Our book group meets in the Western suburbs. It has been going for 7 years now, and we have a very diverse group- a mix of ages, from 20s to 60s, and various career backgrounds (social work, education, psychology, writing/editing, nannying, medicine, full-time moms). We read a wide variety of books - everything from memoir to fiction to nonfiction to poetry to juvenile fiction.
One thing to know about our book club: We agree to disagree. For any given book, we almost always have people who love it and people who hate it. We really enjoy the diversity of our opinions- it makes for better discussions and gives us the opportunity to read and appreciate books we might not pick up otherwise. Every October we dress up as a character from a book (preferrably one we've read that year). Every December we get together for a potluck dinner before the book discussion. We occasionally go to movies that are based on books we've read in the group.
Author we'd most like to meet: Can we choose a character we'd like to meet instead? We'd love to meet Edward the vampire (of the "Twilight" series), Anne Boleyn (from "The Other Boleyn Girl"), and Arnold Spirit/Junior (from "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian").
Worst excuse anyone's given for not reading an assigned book: "It wasn't on audio." (We have a couple of people in the group who aren't partial to reading.)
Average time we actually spend talking about a book: Our format really helps keep the group and the discussion going. Each month group members are assigned different roles (facilitator, secretary, host, author research, book choice, snacks). Before we begin the discussion, everyone rates the book on a scale of one to five. Each person submits a question or two about the book, and the facilitator keeps the conversation going. We go on tangents, but for the most part they relate to the book. People are welcome to attend and participate even if they haven't read the book. We have a notebook in which we record our reaction to the book as well as entertaining quotes.
What book is next: "The Middle Place" by Kelly Corrigan
Five books we loved: "Garlic and Sapphires" by Ruth Reichl, "The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd, "Broken for You" by Stephanie Kallos, "Bel Canto" by Ann Patchett and "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime" by Mark Haddon.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun