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Cambridge University Library

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The Really Popular Book Club is Cambridge University Libraries' book group. Everyone is welcome to come and discuss a really popular book with the group, library staff, and an expert on the novel. Hosted on Zoom, the book club is completely free and open to everyone, people attend from all over the world. 

The Really Popular Book Club celebrates the huge range of books at Cambridge University Library. We have more than 8 million books and as a legal deposit library we keep a copy of every book published in the UK, and have done since 1710.

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 by Sue Townsend is our chosen title for July. Adrian is a self-proclaimed ‘misunderstood intellectual’. A teenager in the early eighties, his diary provides a pimples-and-all glimpse into his adolescence, set to the backdrop of historical events such as the Falklands War and the wedding of Charles and Diana. It was a huge commercial success, and readers found it hilarious and touching.

We will be joined by Lucy Delap, Professor in Modern British and Gender History from the University of Cambridge and Murray Edwards College.

To aide the conversation, we have prepared three 'thinking points' to consider when reading The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4:

  1. Is any character likeable in The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole?
  2. Could teenagers or adults today relate to this book?
  3. What is the appeal of a diary format to readers?

If you haven't attended one of our book club events before, you can find more information at

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 by Sue Townsend is available in paperback, hardback and ebook formats, borrowable from public libraries or to purchase. To see what printed and digital copies are available from Cambridge University Libraries (borrowable by University staff and students), search iDiscover.

Where: Online via Zoom Meetings

Accessibility: Live subtitles are available using Zoom's Live Transcript fuction.

Registration: Free, booking essential. REGISTER HERE

Date: Tuesday 25th July 2023