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basement book club

March 7, 2010

I’m starting a book club!  Not a Barnes-and-Nobles sized one, a small one…a basement-sized one.

I was in a book club a few years ago and really enjoyed it, however, I wasn’t able to commit to it longer than one year due to my busy work schedule at Desiring God.  Now that I have a little more freedom in my days, I would love to be a part of something like this again.

I have several friends who are in book clubs and I love hearing about what they are reading and the kinds of things they discuss.  It has encouraged me to start one of my own, (which I have never done before).  This is where you can help…

I would love book recommendations and suggestions for our meeting times together.

One idea I have is to prepare food for the meetings that was mentioned in the particular book we just read.  For instance, one book I would like for us to read would be: My Life in France, the autobiography of Julia Child.  For that particular discussion, I would love to prepare some of the recipes that Julia herself created in her cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Questions for you…

  • Have you ever been in a book club?  If so, what are some things you really enjoyed about it?
  • What was your reading schedule like?  One book a month? Two?
  • What books have been well suited for a book club of about 6-7 women?
  • Is it better to stick with the same genre of books for every meeting, or would it be good to do a mix?

Please leave your suggestions in the comments section below and I will discuss them with my book club at our first meeting!  Thanks…

8 Comments leave one →
  1. March 7, 2010 10:25 pm


    I am so excited for you as you start a book club. I have been in one for several years and have loved it. We do a variety of books and I can send you the list of books we have read over the years. We try to do a variety of lighter and heavier books – mostly all classics, but not all. We have read CS Lewis; Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Cather, Dickens, Austen and many others.

    If the book lends itself, we try to have food that relates to the book, but not always

    We alternate homes for our meetings and mix in some coffee shops or places like Good Earth – just to mix it up a bit.

    We read one book/month. Over the summer we have done trilogies like the Lord of the Rings series.

    Sometimes we finish our book discussion early and linger for fellowship after and that time is very sweet.

    Enjoy your journey! Corrie Ayers

  2. March 7, 2010 10:34 pm

    So fun! I love bookclubs! I’ve been a part of one for over a year now and it’s been great. We keep it simple – one book per month. Every once in awhile we make it one book for two months if we’re particularly busy.

    Each person in the group (there are about six of us) takes a turn and we alternate months. When it’s your month you choose the book (any genre, length, etc) or give suggestions and we “vote.” You are also in charge of coordinating the meeting place/time.

    Sometimes we host in our own homes and keep it simple with dessert and coffee, sometimes we go out, sometimes it’s a full meal. We had the author join us one time which was really neat!

    We’ve read all kinds of different books – memoirs, biographies, fiction, mystery, theological, etc. A lot of times the choice seems to be picked from someone’s “I want to read it” list.

    I hope you have a great time starting! Kirstjen

  3. therigneys permalink*
    March 7, 2010 10:48 pm

    Wonderful suggestions, friends! Thanks SO much! Keep the ideas coming if you think of more!

  4. Becky permalink
    March 8, 2010 9:22 am

    Jenny, I’ve never been in a bookclub, but I always have wanted to. I think you should serve tea from a real, pretty tea pot. 🙂 You can borrow one of mine if you need to! Victorian style…with scones and little cakes. fun 🙂

    Maybe, you guys could practice writing as well, like writing off of a book you read together, and then sharing it. Or reading a book of poems out loud to each other for one of the months.

    Change it up a lot. Don’t do just non-fiction for several months in a row, add some fiction (all types-old and new) in there to spice it up as well, you know?

    I’m so glad you are doing this. You’ve inspired me to either start or join one of these. I love reading! I hope it goes well for you, my dear!

  5. March 8, 2010 10:35 am

    Fun! I’ve been in our church book club for over 2 years. We stick to Christian fiction, altho lately we have also included some biography type books – non-fiction, but still story-like. We just try to stay away from self-help or topical books.

    We read one book a month (which I think is good; I couldn’t read more than that) & meet at each other’s homes with appetizers & desserts. Once or twice a year, we’ll all come with suggestions of books to read, then we vote & plan the book list for however many months. So we get in a variety of books.

    I love it! It’s so fun getting to read books I wouldn’t have otherwise, as well as get to know women in our church & meet up with them monthly.

  6. Robin Cook permalink
    March 8, 2010 11:02 am

    About 5 years ago the women’s ministry at my church wanted to expand their scope. My friend Brenda, who was also new to town, decided to head up a book club as a way to meet some people at church. Several of us who were new as well got connected at church due to her hospitality. The guideline we used for selection was a Christian author or topic.
    Brenda did a great job of researching the book reviews and the authors, and having questions ready should the conversation need prompting. She selected a variety of books and ordering books from Amazon to save us money and driving. When she moved back to Tulsa we spread out the work load and continued.
    We read one a month, but skip reading during the Christmas holidays and just meet for lunch to get our January book. We take turns hosting at our home. We have done controversial books that are being widely discussed like The Shack and Blue like Jazz.
    Once we read one by a local author and invited her to our book club and lunch with foods discussed in her book. We had one meeting at the author’s home – one of our women is married to Bret Lott, who wrote an Oprah book club choice, Jewel.
    I will get a full list for you, but our all time favorites were:
    Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall
    Safely Home by Randy Alcorn

    Have fun,
    Robin Cook (not the author)

  7. Robin Cook permalink
    March 8, 2010 6:51 pm

    Here is the list of those we have read (minus about 3 that I hated).
    1. Lust Under the Veil-Um Daoud
    2. Through Gates of splendor-Elizabeth Elliot
    3. The Dead Don’t Dance-Charles Martin
    4. Thr3E-Ted Dekker
    5. A Song I Knew By Heart-Bret Lott
    6. A Christmas Mystery-Mary Jane Deeb
    7. Atonement Child-Francine Rivers
    8. Distant Echoes-Colleen Coble
    9. Finding Anna-Christine Schaub
    10. The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency-
    Alexander McCall Smith
    11. Treason-Don Brown
    12. The Chase-Susan Wales/Robin Swope
    13. Christmas Candle-Max Lucado
    14. Safely Home-Randy Alcorn
    15. Grace At Low Tide-Mary Webb Hart
    16. A Table By The Window-Lawana Blackwell
    17. Trail By Ordeal-Craig Parshall
    18. Yada Yada Prayer Group-Neta Jackson
    19. River Rising-Athol Dickson
    20. Facing Terror-Carrie McDonnell
    21. Plague Maker-Tim Downs
    22. A Treasury of Christmas Miracles-
    Karen Kingsbury
    23. All She Ever Wanted-Lynn Austen
    24. Same Kind of Different as Me-
    Ron Hall and Denver Moore
    25. The Blue Bottle Club-Penelope Stokes
    26. The List-Robert Whitlow
    27. Blue Like Jazz – Donald Miller
    28. The Shack – William Young
    29. On Every Side – Karen Kingsbury
    30. Until We Reach Home – Lynn Austin
    31. The Night Watchman – Ray Quinn
    32. Welcome to Fred – Brad Whittington
    33. The Missionary – William Carmichael
    34. A Voice in the Wind – Francine Rivers
    35. Lights of the Veil – Patty Metzer
    36. Levi’s Will – W. Dale Cramer
    37. One Incredible Moment – Max Lucado
    38. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Annie Barrows

  8. Elizabeth Thomas permalink
    March 12, 2010 5:13 pm

    Hi, I’ve always wanted to be part of a book club! My husband said to start one myself…so I’m interested in any tips you may have. I realize beginning your own book club is new for you too, but since you’ve already been in one and made the move to start your own, I thought you might keep us posted on how things are going. I’d love to get some ideas. Thank You!

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