Local book club celebrates 20 years together
If you don’t belong to a book club, a local group has 20 years’ worth of reasons why you might consider one.
Twenty years ago this month, Sue Piesko and Ethel Richards organized a dozen women with a light-hearted spirit into the L.E.W.D. Book Club (Literary Elucidation with Dining). Sue Daoust still recalls our first book as her favorite, Tuesdays with Morrie, the Mitch Albom memoir. She says, “That first book brought together some amazing women. I always leave with more knowledge and a smile.”
Book clubs organize themselves in many sizes, ages, and men and/or women combinations. Ours started out meeting every month at someone’s house. The host fixed dinner and drinks and chose the book for the next meeting. We had a short list of rules including no whining about what book someone picks. It’s ok not to like it – we want an honest discussion – but members have to feel free to pick.
Over the years, as we’ve all gone from our 40’s to . . . you can do the math . . . we no longer cook dinner but dessert only. And we have learned to skip July and November, and I think we’re ready to give up February. But the book choice scheme remains the same.
I wanted to encourage book clubs by letting everyone know what’s best about them. So, I asked the group what they have valued most as well as opinions on favorite and least favorite books.
What emerged were two thought threads: 1) Don’t ever pick The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass to read; and 2) it has always been about so much more than what we’ve read. Sue Piesko said, “I’ve made friends I might never have met, and we’ve discussed books and differences in a civil manner.” Joan Ramm adds, 𠇍iscussing books with so many open-minded women has sparked honest conversation about families, travels, experiences, and even dreams.” Kathy Toth also says, “I have met many women who have enriched my life and we have such fun and laughter.”
They have a few book suggestions for you, too. Sandi Masud says, “Try audio-books. They are more than words and less than theater. I love them.” Mary Anne Ackerman notes that her favorite book is the one she is reading. Right now, it is Born a Crime. Pat Murphy especially loved The Red Tent. Sue Piesko, Lynn Finkbiner, and I all loved Devil in the White City. Joan notes that 11/22/63 was a book she probably wouldn’t have read but really liked. Ethel suggests you𠆝 enjoy Snow Flower and A Fine Balance. Andrea Jenniches most recently picked a thoughtful and interesting book, Hillbilly Elegy.
Ethel said, “I use the library more because I try an author for book club and then end up going to the library to read everything else they’ve written.” Several of us also go to the library’s own book club, Books for Lunch, where there’s no assigned book, but we simply share what we’ve read.
Karen List gets the last word on what’s great about book club. “What’s not to love about smart, fun, fabulous women discussing great books, eating good food, and drinking a little wine. I hope we carry on for many years.”
See you at the Library!
Upcoming Events: Night Creatures – a family program on Oct. 19 at 6:30pm, is presented by the Organization of Bat Conservation. Disgusting Special Effects for Teens and Tweens – Oct. 27 from 1-3pm. The second and fourth Thursdays from October – April will be Try This Thursdays, 6th – 12th graders at 3:15pm. Keep track of events and times on our website.