Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Evolution of a Book Club

I always loved the idea of a book club, but my limited reading during my undergraduate career (after I changed my major from English to Business) made me feel like I wasn't well-read enough to be an asset to any book discussion.

With E so busy studying, I decided to pick up reading again and just grabbed something that looked interesting off his bookshelf: The Age of Innocence. So I brought it to work to read on my lunch break.

Barb, a co-worker joined me in the lunch room a few minutes later and commented that she had just began reading the same book, so we started chatting about it.
Then another co-worker joined us, and was curious about our book discussion. It turns out he is extremely well-read, and had read Age of Innocence several times.

We started discussing our progress in the book regularly at lunches, and when we finished the first book, I mentioned that I thought it was time I finally started reading Harry Potter (since it is one of my husband's favorite book series).

We all agreed to read the together--although Dan(the 2nd co-
worker) had already read them several times. After discussing the books gradually at lunches, we decided to have an official meeting to discuss the whole series.

And that is how our book club began!
Each of us takes a turn picking out a book and leads the discussion. We usually hold our meetings at each other's houses.
I've been really enjoying the varietyof books that have been chosen.

Since we started last July, we added another member--the wife of another co-worker who is also an avid reader.

Here are some of the other books we've gone through so far: (if you're reading in Google Reader you'll have to click through the blog post to see the images)

It has been a really great opportunity for me to be involved in this--I'm reading more than I have in a long time, and I'm stretching myself by reading books i would have never picked up if they hadn't been assigned. It's also a challenge to lead the discussion--we try to research the author as well as bring up some observations and discussion questions. For the first time, I'm taking notes of books while I read them.

We have a fun, little group, even if it is somewhat unconventional and eclectic (middle-aged man married with no kids, a 30-something single woman, a young married woman with no kids[me], and a 30-something mom of 2!)
But I'm looking forward to many more book discussions this year!

Are you an avid reader or belong to a book club? Do you have an book recommendations for me?


e.louise {Liz} said...

I just recently joined a book club too! Our first book was Olive Kitteridge, and we are now reading Little Bee, which is really good so far. Some other books I've read recently that I would recommend are The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series and Pride & Prejudice. I would love to read more of classics and Her Fearful Symmetry(by the author that wrote The Time Traveler's Wife).

Kelly Loy Gilbert said...

How fun! I've always wanted to be in a book club.

Christina said...

I really enjoy reading, but I've never been in a book club. Sounds like a great way to get exposure to new and classic books.

Melissa Blake said...

What am awesome idea!

Katie said...

I have always been an avid reader, but I could never belong to a book club. Whenever I am told to read a book I completely resent it, and have a really hard time or just plain refuse to read it. I prefer reading for the enjoyment of learning and engaging my mind. I can't enjoy it if I know I'm being "forced" to read or discuss it. Other than sharing occasional tidbits with hubby I prefer to just read and be done. Harry Potter is a great series. Hubby and I started reading it together (outloud to one another) about three years ago, but it took WAY too long. I became really frustrated with the ridiculously slow process and took to reading them on my own. I read books 4-7 last summer. They were really good; I never wanted to put them down! Congrats on your book club & good luck. If you haven't read it I really liked "Time Traveler's Wife" (warning it does have some sexual content), "Gone With the Wind" is wonderful (WAY better than the film), "Eve: A Novel of the First Woman" was phenomenal (Elissa Elliot) as was "The Red Tent" by Anita Diamant (those two are more women's reads...men might not enjoy them as much) I'm looking forward to reading "Year of Wonders" by Geraldine Brooks. If you read that one, let me know how it is!

beka said...

I just joined a book club of bloggers in our metro area and I really loved the first meeting. Lots of wine, books, talking... it was great!

Sara McCarty said...

What a great idea! Love it! I was in a book club in law school, but since then everyone's moved away or gotten too busy. I'd love to join one again. Can't wait to hear how you like the Harry Potter books - I loved them!

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