Joining the Club


I’ve never been a big Book Club participant. Because, well, I could be reading instead of listening to Mary Lou talk about her aunt’s friend’s next-door neighbor who published a tantalizing article on loofahs in a women’s magazine.

But, last year, I joined a Facebook Group called Shakespeare in a Year, and read the bard with a few friends and a few strangers. The group still exists, a fitting repository for links and comments and excursions. The participants are erudite, witty, and well-read. I feel smarter just sitting in the proximity of their thoughts.

Then a friend opened the door to Close Reads. A podcast on reading literature? Yes, please! I listened to the original three podcasts (Flannery O’Connor, Macbeth, and P.G. Wodehouse) and said  out loud, I’ve found my tribe. These are my people!

Wendell Berry, Tolstoy, Kenneth Grahame, Jane Austen, Dorothy Sayers. Joy, joy, joy! Currently I’m listening to podcasts on E.M. Forster’s Howards End.

When Jan Karon said her last book was the final chapter of Mitford, I was ready to start at book one for a thorough re-read for one of my ultimate comfort reads. Behold! the Mitford Book Club, yet another group on FB, is reading four chapters a week. I am savoring this slow read.

I want to read through the written works of C.S. Lewis, but decided against cramming them into one year. I started The C.S. Lewis Reading Project on Facebook. We are in the middle of the Space Trilogy, reading ~ fifty pages a week. I’m a silent curator, but it has been a pleasant journey. You are welcome to join!

Meanwhile, in real life…

Some friends at our new church want to start a group that reads the classics. I’m in!

And I’m considering participating in our local communal reading (NEA Big Read) of Station Eleven. My druthers are to be a silent lurker, but I’m trying to stretch myself. I like that it’s a short-term commitment.

How about you? What is your Book Club experience? Fantastic? Meh?




4 thoughts on “Joining the Club

  1. I’ve never been a good book clubber during my few tries. Mainly because my life stays rather full of things to do and I still have to have my bedtime reading that is all mine. I hope to arrive at book club time one day though. By the way, I’d love to hear about your new church (in an email) when you have time one day. 🙂

  2. I have been a member of my local library’s book club for about two years, but I am disappointed in the selections. Only about twenty percent of the titles are ones I actually enjoy. The ladies, and the occasional man, however, are wonderful and our discussions are pleasant.

    I have a much merrier time of it following the suggestions of “my tribe” (blogs, websites) or even “discovering” fantastic titles by
    1. browsing in the library .
    2. browsing in the bookstore .
    3. learning about books in other books “One book leads to another”.
    4. searching book information online and serendipitously coming across an intriguing title.

    I am presently obsessed with The Camino de Santiago de Compostela, the five hundred mile Pilgrimage across northern Spain. Planning to read thirty-one books on it, memoirs and novels and non-fiction, rather than take thirty-one days to walk it, physically not feasible at this stage of life. The views are incredible.

    • Thanks for your comment, Honey Bee. I never have a problem with finding a book to read. I love your four-fold method of book discovery.

      I have a friend (from a different era of my life) who walked the Camino at the end of last year. She posted photos on Facebook, and I had vicarious joy through her. It was fascinating!

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