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Winter Fun

The Saturday Morning Book Club + Reading List

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Last week we had a great conversation about “comforting clothes.” Well. On the third Saturday of every month I get to go to book club, which is like slipping into the most comfortably well-worn sweater you can imagine.

No one remembers exactly when our first meeting was, but we do know it was at least twelve years ago. Twelve years! That’s a long time for a group to get together in this busy era, so I asked these book-loving kindred spirits why they think our club has stayed the course. Here’s what they said:

One of the best things about our club is that meetings are held at a neutral zone [Barnes and Noble Cafe]. By doing that we’ve eliminated any pressure about house/food prep, etc. The meeting is not strictly structured, which is also a plus.  

We don’t guilt anyone who hasn’t read the book. We know that everyone is busy so if someone hasn’t, they know they can still come.

The structure allows us to know about what is happening in each individual’s life. That helps us to interpret some of the comments made. Another interesting factor is that we have viewpoints from people in their 30s, 40s,50s, and 60s. That gives us a broad range of experiences and history to draw from.

I like that we have the meetings at the same time on the same day every month. It would be harder to attend if the days and times changed every month depending on personal schedules.

I like our traditions, like reading a mystery every October.

We all do our best to make it to the meetings every month. That commitment shows the others that they’re important to us, which makes everyone want to keep showing up!

And finally:

We work for a lot of reasons:
 
We are strong, loving, and diverse women. Some are happy to talk and some are happy to listen on any given topic, allowing balance at the table. With our different backgrounds and belief systems, we can bring a nuanced discussion (or argument, depending on the day!) to a book, whether it be who our favorite character was, if we could relate to the story, or if we agree with the message the author was sending. That, coupled with the fact that we’re all confident women, means we can have a lively discussion on a book, versus all quietly agreeing we liked it and then staring at each other in silence because we’re afraid to give our actual opinions. We might disagree but we don’t take it personally—and then next month, we get to start again. We challenge ourselves with our book choices so that it doesn’t become stale, and we don’t take ourselves too seriously.
 
But I think the real key to our success is that we care about each other. We’ve gotten to know each other’s personal lives—so every month, when we gather to talk about the book, we’re also gathering to talk about ourselves—sometimes sharing our successes, sometimes looking for a shoulder to lean on. We celebrate together, we mourn together, and as everyone else in that store knows, we certainly laugh together. We show each other the kind of love, kindness, and friendship that other people write books about.

That, and we don’t allow men. 

Hah! Thanks for the great responses, ladies. I’m grateful to the group for their friendship and support and also for pushing me to read books I never would have on my own.

Speaking of, I polled the group for their all-time favorite books. The book mentioned most? The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. Have you read it?

If you’re looking for book ideas, we’ve got you covered with our Saturday Morning Book Club Book List. And if you’re a member of a book club, please share what makes your group tick!

 

Comments

  1. Diane says:

    I love our book club for all the reasons given. I’m so lucky to be a part of it and so grateful for our leader (Shannon) who is the biggest reason we’ve stuck together!

  2. Your book club sounds wonderful. I used to belong to a book club and one of our favourites also was the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I even made a potato pie for our meeting which tasted pretty good (better than theirs probably did since I used butter etc).

  3. Shannon says:

    Grace, I love that you actually made a pie! Was the recipe in the book or did you create your own version? I’ll have to go back and look….

  4. Jennifer says:

    I always DO feel guilty for not reading the book, but I come anyway! My favorite of the books we read was Possession by A. S. Byatt. I’d love to reread it!

  5. Mary Stoltman says:

    Great job describing our book club – good reminder why I love it so much!

  6. Laura says:

    Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen was one of my favorites. It takes us into a different world where anything can happen.

  7. Shannon says:

    And with all the great works we’ve read, my top five includes Dog Gone It, the mystery narrated by a dog. (It was just so fun.)

  8. Diane says:

    I’d forgotten how much I loved the book The Red Tent. It’s in my top 5.

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