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Topic: Are you in a book club?

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Subject: Are you in a book club?
Date Posted: 9/23/2010 11:04 AM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2010
Posts: 1,206
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Can anyone tell me about your experiences with book clubs?  I have never actually been in one and I am in the process of forming a one in my neighborhood and I would love to hear about yours.  I am posting this in Hidden Gems because we are leaning towards that type of books, hoping to get away from just the best sellers.  We are debating having a set reading list, or just discuss what books we have each read that month and enjoyed. Thoughts??? 

Date Posted: 9/23/2010 6:15 PM ET
Member Since: 9/16/2007
Posts: 188
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I was in a book club a LONG time ago... We would basically meet once every month and one member got to pick the next book we would read. So we did not start out with a set list. There were no criteria, other than it had to be fiction, because that's what we were all interested in.

I have one suggestion of a "Hidden Gem" - I'm sure others will have more!

The Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreelander - Traces a fictional lost Vermeer painting through history. Every chaper is a short story written from a different point of view, witnessing the painting coming in and out of the charaters' lives. I found it very original and fun to read.

Date Posted: 9/23/2010 8:22 PM ET
Member Since: 9/8/2009
Posts: 613
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I love, love, love my book club!  We've been together for years and meet in our little local bookstore.  Our group is facilitated by the most awesome lady.  I've never known anyone who reads more than our Betty.  I think part of the success of our group is the variety of the ladies in it -- all ages, backgrounds, etc. and a longevity such that we share a common history.

We only choose our books about three months ahead so that if someone comes up with a magnificent find we don't have to wait a year to read it.  We read a lot of the popular stuff, but will take a left turn into random at times (i.e., we discovered that one of our members had never read a Nancy Drew book, which had to be remedied, so we each read the Nancy Drew book of our choice -- it was a gas!).  We try to read different genres occasionally.  We don't choose a book for our January meeting (since we meet very early in the month).  Instead, we all bring treats and a wrapped used book to exchange (packages go into a pile and everyone draws). 

As to your question about a reading list versus "book reporting," for me it would be important to have everyone read the same book.  I never walk away from one of our gatherings without new insight into a book as seen through someone else's eyes.  Our conversations usually devolve into discussing what everyone's read during the month anyway, especially if someone found a gem. 

Go for it and have fun!  Just because you start out one way doesn't mean you can't alter things as time passes.  Good for you for giving it a try!

Date Posted: 9/23/2010 10:00 PM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2010
Posts: 482
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I am in a book club with 5 other women. We have been together for about 3 years. We take turns hosting the monthly meeting. The hostess chooses the book, plans the meal (or chooses the restaraunt) and leads the discussion. We have all become very close through the book club and have seen each other through joyful and sad times. It has been a wonderful meshing of personalities and tastes. I have read and enjoyed many books that I would have never chosen on my own.

Date Posted: 9/24/2010 8:01 AM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2010
Posts: 1,206
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Thanks everybody - these are the kind of ideas I am looking for!

Date Posted: 9/24/2010 7:05 PM ET
Member Since: 9/12/2005
Posts: 741
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I have a book club, we all take turns picking book so no one feels the have to host. The books have to be available in paper back to keep the cost. We meet every 6-8 weeks at a members home, restaraunt, or out for a drink. Some times we do a book and the movie.  We are been meeting for 4 years or so.

Date Posted: 10/4/2010 6:08 PM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2008
Posts: 206
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I belong to an online book group; we post on a private forum about the books we are reading (sometimes we 'branch out' and talk about what we're doing in our daily lives, but such 'lapses' are kindly tolerated!)  We've been communicating for a couple of years now; and just last month 5 of us met in Asheville, NC, for a few days, to meet each other, and to have fun!  It was great.   If you'd like to join our little group, PM me, and I can have the link sent to you.

Cele

Date Posted: 10/8/2010 8:29 AM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2007
Posts: 3,326
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I  belong to a book club that meets in one of the back rooms in the local library. We take turns picking the book each month, and we get them from Inter Library Loan because none of us wants to buy books that someone else chose.  Because of the book source, we rarely read anything that is new/current because libraries don't like to send something out for a month when they have a waiting list of local patrons.

We are not strict about reading/discussing the book, but we have had members quit because someone chose a book they didn't want to read. (??) I never feel compelled to finish a book that I'm not liking. I just go to the meeting anyway and see what others thought about it. We always end up talking about other books too and gossip from around town.  No refreshments.

Date Posted: 10/10/2010 9:53 AM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2009
Posts: 26
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We have two town book clubs that meet once a month.  One in the evening and one at lunchtime.  I go to the lunchtime one and it's great.  We take turn hosting and everyone has to bring a side or dessert.  Makes for a nice potluck spread for lunch.  We vote on books a couple of times a year.  Whoever wants to pitch a book does so and then we get 3 votes each and the top 3 are the winners. 

Date Posted: 10/10/2010 1:42 PM ET
Member Since: 3/10/2007
Posts: 3,272
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I've been part of one since 2004 and have a BLAST!!  We have specific categories that we fill at the December meeting, like classic, non fiction, biography etc.  This way we have choices and pick up books that we might not otherwise have picked up.  We meet once a month except January and we usually pick a longer book out to read from December to February. 

The December meeting is a hoot because we "argue" the fine points on what book. 

If you are interested, I have the last couple of years of the books we have read in my notebook. 

Date Posted: 10/10/2010 2:09 PM ET
Member Since: 11/24/2005
Posts: 5,638
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Last Edited on: 3/5/11 8:49 PM ET - Total times edited: 1