An interview with Donna Swope, coordinator of Bookworms book club.
What book are members reading this month? "At Home in Mitford," by Jan Karon. It's the first in a series of five books about a small-town Episcopal priest who marries in midlife - very light and humorous. We read everything from "Pride and Prejudice" to "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" to classics like Agatha Christie's first book, "Murder at the Vicarage." Occasionally, we have a meal together that fits in with the theme of the book.
Which books have members liked? Well, the first book that we read, "The Shipping News" by E. Annie Proulx. For all but one of us, this is our first time in a book club. And we were intrigued mostly by the combination of character portrayals and the elegant use of language.
You note that members had not belonged to other book clubs; how has that affected opinions and discussions? I believe that we have all had our literary eyes opened. We take turns choosing the book and leading the discussion, so that while I might choose an old favorite or something new, we've all been exposed to many different kinds of books that we might not ordinarily pick up and read. The only rule in our club in terms of choosing is that the book has to be available through the library. We don't want it [to be] that a member would have to incur an expense, unless they wish to.
Is there a book none of the members liked? One book that we read nobody liked. It was "Birdsong" by Sebastian Faulks, and it was the harshness of war that was very unsettling even though it was fiction.
How many members does the club have? We, at this point in time, have five members. We're open to new members. They would contact me if they wish to join.