This is the second of two blogs about the book discussion groups that meet at the . Previously, I wrote about the .
Evening Drop-In Book Group is sponsored by the Friends of the Library. Participants have been meeting since 2005 and have discussed over 40 books. The first book they discussed was The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. Recent titles have included Property by Valerie Martin and Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson. Each June the Evening Book Group hosts a potluck supper and watches a movie based on a book, such as Julie and Julia or Atonement. Here is a list of the titles chosen for 2011-2012.
This group tries to pick lighter titles during the summer, but all agree that there often isn’t enough to talk about with a light book.
Karen Vitale said, “I like the group’s informality. It’s comfortable. Since it’s a drop-in group it’s different every time.
The participants agree that the strength of a book group is that it makes them read a book they might not read on their own.
Joanne Hayes said “I would never have found or picked up half the books on the list, but when I read them I loved them and the discussions we had. I especially liked how different our opinions were about The Film Club, a memoir by David Gilmour, and whether the father was doing the best thing or the worst thing for his son. We bring our own feelings to what’s going on in the book.”
Participants appreciate the sometimes unexpected turns the discussion can take. When the Evening Book Group discussed Colum McCann’s Let the Great World Spin they talked about their connections to New York City, who had lived there, and when, how often they visited, what the city represented for each of them.
Friends’ President Adrienne Callahan, who takes care of the administrative details of the group, said “We all like the variety of both the different books we choose and the fact that we are all very different people, with different backgrounds we bring to the discussions.”
Joanne Hayley commented that she enjoyed the program with the three Sisters-in-Crime (women who have written mysteries).
“We were free to choose to read any book by any of the three for our discussion,” said Hayley.
Linda Boniface said, “We all bring some interesting twist on what we’ve read. When we read Middlesex last year, by Jeffrey Eugenides, we talked about our childhoods and growing up and shared things that happened. We all had smiles on our faces.”
It’s clear in their interactions that members of this group know and like each other and enjoy meeting together to talk about books.
“We laugh a lot,” Adrienne said.
Thank you to the members for sharing their observations with me. The Evening Book Group meets the first Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m., unless otherwise noted. Newcomers are always welcome to join in the discussions of this group, and those of the North Reading Book Discussion Club.
Also, Please Note:
Library staff will help book groups choose a book. MVLC circulates Book Club Kits that come with 15 paperback copies, background material, and questions. These may be reserved through the Reference Department.
Will ereaders change the nature of book discussions? One of our staffmembers said her book group recently decided to read Jane Eyre because most members own Nooks or Kindles and they could download the classic for free.
Are you in a book club? Please tell us about your group, its history, some of the titles you’ve read, and any memorable moments.