Book Clubs

Alice_sjMarch 23, 2013

Do you belong to one? Have you ever belonged to one? How did your group find members? What kind of books does your group read?

I belong to two. The first group is private and has been together for three years. Many members have moved, and we're down to maybe 8 members of 20. We can't seem to find a women that are serious about being part of a group, and our rules are so lax. We don't even care if you haven't read the book. The other group is a public one through the library. The private group is eclectic, and the hostess picks the book. I am not sure who/how the books are chosen for the public group.

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I belong to a book club at my library. I stopped going a couple months ago because I really hated the last book, Ahab's Wife. I think I'll be going back in a month or so. The members are all older (mostly retired) adults. Some very thoughtful people! No rules, all are welcome.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 7:27AM
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Been a member of a private book club for 14 years. Consists of 10 gals/good friends, most of whom have been with the club since day one.

We meet once a month every month except July and December.

Each gal is assigned a month in January to host the meeting and select the book for reading. The hostess serves a full sit-down dinner or simply snacks. It's up to her. Drinks range from wine to Perrier. The food usually has something to do with the theme of the book.

I usually toss in something extra. For example, the year I chose Life of Pi, I handed everyone a life jacket and Tiger Milk bars when they walked in the door. When I chose The Help, I served Chocolate Pie (you'd have to read the book to know why) and peanuts shipped in directly from the South (thank you Glenda).

We choose whatever book we wish, including some have chosen an author instead of a single book, for example, any book that was a knock off of Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice. There are tons of writers out there who have taken P&P and written it by other character's point of view.

Or we choose a genre. There's an author named Mary Roach who has a very particular writing style and genre so each of us read any one of her fascinating books.

It can be pretty much any subject matter but we tend to stay away from romance novels and sci-fi. We read a lot of novels by authors from other countries.

The founder of the club has an annual anniversary party at her place each January. We have tons of fun each and every meeting. Hope that helps.


    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 10:02AM
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Jodi-- what an imaginative book-party-thrower you are!
(Now tell us: Which one is you?)

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 10:16AM
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She is probably the one taking the picture since there are 10 in the club and only 9 in the picture???

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 10:24AM
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I don't belong to one, nor have I been asked to be a part of one. I may intimidate friends who already belong to one as whenever a friend tells me what book they've bought for the club's choice I tell them that I wish they had asked me first before they bought it, as I already have it. So you can tell that I do read a lot, and pretty fast. The clubs my friends belong to allow quite a while for member to read the book, and I'd probably have forgotten it by the time came to talk about it.

My choice of books depends on what I have in my TBR pile that I've picked from the Friends of the Library shop, and how I feel at that particular time. I usually have about a dozen books in my pile. I don't want to have to be told what I'm to read.

The camaraderie of clubs like Jodi's sounds pretty special, over and above the need to discuss books. Lucky ladies.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 10:45AM
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I love my book club. It is all neighbors, except one. Each time we meet, we choose the next book. It is almost always fiction. Sometimes we choose the usual book club titles, sometimes we go to different genres such as sci fi and sometimes we read classics. I love going back and reading the classics because I was never encouraged to read them when I was young.

We started out with about 10 - 12 people, but most have dropped out. Now we are down to the faithful five. We have some great discussions.

My only problem is that I am a slow reader. We meet about every five weeks, so sometimes the only boo I have time to read is the book club book, and I wish I had more time to read my personal choices. Maybe if I would get off the computer and pick up a book, I could read more of them!

We serve wine and snacks, but no one eats the snacks.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 11:23AM
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I used to belong to a book club at our local library, but stopped going because I disliked *having* to read a certain book - like being at school LOL!! I may start going again, though, since I enjoyed hearing what other people had to say about the books. This enriched my own reading experience.

There were snacks at the book club, but alas, no wine!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 1:51PM
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I've been with a Book Club for several years. We are a group of 8, but all don't attend every time. We meet at the same person's home once a month, as her place is centrally located. We are a
group of Christian ladies, so try to stick with books that are historical, or safe reading. One of the ladies chooses the book, and then she provides refreshments. We rate each book and say why/not not rating, and have some great discussions. We usually
end up talking about everything but the!! We have been known to also attend movies together, especially after reading the book....ex--The Help, and to rent others to watch together....ex--Sarah's Key. Sometimes we all go out to eat together, also. Our Club is one of my favorite things to go to....We all love and support each other!!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 2:27PM
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Jodi (btw, that's my nickname, too) - that looks like a GREAT book club!!!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 2:50PM
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How do you find book clubs or how does one start?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 3:52PM
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I am the center one in the life jacket photo. Doesn't look much like me because I was growing out an embarrassingly bad hair cut. One member of our club could not make it that night.

