Thank you, Oprah!

I know there were book clubs before the talk show host, but I think we can be grateful to her for bringing new attention to them.

I’m a late comer to book clubs, however. When they first gained traction in my community, I was busy with little kids and a critique group that met weekly. My husband worked a couple of nights a week. I didn’t feel I should take more time away from home. But as my kids got older, I felt freer to leave them and now I’m a happy member of a long-established group.

Last night was book club night and we actually discussed the book quite a bit (something not always true…it was Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin). I admit that when we read an actual Jane Austen title a couple of months back, Emma, that not everyone could get through her and we spent more time than usual chatting about our families and work, etc. But isn’t that part what makes book club so pleasurable? As women, we rarely make enough time for ourselves and whether we talk metaphor or how our mothers are aging…well, both are important. So I’m so glad I finally joined.

What about you? Do you participate in a book club? If so, can you recommend any reads (even if you’re not in a book club!). Up next for us is The Murderer’s Daughters by Randy Susan Meyers.

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11 Responses to Thank you, Oprah!

  1. Leanne Banks says:

    I’ve never been in a book club, but it’s on my to-do list!:)

  2. christieridgway says:

    Leanne: One of the many things I like about book club is it gets me to read books I would never pick up. There are book clubs that stick to romances, I think, but I read a lot of romance on my own! I enjoy the variety and the more literary bent of our choices.

  3. Michele says:

    I have always wanted to be in a book club, but there just aren’t any around me. Sigh…

    The excuse to get together once a month and just chatter with girlfriends would be great!

  4. christieridgway says:

    Michele: You could probably find an online book club, but it wouldn’t be the same. At ours, the hostess provides appetizers, drinks, dinner, and dessert and we also try to theme the food to the book. (Southern-set book = Southern food.) Other book clubs just do appetizers and drinks or a potluck. No matter the food or the book, the girlfriends aspect is what makes it special.

  5. kylie brant says:

    I would like to join a book club when I retire. Right now I despise meetings that take me out of the house at night, but when I no longer work full time I think I’ll like it. And like you, Christie, I look forward to being made to read outside my usual picks!

  6. Helen Brenna says:

    I’ve been in a study group type book club. We used to read various books to study the publishing market – very different focus than what you’re talking about. We still get together, but it’s entirely social now. A regular book club is, like Leanne, on my to-do list!

    • Hellion says:

      THIS is a very cool idea! *scribbles note to try to something similar if possible*

      And definitely will bring the themed food anyway to these things. You always have to have food–and why not make it coordinate? How often do you get a legitimate excuse for fried chicken? (Maybe start with some southern women’s fiction first?? Hmmm.)

      • christieridgway says:

        Exactly, Hellion! We can’t always get an exact match, but it’s fun to try to find something that is a good accompaniment.

  7. christieridgway says:

    Oh, wow, Helen! That sounds interesting. What kind of books did you read?

    One of the other members in our bookclub is an advertising/PR person (boy, does her brain teem with ideas!) and we were thinking about reading THE THANK YOU ECONOMY which is about social media and its uses. Huh, I just looked it up to make sure I had the title right and realize it’s written by Gary Vaynerchuk, who I know from his videos on winetasting!

    I think I’m going to read it and then I can discuss with my book club buddy who is also my morning walk buddy.

  8. Betina says:

    Christie, I was a member of study group that gradually became a book club focused on spiritual growth. It was wonderful and such a bonding experience. I still feel like those folks are family!

    I have a Wednesday night out with the girls– which is just dinner. Occasionally we do talk about books, but wow, it would be so cool to have books in common to discuss. This is a great idea! Thanks for a thought-provoking post!

  9. Keri Ford says:

    how fun! I’m not involved in book clubs. I’m not even sure there’s one in my area, but the idea of a once a month getaway for a few hours with girls? sign me up!

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