book club selections :: 2010-2011
About six months ago, I wrote about how I was wanting to start a book club in hopes to branch out a bit more from my usual go-to authors and book genres. My schedule was also a little more free those days and I hadn’t been a part of a book club in over two years! I was missing the regular times of meeting together for the purpose of discussing good books with good friends.
My book club began the following month and is comprised of nine women who meet together every month to discuss our most recent literary assignment. I love these friends and their unique personalities! I always learn more about the book we’ve just read while listening to their impressions of the characters and plot.
We have some women in our group who average reading about a book a week. I do not fall into this category. Sam does not allow me to fall into this category! However, I benefit so much from the breadth and depth of their literary expertise.
I have had a handful of people ask me to keep them updated from time to time on our group’s reading schedule and any additional activities we do together as a group.
Our schedule looks a little bit like this:
We meet together in my living room for about 2 hours, once a month, on the last Monday of each month.
I always try to serve refreshments that played some sort of role in the book. For instance, when we read Same Kind of Different As Me, I served blackberry cobbler. When we read Women’s Diaries of the Westward Journey, I served Buffalo Chip Cookies (those poor Pioneer women had to cook with real thing!). Next month, our book is The Good Earth and I plan on having a full Chinese feast around our dining room table with chopsticks.
Our reading schedule began last April, so we selected enough books to carry us through April of 2011. At our first meeting, we were each assigned to bring five book titles, one from each of the following genres: Fiction, Non-fiction, Biography, Children’s classic (or Newberry winner), and the last was a freebie! We threw the book titles in a bowl and began drawing out titles.
Here is our current reading schedule:
April: Same Kind of Different As Me by: Ron Hall and Denver Moore
May: Women’s Diaries of the Westward Journey by: Lillian Schlissel
June: The Help by: Kathryn Stockett
July: The Giver by: Lois Lowry
August: Cutting for Stone by: Abraham Verghese
September: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by: Betty Smith
October: The Good Earth by: Pearl Buck
November: My Antonia by: Willa Cather
December: The Scarlet Pimpernel by: Baroness Orczy
January: Ivanhoe by: Sir Walter Scott
February: Blood Brothers by: Elias Chacour
March: A Little Princess by: Frances Hodgson Burnett
April: Sarah’s Key by: Tatiana de Rosnay
I also want our group to go to a musical or play together. We just read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and all really enjoyed it, so if this play every comes to Minneapolis- we will be there!
Another idea I have is for us to read a book by a local Minnesotan author and invite them to our book club, or at least go as a group to hear the author speak at a book signing.
For all of you who are in book clubs right now, what are you reading? What things have you done together as a group that you have benefited from? I’d also love you to share any book recommendations.
If you are not in a book club, I would highly encourage you to join one or start one yourself! It doesn’t have to be a big group, even three people would be a great size in my opinion. It’s a great way to deepen friendships and stay connected with others. I’m even thinking about asking my dear friend, Betsy, (who currently lives in England) if she would like to join us via Skype! What do you think, Bets?