The building is the Victorian Rolls Hall in Monmouth, South Wales, which the Rolls family (of Royce fame) gifted in 1988 to the people of Monmouth market town, for them to use as a lecture hall and theatre.
The Rolls Hall has for many years housed the local public library. 'Spies' is a novel by Michael Frayn, and 'Private and Peaceful' is a novel by Michael Morpurgo.
'We' are the Page Turners, a small - but incredibly noisy - reading club who meet once a month in the library's meeting room.
Because the Page Turners are such prolific readers, we swiftly moved from borrowing one book per month (finished in a relative five minutes) to two.
Last month we read Mark Twain's 'The Diary of Adam and Eve' (generally loved and enjoyed) and Jonathen Franzen's 'The Corrections' (nothing at all general about the response here; very mixed responses, which made for lively discussion).
But something odd has happened with this month's reading fare. Order out of chaos.
As a group we have rejected any sort of leadership structure - we don't take turns being in charge of the session, we have no nominated chairperson. We just all pitch in with what we want to, when we want to. It's fun, and creates the type of unpredictable and spontaneous experience that I relish.
Our choosing of which books to read is also quite random. For example, we chose Murray Bail's 'Eucalyptus' because a couple of our members had lived in Australia; and we chose 'Silence of the Grave' by Arnaldur Indridason, because some of us liked the rhythm of the author's name.
The potential resonance between these two tales is adding extra anticipation to my reading pleasure.
Having said that, only one of the books (the fulfilled predicted pleasure that was Adam and Eve's diaries) that I've read so far with the Page Turners have been what I expected them to be (which is one of the reasons why I'm enjoying belonging to the group). So ...
I'll let you know how it goes.
Have you been a member of a reading club? How did you choose your reading? Did you have any odd co-incidences? Unexpected pleasures or displeasures?