I realize I don't talk about my book club very much here. Not sure why that is, because my book club is a pretty wonderful thing.
Membership varies, but usually we are about 8 women strong. Sometimes as many as 10, sometimes as little as 6. Usually the only reason someone drops out is because they move away. I've been a member for pretty much as long as I've lived in California, which I suppose is now 11 years or so, maybe more. Everyone in the group has been in the club for a very long time; I think the shortest membership (currently) is about 2 years.
We read just about anything, mostly novels, but some nonfiction too. We have a rotating schedule, and whoever's turn it is to host gets to pick the book. We meet once a month at the host's house (or sometimes at a restaurant or park for a picnic). Our meetings last anywhere from 3 to 5 hours, depending on how everyone is feeling and what we are talking about. Sometimes if a movie has been made from the book, we will watch it either at the host's house, or if it's in the theater, we'll go see it all together. We have an unofficial, self-designated secretary who keeps track of our books, schedule, and also has an awesome map of where all our books are set (we are working our way around the globe!).
We all like food, so a book club dinner is usually not something you want to miss. However, if you do miss a few meetings, it's no big deal. Our policy is this: just keep coming back! If you didn't read the book, it doesn't matter -- just show up anyway! Have to skip a few meetings because of life craziness? No biggie, just come when you can. Rules for membership are pretty loose.
Tonight we discussed Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro. Everyone liked the book but thought it was very disturbing. Which it was. We had a great discussion about the implications (which I can't go into, because if you haven't read the book then it will give away the secret!). We had individual vegetarian pot pies and chocolate cake, with appetizers of cheese and olives and steamed asparagus. I got to use all my pretty dishes (and then, sadly, had to wash all those pretty dishes by hand. Whenever I host book club, I really wish I had a dishwasher). Our next book is The Lace Reader, which sounds really fun.
We have been through a lot together. Babies, marriages, divorces, cancer scares, illness, good times and hard times. We see each other once a month (generally) but get together in different configurations for other events or socializing as well. We are all good, close friends. We are a little book-centric family. I absolutely love being a part of my book club and I feel so lucky to have all these amazing, smart women as friends. It's pretty awesome to get together with a group of sharp women and have an intelligent conversation about a book (and often, many other offshoot topics). We are not afraid to disagree with one another, which I also love.
So, hooray for Book Club! Anna, Nicki, Vanessa, Krista, Gina, Mary Jane, Amanda, and all the other book club members from years past: you are the best. May all our books be good picks, our dinners delicious, and our friendship strong.