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marfa
Permanent Resident

USA
2027 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2003 :  5:28:39 PM  Show Profile  Visit marfa's Homepage Send marfa a Private Message
How do.
It seems pretty clear that a lot of us are avid readers - we love to read & love to talk about books!
Are you a member of a book group? In the fall of 1990 I co-founded a book group w/two former work colleagues. We decided to invite two other people, hoping for the full 9 members to start. We ended up w/7 & took off from there.
We meet monthly & except for maybe 3 months, have talked about books each & every month. We trade the hostess job, cooking a meal & serving drinks. We have picked titles by a form of concensus over the years & for this year, we will try something new. The hostess for that month will pick the title for that month & whatever she picks, that's it! No arguments or changes.
Every October we have a potluck dinner & hold our version of the Academy Awards. As the archivist, I print a list of the prior year's titles & a "form" that lists our categories. These include the following: best female character, best male, best animal, best title, favorite discussion, book I'd give as a gift, favorite scene, author I'd like to meet for dinner. There are a few more of these. It is one of the best meeings we have - lots of talking & laughter plus good food. We always seem to have 1 of every category you need for a dinner party & other than my DH's famous salads, no one knows what anyone else will bring. I am the annual hostess for this meeting in addition to hosting another one or two during the year.
Fiction is a bigger hit for us than nonfiction. Our two guidelines for books are these: a book must be in paperback (saves $) & the books are available from the library (back to the budget idea again). My book group is important to me - we've gone through a lot w/each other over the years. I am the only original founding member still left & as you can imagine in our mobile world, the other members have changed. If you're not a member of a book group, I do recommend them. When they are good, they're fabulous.


Ditzy Girl
Permanent Resident

USA
4723 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2003 :  6:33:32 PM  Show Profile Send Ditzy Girl a Private Message
No, I do not belong to a book group, but it is something I have always wanted to do. I tried to start one where I currently live but no one was interested. Oh well maybe someday when we move back to the city, I can find one to join, along with taking some knitting classes or joining a knitting guild or even heaven forbid going to a yarn shop, quilting classes, and just being able to go to the theatre or symphony. Seattle has all these things and more. As for now I have the forum which helps alot.

Zola
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Marg in Mirror
Permanent Resident

Canada
3205 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2003 :  10:13:17 PM  Show Profile  Visit Marg in Mirror's Homepage  Send Marg in Mirror a Yahoo! Message Send Marg in Mirror a Private Message
I don't belong to a book club, and am not really able to go out to meetings, but I share books with 2 close friends (Molly Wolf (KnitLit), the Monica Ferris series etc.) so it's sort of an informal thing...

-- Marg in Calgary

TLWKOTB
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Emaruottolo
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
472 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2003 :  06:30:32 AM  Show Profile Send Emaruottolo a Private Message
Ive been a member of a new book club (Four books so far). We are very informal. As we all have preschoolers, we meet during the day, and the children get a playdate out of it as well. We meet every six weeks, (we skip July and Aug.) We also alternate hosting the meeting. We basically serve appetizer type foods. Sometimes wine sometimes tea. Usually both. We also have the criteria that the book be at least one year old so that it may be in paperback and easier to get from the library. We are trying to alternate between fiction, non fiction and the classics. We have nine members. So far we have lost one and gained one. So net, net we are still at nine. That is actually an ideal number of people. If everyone comes it's manageable, but it is rare if everyone makes every meeting.
IF you can join or start a book club, I also highly recommend it.
Elisa

"Happiness is not the destination, but the road traveled."
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LJ
Permanent Resident

USA
1939 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2003 :  07:14:59 AM  Show Profile  Visit LJ's Homepage Send LJ a Private Message
Good topic and one I've been discussing with friends over the last few weeks.

I was a memeber of a book club for about 5 years. The formal club began about 10 years ago as a reading group that explored women writers and grew to a membership of about 30 women. Usually 15-20 came to the gatherings. Every September you submitted one book to the group for consideration. After a review of each book we selected the ones to read for the following year usually alternating between a light read and a heavy read.

The group had dwindled to about 8 women this past year and they lost me in November. The group of ladies that remained didn't seem to understand that there were other books besides deep intelectual studies to read and discuss. For example, "The Confederacy of Dunces" by John Kennedy Toole was raved over by all but me. I wasn't getting it and so I did some reasearch on Toole...he was insane!

I knew I no longer belong in this group when, after I made a comment about a story line on West Wing, I was given that over the glasses rolling eyes look with the comment "that's nothing but trash, I only watch PBS" from 3 of the 5 ladies in the room and I was the 5th. I actually thought about getting up and leaving then, but realized we were at my house and I had no where to go!

So that's my sad sad story. But it is rather nice not to have to hide behind closed doors to read Nora Roberts or Elizabeth Berg.

Linda .. who also watched Joe Millionaire




"Randy lay there like a slug...it was his only defense." Ralphie
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Luann
Permanent Resident

USA
2670 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2003 :  09:32:01 AM  Show Profile  Visit Luann's Homepage Send Luann a Private Message
I've been in a book group for over 12 years - started as part of an effort by my college alumnae group to get the young alums involved. We thought a book group to be a great idea since it was basically a free activity, and we all love to read. So since 1991 a group of '80's graduates has been meeting. Over the years some have moved away and others have joined the group, and we've been together through marriages, breakups, and births and deaths. Sometimes we don't even talk about the book! We've been as many as 15 and as few as 5, usually about 8 active members. A bunch of us (not me) are having or have just had a second child, which really has taken a toll on the attendance, but we continute to meet, knowing it will pick up again. Some can only come to one or two meetings a year, but stay in touch by email and read the books along with us.