Below is my club thanking Glenda (KT Glenda) for the fresh Southern peanuts she sent for everyone to try. She also sent other goodies for Southern cooking plus a can of canned roadkill. :-) Again, one member didn't make it to that meeting and I am not in it because I'm taking the photo.


    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 5:00PM
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I've been in a book club for the best part of 20 years. It had been going for a few years before I was asked to join. I was the school crossing guard (at a lightly used crossing) and when there were no children around I would keep a book in my pocket to read. One of the teachers who was in the book club invited me to join.
Members have come and gone, we try to keep numbers at 11 so we have a meeting a month at a different person's house and January off. A few of the members who were there when I joined are still there, one had a couple of years off and came back, others have joined and left. Anyone can invite someone to fill a vacancy, though usually if we have someone in mind we run it by the others first.
We start off with drinks- wine or soft drinks, whatever the hostess wants to serve, discuss the book in whatever depth consensus determines, then gossip a lot :-) Then the hostess serves what we call "supper"- generally savoury appetisers and desserts, with tea and coffee, hands out the book she has chosen for the next month, and everyone pays for the book and goes home.
I hosted our latest book club meeting, and it was a hoot. We had a huge thunderstorm that knocked out all the power about 15 minutes after we started, but fortunately I have a huge collection of candlesticks so I got them all out and lit up and it was fun. Jokes were made about Hyacinth Bucket's "candlelight suppers". :-)
After I lit the fist candle, someone remarked, "Isn't it amazing how in movies they walk into a room, light one candle and the whole room lights up?" :-D

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 12:03AM
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I have been in my Book Club for nearly 6 years. Everyone else is an AirForce wife, except me, which is how they met. My neighbor invited me. Our members come and go, but there is a core group of 4 of us. No one else seems to be serious about finishing the books? We don't have any rules, you don't have to finish the book, but it seems pointless to come if you can't talk about the story?

We take turns hosting at each other's houses. Sometimes we may meet at a coffee shop or restaurant. We serve desserts or snacks that we try and base around the book. We spend the 1st half talking about the book and the 2nd half talking about what's going on with us. We've had meetings go over 3 hours!

Our founder is a bookaholic. She literally has a bookcase full of books to be read. We all bring suggestions each month and we "vote" on the ones we like. We try and go with the seasons-like Salem Witch trial book around Halloween. We try and pick books that are not brand new so members can borrow from the library or just buy a paperback. (I don't have the shelf space or money to buy all hardbacks all year.) We read one long book during the summer, so we don't meet in June or July.

I know some mentioned they don't want to be TOLD what to read, but I think it helps me. Our club picks books I normally wouldn't read. When I know there is a deadline, it makes me read each day until I am done. It can feel like school again lol

Strangely enough, I have Book Club tomorrow night! We normally meet the last Sunday of the month, but since that would be Easter, we made it tomorrow.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 12:26AM
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To find bookclubs in your area, I would suggest trying the following:

1. your local library - many have adult book clubs all set up or ask to start one

2. - this is where I found the private bookclub (at the time open to get it started)

3. - there are private, public, and online book clubs on this amazing site for readers

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 7:19PM
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Thanks Alice, we don't have any meetups around here either. I also already asked the library.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 7:22PM
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Lots of great sounding groups! The private group I am a part of seems to stay in the 30 year old range. Many of the ladies were not moms but have had kids in the last year and a half. The few older ladies that occasionally try out the group never stay for more than one meeting. I think all the mom talk and babies scare some people away. I know many of us long time members who do not have kids do not want to see it turn into mommy-and-me, and so far it hasn't totally.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 7:23PM
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Do you have a Borders or other book store? They often have book clubs. Would you consider starting one? You could advertise at the library, local paper, online, at the book stores, etc. I have found some great resources on how to start a book club, if you'd be interested.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 7:26PM
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Jodi, you belong to a great book club. I enjoyed reading about your second club..such imagination and dedication to the club!!
Pretty cool! I love to read! Sometimes I have three going at a time! Makes me want to go and join our club at the local library...the only thing is I am much of a rogue...I read what I want when I want and I probably wouldn't read what I was suppose to. LOL, LOL!! Then I would get kicked out! LMAO!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 9:58AM
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I love to read and have always wanted to partake in a book club. I just don't know enough people that like to read and live close to me.

