What we're about

Welcome to Tooting Book Club!

We are a friendly book group which meets on the first Tuesday of every month in the Trafalgar Arms pub in Tooting. We read a range of books which are chosen by the members each month.

A typical meetup will be meeting at 7:00 for a drink, a quick catch up and to welcome new members. Then at around 7:30 we discuss the book for an hour or so. We score the book out of 10 before and after our discussion to see if we have been swayed in our opinion either way! After we have finished talking we have a short break to grab another drink and then we vote for the next book choice.

We take our vote for the next book from a list of suggestions. Anyone at the meetup can put forward a book to go on the list, so please bring your best ideas! Have a look at the meet up entitled 'book list' to see our current list. We try not to choose anything that is too long or expensive to buy and we make choices three months in advance so that people have plenty of time to get the book and read it.

To cover the costs of the meetup membership we charge £2 to attend the group.

We hope to see you at an upcoming meetup. Please feel free to message us if you have any questions!

Georgie and Elaine

Upcoming events (4)

Discuss: Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

The Trafalgar Arms

Synopsis: Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

In a country ruled by fear, no one is innocent.
Stalin's Soviet Union is an official paradise, where citizens live free from crime and fear only one thing: the all-powerful state. Defending this system is idealistic security officer Leo Demidov, a war hero who believes in the iron fist of the law. But when a murderer starts to kill at will and Leo dares to investigate, the State's obedient servant finds himself demoted and exiled. Now, with only his wife at his side, Leo must fight to uncover shocking truths about a killer-and a country where crime doesn't exist.

480 pages

The cost of the meetup is £2 (cash).

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Discuss: Vernon Subutex 1 by Virginie Despentes

The Trafalgar Arms

Vernon Subutex 1 by Virginie Despentes

Vernon Subutex was once the proprietor of Revolver, an infamous music shop in Bastille. His legend spread throughout Paris. But by the 2000s his shop is struggling. With his savings gone, his unemployment benefit cut, and the friend who had been covering his rent suddenly dead, Vernon Subutex finds himself down and out on the Paris streets.

He has one final card up his sleeve. Even as he holds out his hand to beg for the first time, a throwaway comment he once made on Facebook is taking the internet by storm. Vernon does not realise this, but the word is out: Vernon Subutex has in his possession the last filmed recordings of Alex Bleach, the famous musician and Vernon's benefactor, who has only just died of a drug overdose. A crowd of people from record producers to online trolls and porn stars are now on Vernon's trail.

352 pages

The cost of the meetup is £2 (cash).

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Discuss: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

The Trafalgar Arms

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (Nonfiction)

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. Born a poor black tobacco farmer, her cancer cells – taken without her knowledge – became a multimillion-dollar industry and one of the most important tools in medicine. Yet Henrietta’s family did not learn of her ‘immortality’ until more than twenty years after her death, with devastating consequences . . .

Rebecca Skloot’s fascinating account is the story of the life, and afterlife, of one woman who changed the medical world for ever.

464 pages

The cost of the meetup is £2 (cash).

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Current book list (NOT AN EVENT)

Needs a location

Here is the list of books on the current list - if you would like to add a book to the list please bring your suggestion to the next meeting.

Nemesis by Philip Roth - 304 pages

Decent, athletic twenty-three year old playground director Bucky Cantor is devoted to his charges and ashamed with himself because his weak eyes have excluded him from serving in the war alongside his contemporaries. As polio begins to ravage Bucky's playground - child by helpless child - Roth leads us through every emotion such a pestilence can breed: the fear, the panic, the anger, the bewilderment, the suffering and the pain.

The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger - 277 pages

It's Christmas time and Holden Caulfield has just been expelled from yet another school. Fleeing the crooks at Pencey Prep, he pinballs around New York City seeking solace in fleeting encounters - shooting the bull with strangers in dive hotels, wandering alone round Central Park, getting beaten up by pimps and cut down by erstwhile girlfriends. The city is beautiful and terrible, in all its neon loneliness and seedy glamour, its mingled sense of possibility and emptiness. Holden passes through it like a ghost, thinking always of his kid sister Phoebe, the only person who really understands him, and his determination to escape the phonies and find a life of true meaning.

The Radium Girls by Kate Moore (non fiction) - 480 pages

As the First World War spread across the world, young American women flocked to work in factories, painting clocks, watches and military dials with a special luminous substance made from radium. It was a fun job, lucrative and glamorous the girls shone brightly in the dark, covered head to toe in dust from the paint.

However, as the years passed, the women began to suffer from mysterious and crippling illnesses. It turned out that the very thing that had made them feel alive their work was slowly killing them: the radium paint was poisonous.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr - 544 pages

For Marie-Laure, blind since the age of six, the world is full of mazes. The miniature of a Paris neighbourhood, made by her father to teach her the way home. The microscopic layers within the invaluable diamond that her father guards in the Museum of Natural History. The walled city by the sea, where father and daughter take refuge when the Nazis invade Paris. And a future which draws her ever closer to Werner, a German orphan, destined to labour in the mines until a broken radio fills his life with possibility and brings him to the notice of the Hitler Youth.

Trouble with Lichen by John Wyndham - 208 pages
Francis Saxover and Diana Brackley, two scientists investigating a rare lichen, discover it has a remarkable property: it retards the aging process. Francis, realising the implications for the world of an ever-youthful, wealthy elite, wants to keep it secret, but Diana sees an opportunity to overturn the male status quo by using the lichen to inspire a feminist revolution.

As each scientist wrestles with the implications and practicalities of exploiting the discovery, the world comes ever closer to learning the truth . . .

Hardcover Waiting List
Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro 303 pages (Hardcover)

From her place in the store, Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, watches carefully the behavior of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass on the street outside. She remains hopeful that a customer will soon choose her, but when the possibility emerges that her circumstances may change forever, Klara is warned not to invest too much in the promises of humans.

Beautiful World, Where Are You? By Sally Rooney 365 pages (Hardcover)

Alice, a novelist, meets Felix, who works in a warehouse, and asks him if he’d like to travel to Rome with her. In Dublin, her best friend, Eileen, is getting over a break-up and slips back into flirting with Simon, a man she has known since childhood. Alice, Felix, Eileen, and Simon are still young—but life is catching up with them. They desire each other, they delude each other, they get together, they break apart. They have sex, they worry about sex, they worry about their friendships and the world they live in. Are they standing in the last lighted room before the darkness, bearing witness to something? Will they find a way to believe in a beautiful world?

Past events (102)

Discuss: Kokoro by Natsume Soseki

The Trafalgar Arms

Photos (5)