It’s the third Thursday of the month and that means one thing for me and eight of my friends: Book Club.
Before you snub your nose at us for being Oprah wannabes, let me assure you that we are not a stuffy book club. Sure, we all enjoy reading a good book every month, but each of us has our own personal stack of must-reads piling up behind the obligatory book club selection. I will speak for myself (but know that I am also speaking for several others in the group) when I say that I go for the wine. Lots of it. Someone once teased that we are a Book Club With A Drinking Problem based on the number of empty bottles she had to take to the recycling bin the following morning. One of the girls’ husbands corrected that remark dubbed us a Wine Club With A Reading Problem. A better problem to have!
I am often asked to provide book recommendations to friends and family who are not in a book club. These picks and pans are based on my opinions and generally those of the members of my club.
TOP 10 (not in priority order)
1. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
2. Cutting for Stone
3. Little Bee
4. Water for Elephants
5. The Power of One (and follow-up book Tandia)
6. Never Let Me Go
7. Say You’re One of Them
8. Lamb, The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal
9. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
10. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime
1. The Imperfectionists — up for discussion tonight
2. The People of the Book (we also read Year of Wonders by this author and it was very good)
3. Samedi the Deafness
4. The Double Bind
5. Protect & Defend
That task was harder than I thought it would be! I have many more books that I loved for different reasons and choosing my favorites was quite difficult. We’ve read a few memoirs, a few nonfiction selections, and many more.
I have also been asked numerous times for the particulars on how our book club is organized. Here you go:
MEETING DATE/TIME: This is set and mostly non-negotiable as the third Thursday of each month beginning at 6:30 PM.
FORMAT: The hostess is in charge of the entire evening — drinks, appetizer, dinner (w/ vegetarian option in our case), dessert. And drinks. Did I mention that?
We usually chat over cocktails and appetizers about things not related to the book. We get around to dinner around 7:15 and begin discussion of the book. This often leads to discussion of other things (including past books). We normally disband around 10 PM, unless there are a few laggards who like to finish up the open bottles of wine with the hostess.
BOOK SELECTION: The hostess for the evening selects the next month’s book, but often includes letting the group decide between two. Most hostesses choose books that are available in paperback. I generally pick mine up from the library, if possible.
HOSTESS SELECTION: With 9-10 members, we try to make it so that we each have to host roughly once a year (we usually take a break in December) and go in roughly the same order each time. We maintain a public Google doc that tracks it all.
Tell me, what’s on your nightstand? Do we have similar tastes? Do you disagree with me entirely? Leave a comment!