One thing to know about our book club: Our book club is comprised of a group of women from a Downers Grove Chapter of the Philanthropic Educational Organization (P.E.O.). Our Lunch and Lit Group has been meeting monthly for 19 years. We currently have 20 active members. We read 9 books a year; meeting September through June. We gather at noon the second Tuesday of the month with a brown bag lunch. Our hostess provides desserts and beverages. We have read a total of 135 books and have found each one taking us to many different levels of discussions. We collect suggested book titles for the upcoming year, and vote at the end of our current book year. In June we meet at a restaurant, discuss our book for that month and then receive our new book list for the upcoming year.
Worst excuse anyone's given for not reading an assigned book: Occasionally, one individual will protest that the book has too many pages. One time a member of the group read a different book than we had chosen and didn't realize what she had done until halfway through our discussion.
Average time we spend talking about the book: Our discussions can easily go over an hour. We always begin with background information on the author. At one meeting, we were delighted when Tim Madigan, author of "I'm Proud of You: My Friendship with Fred Rogers," answered questions e-mailed to him by a member of our group. We have gone on a couple field trips related to the book of the month. After reading "Mary" by Janis Cooke Newman, we toured the Batavia Depot Museum, where some of Mary Todd Lincoln's artifacts are kept. We also had our book discussion at the museum.
Some books we loved: "Mountains Beyond Mountains: Healing the World: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer" by Tracy Kidder, "Snow Falling On Cedars" by David Guterson, "A Thousand Splendid Suns" by Khalad Hosseini, "Cold Sassy Tree" by Olive Ann Burns and "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" by Lisa See.
Next book: "Sarah's Key" by Tatiana de Rosnay