’s so lacking nowadays that as you say, modern writers may be able to craft beautiful sentences but I’m not sure they have anything new to say with them…

        Like

        • To clarify and to be fair to younger people, they often know a lot about things I have no clue about, such as problem-solving and design, and I’m talking specifically about what’s needed to be a writer. Also, modern media is so shallow, it’s hard for anyone to learn much from reality TV and so on, plus, quite rightly, they are preoccupied by climate change and the future of the world.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. What an interesting post Lisa! I need to take the time to read through your provided links before I can make much comment – but I do find these days when I browse all the new fiction the library purchases that I discard book after book after a cursory look. As you have said, sometimes they start off promising and the plot peters out, many push a popular point of view and are tedious. Publishers seem to be churning them out but I find many of the new novels are a poor read.
    I increasingly read non-fiction now as a result.

    Like

    • Ah, now that’s interesting, turning to NF rather than fiction.
      I must admit, I come across more new fiction than I review here. That’s because it’s my policy (with rare exceptions) not to review books that I don’t finish, and I don’t usually name them either. I don’t think it’s fair to critique a book on the first 50 pages which is what I usually allow for the book to engage me. (Though there was one recent translation that didn’t get much past the first page because of the derogatory portrayal of disability. That kind of attitude is the kind of cultural difference that I don’t want to read.)
      Truth be told, I also don’t want to spend my time and effort being negative about books. Whatever I think of a book, an author spent time and effort creating it, and that same book may find readers who like it. I maintain silence about it unless it gets nominated for an award and then (sometimes) I’ll share that I abandoned it. Sometimes a book I loathed wins an award so I’m well aware that I can be out-of-step not only with popular opinion but also the opinions of the literary community!
      I don’t rate abandoned books at Goodreads either because I don’t think it’s fair to rate a book I haven’t read.
      But I make a note of them, so that I remember that I bought or borrowed them and abandoned them because they disappointed me for some reason or another.
      But I don’t think I could ever abandon the novel for nonfiction. Reading novels is the habit of a lifetime!

      Like

      • I think I agree with Travelling Penguin below, Lisa! I do admit to having gone back to “older” authors such as Sumner Locke Elliott – I managed to get hold of the movie of Eden’s Lost, absolutely loved it, and now have that and Careful He Might Hear You to read.

        I agree with you about not being negative about books – but I have had a run of coming across novels by new authors that just don’t work for me, and when I discuss them with friends and the library staff, their opinions usually concur with mine. At any rate, it’s always nice to go back to older writers and savour their works!

        Liked by 1 person

        • It makes you wonder. though, were there books back then, that didn’t quite work for readers so when we read ‘from the past’ we are only reading the successful books?

          Like

          • Could be! i suspect fewer books were published though – they seem to be churned out at a great rate these days. I have no figures to support this idea – do you think more fiction books are being pumped out Lisa? There seem to be a lot of young writers out there.

            Like

            • I’m the wrong person to ask. There’s a subscriber-only magazine called Books and Publishing which probably has access to some data, and maybe the ASA (Australian Society of Authors) does too. It seems to me that there are a lot of books published, and they have a limited shelf life unless they do very well, but, well, I’m only in a bookshop a dozen times a year, and the publicity that comes to me is patchy. Some publishers are regularly in contact and I never hear from others.
              I get the impression from here and there that there are a lot of young writers, but whether that’s more than there used to be, I do not know.

              Like

  8. I love Backlisted though I’ve never heard of half of the books they discuss. I often listen to it at night while trying to settle into sleep. I have often been disappointed by modern authors who I think often try to be too clever or the first to try something new. Although I don’t begrudge anyone trying new creative ways I feel it sometimes fails in novels but I am older and enjoy the structure of books written years ago. Maybe comforting is more apt.

    Like

    • Hi Pam, that’s interesting… yesterday I was listening to a well-known literary agent doing one of those advice-to-authors programs, and she talked about how she chooses books to represent, and I can’t quote it, but I think she was looking for ‘original’. Well, all stories must be, to some extent, maybe it’s a matter of how much and the reasons for it.
      My dad used to say the same, (sort of) as you in his later years, he just wanted stories that he didn’t have to work too hard at. He loved the CJ Sansom mysteries!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Amongst all the learned readers who have posted a reply, I feel daunted but wish to add my thoughts. The Cult of Craftism is extreme overthinking and I believe ultimately boring to the universal reader. I am more concerned with The Cult of Screenplay, writing which is the other end of the stick, all dialogue and no substance in the vain hope of a movie deal. There will always be someone in The Arts who wants to justify their position, their talent, claim fame or wield some literary power, but ultimately another unnecessary feature or action will take its place. I think “We Had To Remove This Post” by Hanna Bervoets (translated) is an example of Craftism and “A superbly poised, psychologically astute and subtle novel of mental unravelling” said Ian McEwan, author of Atonement, but I go with “violent and nightmarish” from Kristen Arnett, author of Mostly Dead Things. I let them have their say and move on to the next book, the next “big thing” according to the publishers because basically they are the bottom line, not on creativity, but the holders of the purse strings – Gretchen.