Our rules are few: it must be in paperback and in print (for cost's sake) and you don't have to have read it to come to the meeting anyway!

Martha, I absolutely love your "academy awards" idea - we are meeting tonight and I'm going to suggest my group start to do something similar. It would be a great excuse to have an "annual meeting" of sorts, to ensure that even the busy new moms take one night to come out with the rest of the girls.

Thanks for the idea!
Luann

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marfa
Permanent Resident

USA
2027 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2003 :  4:38:23 PM  Show Profile  Visit marfa's Homepage Send marfa a Private Message
How do.
Luann, glad you like the Academy Awards style dinner idea - it can be the best meeting of the year & there are almost always more things to say about the books you loved & didn't love. If you would like a copy of the category sheet, let me know - I can email or mail it to you. It has grown & changed a bit over the years & it's a pretty cool list.

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marnita
Chatty Knitter

USA
348 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2003 :  5:49:30 PM  Show Profile  Visit marnita's Homepage Send marnita a Private Message
I started a book club with some friends last Spring. Interestingly enough, I have gotten people to join the book club from finding my knitting blog. Right nowe we have about 8 members. We meet once a month at a cafe in Manhattan. We also vote as a group for the books that we will read. (Gotta love the polling feature on evite.com!)

Unfortunately, work, the weather and winter colds have slowed us down a bit this winter. I hope that we get back in the swing of it in the next month or 2.

http://marneysworld.blogspot.com
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Emaruottolo
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
472 Posts

Posted - 02/22/2003 :  06:50:08 AM  Show Profile Send Emaruottolo a Private Message
Marfa,
Would you send me the "Academy Award" list? My group will love this idea.
Thanks,
Elisa
emaruottolo@kpmg.com

"Happiness is not the destination, but the road traveled."
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marfa
Permanent Resident

USA
2027 Posts

Posted - 02/22/2003 :  3:48:40 PM  Show Profile  Visit marfa's Homepage Send marfa a Private Message
How do.
Elisa, I'll work on transferring it to the web part of my computer & email it to you.

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marfa
Permanent Resident

USA
2027 Posts

Posted - 02/25/2003 :  4:00:33 PM  Show Profile  Visit marfa's Homepage Send marfa a Private Message
How do.
Elisa, I sent the Academy Awards book list email to you - did you receive it?


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Emaruottolo
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
472 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2003 :  1:39:35 PM  Show Profile Send Emaruottolo a Private Message
Oh no, I didn't receive them, however my email had been off line for a while. Had server problems. Could you possibly resend. Thanks ever much.
Elisa

"Happiness is not the destination, but the road traveled."
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Luann
Permanent Resident

USA
2670 Posts

Posted - 02/27/2003 :  09:05:28 AM  Show Profile  Visit Luann's Homepage Send Luann a Private Message
Thanks - I'd love a copy of the awards categories, too!

Luann
luann(at)phunky.com

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marfa
Permanent Resident

USA
2027 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2003 :  11:24:53 AM  Show Profile  Visit marfa's Homepage Send marfa a Private Message
How do.
Elisa & Luann, I sent an email to you both just a moment ago w/the Awards categories.
Fingers crossed, Elisa, for your receipt of it - this is the 3rd email to you from me about it.

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srenee76
Chatty Knitter

113 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2003 :  11:56:26 AM  Show Profile  Visit srenee76's Homepage Send srenee76 a Private Message
I was so excited to see this topic!

I just sent out an email to some friends about starting a book group. I've always wanted to belong to one, and I just got tired of waiting for one to appear. So far I have 8 people interested, and we're going to meet for the first time this month. The only rules we'll have is the whole cost one--we're all recent grad school graduates with a ton of loans and starting salaries!

I love the Academy Awards idea too! I will definitely look into doing something like that. I hope our group works out. People seem to be really interested! And we will most likely *not* be reading heavy intellectual books. We all work in government/politics/policy and I think we'll focus more on fiction that makes you think.

Thanks for all of the ideas! Wish me luck!

Shannon
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marfa
Permanent Resident

USA
2027 Posts

Posted - 03/04/2003 :  4:51:55 PM  Show Profile  Visit marfa's Homepage Send marfa a Private Message
How do.
It's terrific to read about so many book groups! Shannon, I hope you all have terrific fun, good conversation & fabulous books to discuss!
From the "Why didn't I think of it sooner?" department, here are our "Academy Awards" categories.

Best or favorite book
Favorite female character
Favorite male character
Favorite animal character
Favorite scene or location
Best or favorite author
Author I would like to meet for dinner
Book that created the liveliest discussion
Book that created the least discussion
Book I didn't finish on time but will or did!
Book I didn't finish on time & won't!
Book's discussion I loved
Book's discussion that surprised me
Book I wouldn't have read w/out group
"Richest" book
Author I would like to read again
Book I would give as a gift

When we discuss the prior year's books, everyone has a list of the titles & authors that I have printed for them. For anyone starting a group, consider having someone be the record keeper - it's an easy gig & the lists are handy to have. For the "Awards" categories, there are no right or wrong answers - just your own. No one can dis them - you may have another opinion but no one can be wrong w/a pick.






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