Chicagoland book club: Palos Orland AAUW

One thing to know about our book club:

The Palos Orland Branch of the A.A.U.W. (American Association of University Women- whose mission is promoting equity and education for all women and girls) recently met to celebrate 35 continuous years of monthly gatherings to discuss a book selected by a committee of volunteers who narrow down the selections from a list of titles nominated from the entire membership. Over this time, reading an average of ten books annually, we have tallied over 350 book titles and are still going strong. We usually have a dozen or more varied members attending any one book discussion meeting. Our book club has been so successful over the years, with so many wonderful titles to choose from, that we have established a spin-off Mystery Book Club which meets monthly as well, although on a different night.


Author we'd most like to meet:

Many of us had the good fortune to meet Susan Vreeland, author of the "Luncheon of the Boating Party," which we had read last fall, as she was a guest at a local event.


Worst excuse anyone's given for not reading an assigned book:

Most participants come prepared to contribute to the discussions, whether or not they have completed reading the entire book, as many have some background knowledge of the times in which the book was written, or prior awareness of the author’s background, leaving little room for us to notice whether or not they finished the book.

Average time we spend talking about the book:

We spend about an hour discussing the book, including any historical or geographical background material, and the biography and credits of the author. One member hosts our meeting in her home, while another does the research prior to the meeting, presenting her findings while leading the discussion. Sometimes the discussion leader provides visual aids; in a recent meeting, the leader entertained us by playing the dulcimer, a musical instrument which had a prominent role in the book by Sharyn McCrumb, "The Songcatcher."

Our next book:

"Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" by Lisa See. If readers are interested in joining us, they can check the “Calendar of Events” section on our branch website at

Six books we loved:


"People of the Book" by Geraldine Brooks, "Life of Pi" by Yann Martel, "Pillars of the Earth" by Ken Follet, "Three Cups of Tea" by Greg Mortenson, "Year of Wonders" by Geraldine Brooks and "John Adams" by David McCullough.

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