An interview with Marge Trautman, coordinator of Book Babes book club.
How did your group get started? We go back about 10 years, and we are a group of librarians. ... So besides being a book discussion group, it's also been a support group. ... We can talk about work-related things. It's nice to have that commonality.
How many members do you have? 10. We've basically stayed steady at about 10 members, which is a nice size group. About eight show up to a meeting. ... Because we gather in [members'] homes, and we share a meal, it just seems to make it more cozy, more comfortable, and everybody has a turn to talk.
What book are members reading this month? The Lovely Bones [by Alice Sebold]. It's become a [popular] book because the Today Show chose it. ... It's a pretty grim topic. It's about a murdered girl, and she's narrating the book from heaven.
Is there a book that stood out over the years that members especially liked? We've all especially liked Anne Tyler's Back When We Were Grownups. Anne Tyler is always a favorite. She does wonderfully discussible books, which have ordinary people doing ordinary things, and they're set in Baltimore, which is especially nice.
What makes them discussible? I think women really relate to them. ... For example, in Back When We Were Grownups, the main character is a widow, a mother, a stepmother and grandmother, and in the opening to the book she wonders, "How did I ever become this person who's not really me?" And that's a great discussion question. ... There's so much in [Anne Tyler's] words that you can relate to and say, "Oh, that's exactly what I was thinking."
Is there a book over the years that most of the members did not like? Several of us did not like The Red Tent [by Anita Diamant]. I thought it was kind of poorly written myself. ... I think the story was unique, but I think it was repetitive. I think it was melodramatic. It's hard to remember the full discussion about it, but I think we thought it just needed some editing.