Hosting Book Club–Pt. 1, Choosing a Book

book club

When I first joined the Book Club back in February they were sending around a list for women to volunteer to host the monthly club meeting. When it got to me, I decided to pick the last meeting of the year; right after Thanksgiving. That was such a long time in the future that I didn’t need to fret, right? But, if you are a person like me, you start planning waaaayyyy in advance. I never like to leave anything to the last minute, it stresses me out.

My first chore (not really a chore) was to choose a book for the meeting. Our local library has what we call “book club bags”. These bags contain ten paperback copies of a book, and usually have a discussion guide. Although there are more than ten members in our club, the ladies generally get together and swap books when they are finished. One lady in the club told of how she had waited for the library book club bag, was told her reservation was honored and she could come pick up the bag only to find when she got there that the bag had been given out to a retirement community. (Apparently, they get first dibs). So, okay, I can understand that, sorta.

And me being me, I was not going to leave anything to chance. I went to the library’s website and searched, in vain, for the area that had the book club bags. I finally had to go to the library and ask how I could find these books. According to them, I first needed to go to the library catalog page, then to “Material Browsing” and next to “Book Discussion Kit”. There were 629 available “Discussion Kits”. Obviously, I needed to know the name or author of a book I wished to find. That was another dilemma. How to choose a book that I thought would appeal to the majority of the ladies.

My first choice was John Grisham’s “A Painted House”. This was my choice because the book is set in a small town in Arkansas, Black Oak, which happens to be the hometown of both John Grisham and my dad. (You can read about my journey to Black Oak here). There was no book club bag for this book.

My second choice was “Loving Eleanor” a novel by Susan Wittig Albert. This book is a fictional account based on letters exchanged between Associated Press reporter Lorena Hickok and First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt during Franklin’s terms in office. Bummer, there wasn’t one for that either.

My final choice was “A Glass Castle”. I chose this book because, number one, I found it as an option and, number two, I had just watched the movie starring Woody Harrelson. I can’t say “I loved it” because how can you love something that is so disturbing. It was mesmerizing? Sort of like a train wreck? Disbelieving? It was really, really a good read.

So stay tuned as I prepare for my very first Book Club!!

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