Author Imogen Edwards-Jones and friends have launched the online Great Big Book Club featuring author interviews, book reviews and a series of “Lockdown Lunches”.
It begins today (27th April), hosting interviews with Polly Sampson, Claudia Winkleman, Rachel Johnson and Ruby Wax. There is also a lunchtime cook along menu from Michelin star chef Tom Aikens and Sami Tamimi from Ottolenghi, plus a happy hour cocktail from Tippl.
The site plans to unite book clubs from around the world and “re-ignite their passion for a great book, good chat and delicious food, washed down with a relaxing cocktail”.
Questions can be put to authors ahead of interviews for a livestreamed "in conversation with…" segment, while global book clubs will be regularly featured. It will also be supporting all authors’ income by including links to local country indie booksellers.
Edwards-Jones said she came up with the idea out of frustration, explaining: “As book events got cancelled and dates got unsaved, all the authors I spoke to were distraught. All that work? All those tours? All those readers to meet? All those pop-up events are no more. What to do? Where to turn?”
“And my book club friends were equally bereft. Their favourite monthly dinner of wine and women and novels has been put on ice, for who knows how long? So we hatched a plan. What if there were a shop window for authors? A place where you could find out the latest releases? Add some food. Some cocktails. It would almost be like my favourite Monday night out. Or Tuesday. Or sometimes, once, on a Wednesday. Or whenever we could actually get everyone together.”