The Read It or Not book club holds the longevity record hands-down, among book clubs I've been visiting. They've been meeting for sixteen years, although the newbie of the group has been attending a mere fourteen. They meet whenever they meet (the next time will be January 2010 (!) for Rudyard Kipling's KIM), so I felt flattered to make the docket so speedily.
My own book club tries to match the evening's food to the book's setting or themes, but the hostess of Read It or Not went one further: she served up the meal from the first Open House in MOURNING BECOMES CASSANDRA, down to the margaritas and Spanish rice! When another guest brought tabbouleh, Sara thought it only fitting, since that evening's meal also became a "global mishmash." After dinner we even played Charades around a set-up Scrabble board, in honor of all the game-playing in the book.
Sticking so closely to themes might rule some books out, in the future. They reminisced about the time they read William Manchester's A WORLD LIT ONLY BY FIRE, dining by candle light and eating only with their hands and one fork. (I didn't quite follow that, since that is how I generally eat--at least in terms of utensils. I also have that execrable habit--according to Oprah--of pushing food onto my fork with my finger, rather than using a knife.)
I wonder how Read It or Not would have handled David Benioff's CITY OF THIEVES, with its cannibalism and "library candy" (i.e., snacking on glue from book bindings). And it remains to be seen what we'll serve up for this month's BRAIN RULES. Sweetbreads, anyone? Seconds on the head cheese?