An interview with Laima Rivers, a founding member of Literary Ladies book club.
How did your group get started? We were basically baseball moms ... and we love baseball and we love our kids, but we were thinking, "We really need to do something with our brains here." We meet monthly, and I'd say anywhere from eight to 12 people show up to a meeting, and now the group is all baseball or hockey moms. We generally meet the second Wednesday of each month during the school season. And we meet at lunch, so it will not interfere with either family time or baseball, and we meet at restaurants.
What book are members reading this month? The book that we are going to be discussing in May is "Waiting" by Ha Jin.
Which books have members especially liked? For the people who could get through it, "Beloved" by Toni Morrison. What we thought was really cool was that after we read the book we decided to watch the movie. ... And no wonder it didn't do well as a movie, because if you hadn't read it, you really would have been absolutely lost. And we were all very glad we saw the movie, and it generated a lot more discussion. It actually kind of solidified some of our discussions of the book.
[We read] "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" [by J. K. Rowling]. I had read some of it [before the group chose it] because I have three sons, and I thought I should read it. And I thought, "This is a nice book, but it's for kids." ... But I'm a rule-follower [so I finished it], and I was really glad I read it. ... [The book club] really delighted in how [the author] wrote, and she seemed to come up with really clever ideas. ... A lot of books are really kind of depressing, and we noticed that a lot of the books we read are sad, so it was kind of a nice break to read something lighter.
Is there a book that none of the members liked? We read "At Home in Mitford" by Jan Karon. The Mitford series is four or five books about this minister in this small town, Mitford, N.C. And the story just went on and on and you thought, "When is something going to happen?" But once we got to the meeting, it was amazing how people changed their view. I really thought, "When is this book going to end?" [when I was reading it], but by the end of the meeting I loved the book so much that I decided to read the whole series.