Jodi, will you post what books you're reading each month and maybe I will join virtually??? Then at least I can catch up on the new books that I wouldn't read otherwise.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 12:10PM
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Meredith (naughtykitty), here is the starter list. :-) I haven't compiled the list from 2012 and early 2013 yet but it's coming. :-) Will list the upcoming 2013 books as we read them.

Eva Perón Fraser, Nicholas and Marysa Navarro
A Cup of Tea Ephron, Amy
The Notebook Sparks, Nicholas
A Change of Heart Claire Sylvia; William Novak
A Yellow Raft in Blue Water Dorris, Michael
Divided Lives Elsa Walsh
Divine Secrets of the YA-YA Sisterhood Wells, Rebecca
The Color of Water McBride, James
The Horse Whisperer Evans, Nicholas

The Chin Kiss King Veciana-Suarez, Ana
A Year In Provence Mayle, Peter
All The Pretty Horses McCarthy, Cormac
Falling Leaves Yen Mah, Adeline
Memoirs of a Geisha Golden, Arthur
Snow Falling in Cedars Guterson, David
Stones for Ibarra Doerr, Harriet
The Fencing Master Perez-Reverte, Arturo
The Reader Schlink, Bernhard; Carol Brown Janeway
The Song of the Lark Cather, Willa; Doris Grumbach

A Prayer for Owen Meany Irving, John
Gap Creek Morgan, Robert
Laguna Heat Jefferson Parker, T.
Midwives Bohjalian, Chris
Prodigal Summer Kingslover, Barbara
Red Light Jefferson Parker, T.
The Blue Hour Jefferson Parker, T.
The Slave Girl Emecheta, Buchi
We The Living Rand, Ayn
Where the Heart Is Letts, Billie

Before Women Had Wings Fowler, Connie May
Chocolat Harris, Joanne
Fortune's Rocks Shreve, Anita
Guests of the Sheik Fernea, Elizabeth Warnock
Left Behind Tim F. LaHaye; Jerry B. Jenkins
Silent Joe Jefferson Parker, T.
The Bone Setter Tan, Amy
The Haj Uris, Leon
The Ladies Auxiliary Mirvis, Tova
The Red Tent Diamant, Anita

Drowning Ruth Schwarz, Christina
Good in Bed Weiner, Jennifer
Managing Ignatius Strahan, Jerry
Sister of My Heart Divakaruni, Chitra Banerjee
The Fig Eater Shields, Jody
The Fourth Treasure Shimoda, Todd
The Girl With The Pearl Earring Chevalier, Tracy
The Makioka Sisters Tanizaki, Junichiro; Jun-Ichir-O Tanizaki
The Painted Bird Kosinski, Jerzy
The Shipping News Proulx, Annie

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress Sijie, Daj
Blue Shoe LaMott, Anne
Embers Márai, Sándor
I Am Madame X Diliberto, Gioia
Lovely Bones Sebold, Alice
Mrs. Dalloway Virginia Woolf; Maureen Howard
Running In The Family Ondaatje, Michael
The Da Vinci Code Brown, Dan
The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency McCall Smith, Alexander
Unsolicited Kaewert, Julie Waller

Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons Landvik, Lorna
Caramelo Cisneros, Sandra
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Angelou, Maya
Reading Lolita in Tehran Nafisi, Azar
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Haddon, Mark
The Lady and the Unicorn Chevalier, Tracy
The Miracle of Edgar Mint Udall, Brady
The Namesake Lahiri, Jhumpa
The Secret Life of Bees Monk Kidd, Sue
The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax Gilman, Dorothy

Death Comes for the Archbishop Cather, Willa
Dreams From My Father Obama, Barack
Having Our Say Delany, Sarah L. ; A. Elizabeth Delany
Heart Full of Lies Rule, Ann
The Chinese Gold Murders van Gulik, Robert
The Cold Sassy Tree Burns, Olive Ann
The Cruelest Miles Salisbury, Gay; Laney Salisbury
The Kite Runner Hosseini, Khaled
The Sunday Tertulia Carlson, Lori Mari
The Tender Bar Moehringer, J.R.

