Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Flexible Book Clubs

I must confess that my book club does everything in a sporadic fashion, probably because of me. We have been reluctant to establish a date each month and stick to it because that often means someone is left out. As a result, we sometimes end up discussing a book long enough after reading it that we have to review before the discussion.

Fortunately, these are not women who read one book and then wait to read another one until after it has been assigned. We arrive with bags of books we have read either to return to their rightful owners or to share. We have clippings from the newspaper and printouts of online reviews. Our selection for the next meeting comes almost arbitrarily, and we rarely settle for one book.

This month, we shared lots of other suggestions. I had my list from the conference. One of the members had taken a long family road trip, so she had her vacation reading to share. We finally decided to read Just Like Us: The True Story of Four Mexican Girls Coming of Age in America by Helen Thorpe and Half Broke Horses, Jeanette Walls' "true-life novel" about her maternal grandmother we had read about in her memoir The Glass Castle.

Once we'd selected our book(s) and decided to try a regular monthly meeting date for the coming year, we kept throwing around titles, responding, "Yeah, I loved that one" or "Is this one yours? May I read it next?" We weighed in on the Twilight series (some loved them, some didn't), and before long, we were headed back home, our bags of books redistributed and our nightstand stack of books to read just a little taller.

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