Sunday, February 28, 2010

Hooray For Book Club

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.


Ally said...

Your book club sounds awesome! Now I want to find something like this where I live.

Stefanie said...

What a great book club! And what a fun evening except for the washing dishes part :)

~ The Jolly Bee ~ said...

How great that you have a group of friends like this and that you have seen each other through many of life's ups and downs. Three cheers for your book club.

D'Arcy said...

One of my greatest regrets at not moving to California is that I didn't get to join your book club. It sounds awesome. I keep thinking I should start something like that here.

Lu @ Regular Rumination said...

I love where I am in my life right now because, honestly, I never know where I'm going to be from one week to the next (unless the answer is "in class"). The only downside to that is the lack of community outside my roommates & family. I keep thinking about joining a book club, but I'm never around enough to do it. So I'm really looking forward to joining one when I finally settle down. Thank you for sharing your book club! It sounds really amazing :D

I'm reading The Lace Reader right now too and it's pretty good.

Daphne said...

Book Clubs rock! W00t!

Ally: start one!

Stef: yeah, after washing all the dinner-making dishes and then all the actual dinner dishes... it was a lot of dishes.

Bee: yes, such a blessing!

D'Arce: It is too bad, you would be a most excellent book club member. You should totally start one. Pick smarties, like you.

Lu: oh good! I can't wait to start it. And yes, everyone should have a book club at some point in their lives. :)

Tammie said...

your book club sounds wonderful.

ive only been in one book club and while the discussions were good, it just wasnt as friendly and lively as yours sounds. i got out of the habit of going, and then just never went back.

Tammie said...

oh and weird fact about me: i love washing dishes. i find it oddly relaxing. plus, im pretty much anti-dishwasher. i would say in all my adult years, ive used the dishwasher less then a dozen times.

Daphne said...

Tammie: my book club is pretty great; I can easily imagine how a book club could be not-as-great, however. I like washing dishes too, but at 10 pm and for a dinner party of 6, I was wishing I had a dishwasher! Or, maybe you could just come over and do them for me? :):)

Christy (A Good Stopping Point) said...

Your book club sounds wonderful, and delicious.