I have been a member of what I call Leah's bookclub for probably six months now. Last month we read a hysterical and great book by A.J. Jacob's called The Year of Living Biblically, which I highly recommend to anyone. We usually have small groups and good discussions. There are a few kindred spirits in the group. Several of the women in the group go to my church. I have hung out with one gal from bookclub a couple times socially as well. I love my bookclub. Leah finalized the bookclub's list of books for 2009 already and I am looking forward to our reads. Three of the books were suggestions I made and two more were ones I was wanting to read anyway. The other five (we don't meet in July or Dec.) are books I know nothing about and only one is by a author I've heard of. I am very excited to expand my horizons in the coming year. Leah is hoping to move out-of-state this year and we will all be really sad to see her go, but unlike Kristy's bookclub in Oklahoma, the club will not dissolve without her. We will continue to meet at various houses or our diner to eat dessert and discuss literature.
There is another bookclub in town (there are probably several actually) that I had seen advertised in our town's weekly paper and thru the city's library for probably a year now. I have always meant to go check it out but never had until last night. It meets at the only bookstore in the valley and last night's meeting consisted of 10 women, mostly teachers, and mostly women older than my mom. I was kind of hoping there would be some men in the group, but there do seem to be a couple kindred spirits for me in this group too. The discussion on Griffin's Black Like Me was fantastic (I also highly recommend that book to anybody). I suspect very few, if any, of these women share my religion and only one was close to my age but I love the group. I will not be able to go to this bookclub as often because of the day and time it meets, plus I can't commit to reading two books a month not of my own choosing. But I am very excited to go when I can and make new friends and be intellectually stimulated. Plus, they picked two of my book suggestions (the same two as the other group!) to read in the next six months.
SO, my reading list for the next few months is:
The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon (my suggestion, suggested to me by a friend from my Oklahoma bookclub and is being read by my primary bookclub in Aug.)
The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield
Kabul Beauty School - Deborah Rodriguez (my suggestion, suggested to me by one of my very best friends)
The Ladies Auxilary - Tova Mirvis
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle - Barbara Kingsolver (my suggestions that both book clubs are reading in the same month! But was suggested to me by Leah in the first place.)
The Guernsay Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - MaryAnn Shaffer
My Life in France - Julia Child
My MIL2, Linda, meets monthly with a bookclub where the hostess (who picked the book) both leads the discussion and prepares a nice dinner for the group. Although that is a lot of work, I've always liked that idea. But my friend Megan is now part of a dinner club where two women a month cook a phenomenal dinner with incredible presentation for the other women in the group. THAT sounds like an even better idea. My bookclub lets Leah finalize the book choices, and anyone who wants to gets a turn to host the party at their home and make refreshments. Nobody leads the discussions. My new bookclub meets at a bookstore after-hours, they take turns leading the discussion, and others take turns bringing treats.