|Book Club Luncheon Outing January 2020|
Book Club Information Online
There are book clubs hosted by groups of friends, by libraries, by publishers, by churches, by special interest groups and a multitude of others. You can find online book clubs, clubs that meet at peoples houses, clubs that meet at public places and library sponsered clubs meeting at the library.
Some book clubs have books selected by the sponsoring organization or person and others have members select the books. There are book clubs that only read one genre of books such as a mystery book club or a history book club and others that read a variety of different genres.
In looking for some history on the start of book clubs, I came to the conclusion that the discussion of books in groups dates back as far as we had the written word. In the USA I found references back to 1634 on a ship headed to the Massachusetss Bay Colony and another literary society started in 1727 by Benjamin Franklin named Junto.
My Experience in a Book Club
Our club actually started 20 years ago and still has 5 of the original members. As members have to leave due to illness, moving or other obiligations new members are added to our group. I joined when we moved to the area and a friend invited me to join the group.
We meet once a month at a different members house and that member leads a discussion on the book and provides refreshments for the group.
We read a variety of different genre's, each book is chosen by the hostess for the month. The hostess will have given us the name of the book and the date she will host the meeting at the previous meeting. So we have a month to obtain and read the book. Some members get the book from the library, some order an ebook online and others purchase a paper book.
We try to stay on topic, but sometimes that is difficult as we have been together for a long time. Sometimes we just need to set some time aside to socialize before we start the book discussion.
For refreshments we might serve wine and/or soft drinks and a variety of snacks. We usually end the evening with a dessert. Many of our hostesses will look for a food theme from the book and serve a snack or dessert that fits that theme.
Over the years we have done some fun things with the group.
- Several times we have invited an author to our meeting to lead the discussion of their book. It is fun when we find a local author to do this.
- We have gone on field trips before. One in particular that I remember was to a historical house in the area where one of our members is a docent.
- Another time we decided we would try our hand at writing a book. We each wrote a chapter and then passed it on to a member at the next meeting to write the next chapter. We did not have a plan ahead of time about where the book would head so it was a surprise to all of us when we got the final story. It wasn't a particularly compelling book but it did give us an experience of what an author goes through in writing.
Guidelines for a Book Club based on my Experience
- Set your schedules a year in advance ( or at least 6 months). Before we did this we spent a lot of time each meeting discussing who would have the next meeting. Now we send around a sign up sheet each January and everyone picks a month. They don't have to choose the book or the exact date till the month before.
- The hostess should plan a few questions to help get the discussion rolling. A lot of times these questions can be found on the author's or publishers websites.
- Having prepared questions are a good way to get the discussion back on track when someone tries to sideline it.
- Keep an open mind to reading types of books you wouldn't normally choose. I have read so many books in book club that I would never have chosen, but when I read them they are great. It has really broadened my horizons in my reading.
Books we Have Read
The next book is one we read last year. It was an interesting study involving cooking and the different personalities that took a cooking class. It was different from others we have read but I found it very interesting.
Here is a list of several other books we have read in the past several months.
- Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
- Big Little Lies by Lianne Moriarity
- Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan
- The Book Club by Mary Alice Monroe
- Leaving Time by Jodi Piccoult
- No Way Back by Andrew Gross
- Long Road to Mercy by David Balducci
- A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline
- I've Got My Eyes on You by Mary Higgins Clark
- The Address by Fiona Davis
- The Trapped Girl by Robert Dugoni
- Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
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