I love my book clubs. The more the merrier, right? And what’s not to love? Great books, good conversation, cold drinks, and sweet treats make for lovely evenings.
The first and “official” book club I belong to is one that I joined with other staff and faculty from Spring Hill College. It’s a friendly group of women from far-off places like California, New York, Chicago, and Arizona who gather together in Mobile, Alabama–our adopted home away from home.
Twice a year, we choose the books for the next six months, and I’m happy to say that one of my suggestions is our next selection — Claire Fuller’s Our Endless Numbered Days, a suspenseful family drama with a fabulous twist ending. Fuller, who lives in the UK, but isn’t able to Skype because our book club meets during the middle of her night, has graciously agreed to answer all of our questions via email!
My second book club isn’t really a book club at all…really. It’s “book club night” at Page & Palette bookstore in Fairhope, Alabama. Two of the P&P staff members preview novels and non-fiction coming out in the next few months to a large, enthusiastic audience made up of members of at least 10 different book clubs from around Fairhope and the Eastern Shore. Advance reader copies of books are given away, along with t-shirts and other goodies. Oh yes, and there’s wine, too!
The third book club is part of a Facebook group I recently joined. This club has 473 members from across the U.S.; authors, readers – all smart women who adore great writing.
This month’s book pick is the Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner. The novel is a gripping story told during World War II that hooked me from the first chapter. In the last line of that opening section, the main character confesses that she is not 93 years old and that she is not named “Isabel.” Fascinating, right?
I’m grateful for the fun and fellowship of these gatherings. There’s a special sort of bond that forms–a sisterhood of sorts–when women gather to talk about books. And it’s more than sharing thoughts in someone’s living room, sipping wine in a bookstore, or typing impressions of a novel on a Facebook page and reading members’ responses.
It’s the laughter that ensues, the debates that are sparked, and the personal stories brought forth. It is also the memories from childhood shared, the sensitive topics discussed, and questions raised–questions that might not be brought to light under any other circumstances.
I know this much, as well. Because of book clubs, my life is enriched and the world is a more magical place. For that, I am grateful.
Live outside the Deep South? Let’s Skype!