Saturday, October 3, 2009

National Reading Group Month

So I hear that October is National Reading Group Month!

Are you in a book club?

I love being in a book club because it encourages me to read outside my comfort zone and gives me the opportunity to talk to other readers about what we're all reading, and meet lots of great people. I've been in several over the years, from suburban library clubs to a college alumnae club to my current club, a religious club called The Daughters of Abraham, which I've written about before. And some of my most memorable reading experiences have come from book clubs, like
  • Tender at the Bone, Ruth Reichl's memoir of food and growing up, now one of my favorite reads,
  • The Translator, a beautiful literary love story by Leila Aboulela, which gave me some insight into the Muslim religion,
  • Wuthering Heights, which was memorable only because I hated it so much,
  • Since My Last Confession, by Boston author Scott Pomfret, who even came to our meeting,
and more.

For October, my club is reading Ariel Sabar's incredible book, My Father's Paradise. I'm so excited to talk to them about one of my favorite reads of 2008!

So now I want to hear about your memorable book club reads or experiences. If you want to blog about your book club, please feel free to leave a link so others can find your post, and please leave a comment if you link!


the heart is a lonely reader said...

I run three book clubs out of the bookstore I work for:
- A monthly Cookbook and/or Vegan Potluck where we test a new cookbook by making recipes from the book and bringing them into share.
- A Mother-Daughter Book club for moms and daughters ages 7 - 12.
- I Heart Teen Lit Book Club meant for readers of all ages, specializing in young adult literature.

Running the book clubs for customers is fun, especially the potluck club (even though I have to come in on my day off), but I've been lately searching for a decent book club to join solely as a participant. So far, no luck on that front, but I did recently get a promising lead from a librarian who has started a book club focusing on award winning children's lit.

I'm crossing my fingers for this one!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I am not in a book club because I like to make my own choices and also in my own time frame. But on the other hand, this is why I love the online book blogging community, because you can generally find someone with whom to discuss the book you're reading. And also there are "readalongs" from among which you can pick and choose. So it's kind of like a book club, without the wine....

Anonymous said...

I tried to start a book club once, and we had 2 or 3 meetings and it went well, but then it sort of whithered and died. No one's fault, and I think we were all enjoying it, but it just didn't really work.

I went to a few meetings of two different book clubs at the Boston Athenaeum, and I really liked the people in one but not so much the books, and in the other the books were great but the other people were bizarrely unfriendly. So I stopped going to both.

Someday when I have more time and energy I'll search out another club. I really enjoyed having people to talk about books with!

Alexia561 said...

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find a book club that I liked. Tried a few different clubs at various bookstores, but one petered out from lack of interest and the other could never agree on which book to feature!

My library has a few clubs, but they all meet during my work hours. Tried an online book club, but it's not quite the same. One of the things I want is the free-flowing discussion that you get when talking books with friends.

Haven't given up and am still searching! Maybe I'll find my dream club someday. :)

Wendi said...

One of my book clubs gets together the first Wednesday evening of the month for dessert while we chat about books. I had no idea it was National Reading Group Month. :)

This Wednesday we are discussing Sarah's Key - a wonderfully heart-wrenching book.

I love the idea of your cookbook book club. . . well, all three that you run!

~ Wendi

Sherry said...

I started a neighborhood book club almost six years ago. We're still going strong. Lately, we've had inquiries from people who live in the community but not in our neighborhood who would like to join. We will need to figure out what to do.

Lesley said...

I oversee two book clubs, one through my church and one at the library where I work. Although I really enjoy them I would love to find a book group where all I would need to do is read the book and show up to talk about it, but finding a group and the time is difficult.

One of the things I am most proud of is that through my church club, which is comprised of women, I've had several come up to me and say how much they've loved being able to talk about books but also get to know their fellow parishioners beyond seeing them in church. The book club has become a real opportunity for fellowship.

Steve Luxenberg said...

Dear Marie,

Your post about reading groups seems like the appropriate place for me to leave this comment. A few months ago, when my book, Annie's Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family Secret, came out, you were among the first book bloggers to review it. I just wanted to let you know that the American Booksellers Association has chosen Annie's Ghosts for the Independent Booksellers Fall/Winter List of Recommendations for Reading Groups, in the "A-List for Nonfiction" category. Thank you for helping to extend the book's reach.

Here's the url to the Fall/Winter list:

--Steve Luxenberg

Rebecca Reid said...

This month starts the inaugural meeting of my library's classics book club! I'm quite excited to get it off the ground. How appropriate that it's reading group month.

I'm hoping it goes well so I may have some happy thoughts at a later date.

Care said...

How interesting that my bookclub has decided to skip this month and meet in November! I'm not sure why exactly - I think it was how busy the Fall gets... But we are reading 2 books: The Help by Kathryn Stockette and The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton.

Zibilee said...

You know, Wuthering Heights was a funny read for me. I think I hated it so much that I actually liked it in a weird way.

I just started a book club a few months ago. So far we have read some really interesting books, but the greatest part about the club is being able to talk about books for a few hours with people in my real life who love to read as much as I do. Our current read is The Memory Keeper's Daughter.

I hope you are enjoying My Father's Paradise. I loved the book, and think it would make for a great discussion.

Cindy Hudson said...

Mother-daughter book clubs are my thing: I'm in two of them (one with each daughter) and I just wrote a book about how to successfully create them. It's called Book by Book: The Complete Guide to Creating Mother-Daughter Book Clubs.

The thing I love about these clubs is that they give you a way to really connect with your daughter. Even before you get to your book club meeting you can talk about issues in the books you're reading. And some of those might be pretty embarrassing to bring up on your own.

In one of my clubs we just finished reading North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley. We talked about the true meaning of beauty, verbal abuse, boy/girl was quite a night.

I blog about mother-daughter book clubs at I also keep a website with book reviews, reading lists, author interviews and more at

I love to get suggestions from readers and book club members.