    Like

    • Good point, Gretchen… I’ve come across a few of those books that are obviously written with a screenplay in mind. There’s something about the way they’re structured around the end of an episode or a movie cliffhanger that can be irritating.
      I wonder…? you know how in progressive states there is legislation so that property developers have to put a certain percentage of profits towards green space and affordable housing… how would it be if publishers had to put aside a small but fair percentage of profits to go into a pool of grant money for less profitable titles, like poetry, for example. (I can see the publishers shuddering, but in the days of ‘gentlemen publishers” that’s what they used to do, use the profitable books to subsidise less profitable ones.)

      Liked by 1 person

    • I just read a few reviews of “We had to remove this post”- wow, most are scathing. I wish our library had this so I could take a look!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, me too. I’d vaguely heard of it, so I just took a look at the review at The Guardian. Ouch!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks for the heads-up on Backlisted, Lisa. I have found it on Spotify. As to craftism, can we overthink all this? I am no academic by any stretch of the imagination, but I just read what comes my way without much thought to how it is “crafted” as such. Yeah, my last read, 2 by George Johnston was a bit “wow what a writer” but my now read The Binding by Bridget Collins is more “good yarn but not that good a writer.”

    Like

    • Good point… a bit of overthinking can be fun, but it can be circular too, eh?
      Still, it’s nice to host a topic like this, because (while the word craftism isn’t used) I hear it all the time in F2F conversations, dissatisfaction with books that are ‘too’ literary and not enough of a good story, and conversely dissatisfaction with books not being literary ‘enough’ and not intellectually stimulating. Who’d be a publisher, trying to negotiate these shoals, eh?
      Let me say this, though, when I receive advance publicity from publishers, I read the blurbs with care, and what I usually find is that I want to read more than I can feasibly manage on offer from indies like Scribe, Transit Lounge and Affirm, and I rarely want to read anything from the globals except for the well-established Big Name Australian authors.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks for the link Lisa … I’m not sure where to start, but first, re book groups and you comment that you find “it hard to recommend books that work for book groups. Occasionally I do, but not often. Because as you say, it’s the marriage of an interesting ‘issue’ with plot, character and a deeper meaning is what matters.” As soon as someone says it’s “a book group book” my defences go up, because I feel that too often the focus is on the “issue”. For us, the question is “is there enough to talk about” and that doesn’t mean necessarily “issue”.

    And while on reading groups, I can say that our reading group reads a fair proportion of contemporary books, but we also like to read older works. One of our great joys is choosing the classic (or two) that we do each year. This year we’ve done a couple of older books – an Amy Witting from 1999 and Elizabeth von Arnim from 1938. Most of the others have been 2018 to 2022, but greatly varied from Ida Vitale’s Byobu, through Damon Galgut’s The promise and Audrey Magee’s The Colony, to Larissa Behrendt’s After story and a couple of other new Aussies.

    I’m not really over-fussed about the “cult of craftism”. I think it’s always been thus – that is, that contemporary writing is criticised for one reason or another. I see it in Trove regularly – in different times periods. I think The Millions article is interesting to a point, but in a way it’s another example of contemporary critics criticising the zeitgeist. And there’s some value in that. Most writers will fall in with the zeitgeist? And many will bet left behind when the next big thing comes along. (Re Doerr, I liked the book overall but I did write in my post that “It’s a bit sprawling, trying to do a lot with imagery that I haven’t been able to completely untangle.” Maybe that’s all those sentences Dess is talking about!! My group wants to do Cloud Cuckoo Land next year – wouldn’t have been my first choice, but I’m hoping it will be a good read).

    Coincidentally, a couple of days ago, I was trying to decided what to read next, and I looked at all those review copies, many of which I do want to read, but thought, I just need to read something different – so I chose my (soon to be named) 1929 read and am enjoying it immensely. I really would like to mix it up a bit more as I love reading older books.

    Like

    • *chuckle* It’s complicated, isn’t it?
      If I hypothetise, for example, about the plethora of books about grief at the moment, I can’t imagine how book groups would tackle ‘the issue’ without the night descending in an evening of sad anecdotes. And having lived through a pandemic, I imagine that a night discussing pandemic literature would drive me round the bend if I’m looking for an escape from it. So I don’t think there can be cut-and-dried rules about what’s going to work for a book group. The members of a book group need to know each other, know what presses their buttons, and have a tolerance for and a sensitivity to how much ‘unpacking’ can be done without people getting sloshed on the wine out of sheer boredom!

      Like

      • Haha Lisa… we don’t get sloshed because most of us are driving. Two glasses is the absolute maximum, and most have none or one.

        But yes, you’re right. The best Bookgroups know each other well, and are sensitive to each other and to the group ethos. Our group is well established. I’d say we are all mature (grown ups) and if something gets close to the bone as of course can happen occasionally we handle it with warmth and humour. I just love my group. It’s always been high priority for me because the relationships are so special.

        Like


Please share your thoughts and join the conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories