One thing to know about our book club: Although we originally met in members’ homes, we have met in the library at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Barrington for the past four years. There are usually 10 to 15 members, men and women, at each meeting.
We read a wide variety of books, from best-sellers to classic literature. The group was formed to enrich the intellectual, spiritual and social lives of members of our congregation. Although there is a core group that has been in the club since it started, we often welcome new members, and say goodbye to others.
Average time we actually spend talking about a book before conversation swerves off into politics and family issues: We meet at 7:30 p.m. for social time and book talk begins at 8 p.m., lasting until 9:30 or 10 p.m. We talk about the book, the author and critical reviews of the book, with related personal experiences adding depth to the conversations.
Author we’d most like to meet: Last August, our discussion leader set up a conference call with Danielle Trussoni, who lives in southern France. Group members asked about her book “Falling Through the Earth: A Memoir” and about the author’s life since the book was published. Although it was after 1 a.m. Danielle’s time, she was gracious, lively, fascinating and forthcoming, answering all our questions. Typically, our discussion leader does research about the author, and about what critics have said about the book, and then drafts questions that lead to lively, intelligent, reflective conversation.
Other authors we’d like to meet: Greg Mortensen (“Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time”); Alexandra Fuller (“The Legend of Colton H. Bryant”) and Robert M. Sapolsky (“A Primate’s Memoir: A Neuroscientist’s Unconventional Life Among the Baboons”).
Worst excuse anyone’s given for not reading an assigned book: We don’t make excuses. Sometimes members don’t read, or finish reading, a particular book but they are still welcome to come to the meetings.
Upcoming books include: “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson, “Northanger Abbey“ by Jane Austen, “The Birthday Boys“ by Beryl Bainbridge and “My Life in France“ by Julia Child.
Books we’ve loved: “Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II” by Robert Kurson, “The Kite Runner“ by Khaled Hosseini and “The Echo Maker: A Novel” by Richard Powers.