You will be reading and socializing more
The first time I had heard of this type of club I was watching an Oprah show many years ago and at the time thought it was a great idea. As an avid reader the idea of discussing books with like minded people appeared to me. However, it would be years later that I actually helped for form one and have been enjoying books as well as discussing them for quite some time.
There are five of us who decided to form our own "not-so-serious" club. We simply meet once a month at a local restaurant (different one each month so good for the local economy), suggest books to read and each of us read the same one, then discuss at the next meeting (or whenever we all finish the said book. Simple, except we all lead very busy lives and although we do our best to meet regularly, reading the same book every month sometimes does not happen.
"By the way ladies, I believe in-depth discussion of the key character's struggle with morality and her drive to satisfy her selfish desires attained a level of intellectual sophistication that we have not achieved prior. so seriously – thank you for helping my mind grow. "
The above quote is from one of the girls after a particular meeting where not one of us had read the same book. She wrote this on an email which our relative partner was privy to, so now they think we are really serious bookclubbers!
Well as a not-so-serious one, we have read many books over the years, some of which I would have never read had I not been part of such a club. As well as discuss books we eat, drink and mostly laugh about things that are happening in our lives. There are times when discussions become serious if one of us is having a particularly bad week but we all find that sharing seems to lighten the burden and by the end of the night we've usually solved the problem, and most of the world's big problems too.
If you enjoy socializing, wish to broaden your mind, make new friends and really enjoy a good night out I highly recommend joining (or starting) a club such as ours. You will actually save money by sharing the books around and if going to restaurants is a little too rich for you, then rotate the meetings at each others homes.
How to join a book club
The best way is to ask around your local area, probably the best place would be the library, and make up a list of possible choices in your area. The first one you choose may not be the right one for you but do not give up, the right group is out there. Another way is to approach your work social club and suggest starting one, or ask around your children 'school to connect with other avid readers.
There is an alternative type of book club if you do not want the social interaction and that is to join the many book clubs offered by such such as Oprah. There are heaps to choose from, just Google book clubs and go from there.
Some of our favorite books
The amount of books we have read are too many to mention but here is a list of some of the stand outs which received praise from the five of us.
- Mao's Last Dancer by Li Cunxin
- The Life of Pi by Yann Martel
- My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
- The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards
- Breath by Tim Winton
- Dirt Music by Tim Winton
- The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
- The Other Hand by Chris Cleave
- I Do not Know How She Does It by Allison Pearson
- The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas
- Rock n Roll Babes from Outer Space by Linda Jiavin
A few footnotes:
Mao's Last Dancer was the children's edition because some of our children were reading it at school and Li Cuxin was visiting schools at the time.
The Other Hand – an intriguing book about refugees written from the refugee perspective.
The Slap – A look at modern society and what is considered appropriate when it comes to disciplining children. This book made for rich discussion about racism, friendships and what is right and wrong social behavior.
Breath – beautifully written, so descriptive and touching. A story about coming of age with a backdrop of surfing and magnificent beaches.
So go ahead, turn an individual pursuit into a way of making new friends, join a book club today.