Devil in the White City Larson, Erik
Don't Lets Go to the Dogs Tonight Alexandra Fuller
Hallbaloo in the Guava Orchard Desai, Kiran
How to Read Literature like a College Professor Foster, Thomas
M.C. Beaton Mystery (member selection) Beaton, M.C.
Me Talk Pretty One Day Sedaris, David
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan See, Lisa
Sweet Diamond Dust Ferré, Rosario
The Memory Keeper's Daughter Edwards, Kim
The Mermaid Chair Monk Kidd, Sue

A Thousand Splendid Suns Hosseini, Khaled
Infidel Hirsi Ali, Ayaan
Jane Austen's 'Read Alikes' Various
Memory of Running McLarty, Ron
The Ginger Tree Wyland, Oswald
The Glass Castle Walls, Jeannette
The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio Ryan, Terry
The Thirteenth Tale Settersfield, Diane
Unpardonable Lies Winspear, Jacqueline
Waiting for Snow in Havana Eire, Carlos

The Shadow of the Wind Ruiz Zafon, Carlos
Body Surfing Shreve, Anita
Bel Canto Patchett, Ann
The Day the World Came to Town Defede, Jim
Water for Elephant Gruen, Sara
Hundred Secret Senses Tan, Amy
Three Cups of Tea Mortenson, Greg
Life of Pi Martel, Yann

The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loan Eco, Umberto
Plain Truth Picoult, Jodi
Kids from Nowhere Guthridge, George
Rabbit Run Updike, John
The Cure for Modern Life Tucker, Lisa
Winterdance Paulson, Gary
Obscene in the Extreme Wartzman, Rick
Down River Hart, John
Outliers Gladwell, Malcolm
Molokai Busnell, O.A.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Larsenn, Steig
The Help Stockett, Kathryn
Travels with Charley Steinbeck, John
Sarah's Key de Rosnay, Tatiana
Olive Kitterdge Strout, Elizabeth
The Weight of Heaven Umrigar, Thrity
The Season of Second Chances Meier, Diane
South of Broad Conroy, Pat
An Inconvenient Wife Chance, Megan
The Home for Broken Hearts Coleman, Rowan

Murder on Astor Place Thompson, Victoria
Cutting for Stone Verghese, Abraham
The Lady Matador's Hotel Garcia, Cristina
You Know When the Men are Gone Fallon, Siobhan
The Poisoner's Handbook Blum, Deborah
Crocodile in the Sand Bank Peters, Elizabeth
Mink River Doyle, Brian
Daughter’s in Law Trollope, Joana
Middlesex Eugenides, Jeffrey
Kosher Chinese Levy, Michael

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 12:43PM
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Wow, that's amazing Jodi! Thanks printing it out now. I have read a few of them.

My Sis-in law does a group in Tustin with her friends that I am trying to get involved with, but they are pretty close knit and don't really want interlopers. Luckily, she's loaned me a few of the books afterwards and I have really enjoyed them.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 1:16PM
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Meredith, since you live close to me, I'd be happy to loan you any of the books I still have. Many have already been donated to my local library or given to friends.


    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 1:50PM
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Wow, this is a wonderful list, Jodi. I have read several of the books and might feature a couple of my favorites as Book of the Week. I intend to print your list and use it when I'm looking for new reading material. Can never have too many book suggestions!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 3:49PM
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And ...

The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratts Thompson, Victoria
The Fates' Song Marianne Belis
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand Helen Simonson
Angela's Ashes Frank McCourt
The Cat's Table Michael Andatje
Hotel on the Corner for Bitter and Sweet Jamie Ford
State of Wonder Ann Patchett
Watership Down Richard Adams

Perla Robertis, Carolina da
I Thought My Father was God Auster, Paul
The Fault in our Stars Green, John
APRIL's book: Signs of Life Taylor, Natalie
MAY's book: The Language of Flowers Diffenbaugh, Vanessa

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 1:45PM
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