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Start Your Own Book Club Next Year

Start a book club

This blog post should be a review of what our book club read this month. Only one of our dear, faithful members managed to read the entire 700+ page tome of fantasy/sci-fi fiction we chose. For the rest of us, it was a DNF (Did Not Finish). We just failed to really connect.

For me, the book had a dark, depressing tone which caused me not to really want to pick it up and keep reading. Add to that the very explicit scenes sprinkled into the book that had nothing to do with the main storyline, and I found myself disinterested. Of course, I didn't finish the book, so maybe somewhere along the way the author tied those scenes together, but I doubt I'll ever know.

At any rate, I do not recommend this book and only review books I do recommend to you here. The author sold many copies of his best-selling book. I'm not too worried that my dislike of his work will do him much harm.

Instead of a book review this week, I'm going to tell you about our book club.

Around a year ago, one of my newish friends from church approached me with the idea of starting a book club. She said, "I thought of you when I had this idea." Even after only being friends for a couple of years, she knew me.

The goal of this particular book club was to create something for us as moms separate from our children's lives. Most of us have teenagers and our lives have revolved around their schedules and their people for so long, but we see those days winding to an end. We're finding new friends with similar interests, particularly in books.

That's where we started, with a purpose and a woman on a mission.

You can start there too. Why do you want to have a book club? Who - maybe it's just one or two people - do you know who likes to read too? Invite them.

Our book club founder chose our first book. Each month since then everyone who is present suggests a book. We write all the titles on napkins (or a piece of actual paper if we're being a little bougie that week) and draw one. It's a very scientific way to choose our next book.

However you choose a book, try not to let one person make all the decisions. We have read a wide variety of books, including some that were not our favorite genre, because we followed the suggestion of a friend. Be okay with reading something different than what you usually read. And be okay that not everyone will love the book you love.

We meet on the third Saturday of every month. Not everyone can make every meeting. I've missed a couple. Be okay with that too. By setting a specific date for book club, we can put it on our calendars and our families know we won't be available. We have met for brunch a couple of times because that fit schedules better.

One fun thing we've also done is try to match our meal to the book. One week a member hosted us in her home and we all cooked a dish that included honey because the book revolved around honey. We also ate at a train yard restaurant because the book involved a rail car. And we've eaten at restaurants just because it was easy.

Choose whether you want to rotate hosting or eating out. We chose homes for a few of our books because we wanted to discuss the content in private. Be flexible, but also have a plan.

Finally, you don't have to spend the whole night discussing the book. Some months we printed out discussion questions about the book, other months we discussed the book among the stories of our lives. Make it a welcoming place for people who maybe didn't have time to read the book, but needed a girls' night out. Oh, and listening to the audio version totally counts!

I'm so thankful my friend invited me to be part of this book club. I've deepened existing friendships and made some new ones. And I'm looking forward to next year.


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