We  are thrilled to be celebrating the 4th anniversary of our monthly Book Club. Originally set up at the start of the Covid 19 pandemic in April 2020, the book club met online on zoom and was set up with the intention of staying engaged with audiences while our venue was closed to the public.

The book club has gone from strength to strength and we now have over 300 subscribers on our dedicated mailing list with up to 20 people meeting once a month upstairs in the Townhouse Bar & Restaurant, An Táin’s official food partner. We meet on the last Thursday of every month, and often have contributions from Authors in a relaxed questions and answers settings. Authors that have contributed in the past include Pulitzer winning Jennifer Egan, Luke Cassidy, Liz Nugent, Michael O’ Toole, Alan Lane, Austin Duffy and Nicola Cassidy.

Oonagh, one of our members says, “I joined the book club as it was a way of exploring new reading suggestions, that I may not otherwise try. However, I have stayed for the people. It’s a night where thoughts are shared, ideas sparked, and laughter heard.”

Louise another member said, “The An Táin Arts Centre  Book Club is fantastic! The discussions are always fun and everyone gets a chance to give their opinion. I love that we read such a wide variety of books and that the authors have joined us on many occasions. I joined during covid and it was great to do something sociable and fun; it worked really well on-line. It’s even better now we meet in person though! So, thanks to Paul and Mary Claire for running such a friendly and welcoming book club.”

Patricia another member said, “Four delightful years later ‘interesting’, ‘stimulating’ and ‘great fun’ are still the perfect adjectives to describe the unique organism that has evolved into the present An Táin Book Club. Only the physical location and a few of the original personnel has changed since April 2020,  so míle, MÍLE buíochas to the wonderful members, administrators and hosts who continue to make the magic happen!”

Tom Muckian of Roe River Books who the book club is in association with said, “A terrific success made all the more startling by the fact that it’s curated by Paul Hayes, who manages to dislike almost every book he reads. Delighted to be associated with this fine gathering of lovely people. Long may it last.”

An Táin Arts Centre’s Audience Development Manager Mary Claire Cowley says, “During Covid lockdowns the book club was a lifeline not only for our audiences, but for our staff and our organisation, it helped us to really get to know people as we met them in their homes on zoom. It’s so inspiring to see it grow and we are immensely grateful to all our members who show up every month and bring their opinions, their likes, dislikes and participate in the discussions all with warmth and humour.”

The next book club meeting will take place upstairs in The Townhouse Bar & Restaurant at 8pm on Thursday 25th April. Members will discuss English novelist David Mitchell’s Slade House.

‘Down the road from a working-class British pub, along the brick wall of a narrow alley, if the conditions are exactly right, you’ll find the entrance to Slade House. A stranger will greet you by name and invite you inside. At first, you won’t want to leave. Later, you’ll find that you can’t. Every nine years, the house’s residents — an odd brother and sister — extend a unique invitation to someone who’s different or lonely: a precocious teenager, a recently divorced policeman, a shy college student. But what really goes on inside Slade House? For those who find out, it’s already too late…’

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