Thursday, August 27, 2009

How Does Your Book Club Run?

Met a friend at Cafe Borrone the other day. I had all three kids with me because Scott was meeting someone else (also at the same cafe but somehow with no children), so I set my Parenting Mode to "Ignore" (i.e., bought them each hot chocolate and gave them free rein with the DS), and the two of us had a great conversation.

One of my favorite topics is book clubs, and sure enough, Amy had some great tips to share from hers. In her book club, each person takes a turn choosing the book for the month and hosting, but as an added twist, that person BUYS the books for everyone in the group and hands them out the month before. "It's like getting a present every month," Amy said. Plus, you don't have to worry about getting your copy in time, as we do in my book club, a process complicated by the fact that we're all cheapskates and get in the library hold line, which does not guarantee you'll get the book in time even to skim it, much less read it. So once a year you have a big outlay, and the rest of the year you skate by while your library grows of its own accord. This does put a little extra pressure on the host to pick non-crappo books, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

In our book club we rotate Contemporary Fiction (post 1900), Non-Fiction, and Classic, but we usually choose the roster in a big pow-wow or when one particular member (ahem! Not to name names (Christina Dudley)) gets really opinionated. We also try to tie the refreshments and noshes to the theme of the book.

Some recent choices popular with Amy's group were OUTLIERS by Malcolm Gladwell, THE CONDITION by Jennifer Heigh, and NEVER LET ME GO by Kazuo Ishiguro.

If you're in a book club and have some best practices to share, let's hear it!

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