This past year was my second year at a new school in my district. As the newbie last year, I sort of sat back and did a lot of observing of my new colleagues. What I noticed right away was the social nature of this group. In my second year, I wanted to see if this social group would be interested in starting a book club. I threw the idea out to the entire staff by email in April, and for our first organizational meeting in May, 23 people expressed an interest in participating in this book club!! 23!! That was a whole lot of energy and excitement about reading and discussing books together!
Last night was the inaugural book club meeting of a GREat group of women - 14 of us were able to make it! We met at my house, and as in all fun social gatherings, the first 45 minutes or so was spent on catching up on each other's summers and enjoying good food and drink. After we filled our tummies, quenched our thirsts, and tried to finish the last anecdote about vacation, we were ready to get down to the big conversation.
We had selected Little Bee as the book to read and discuss. Those of you who have read this book know that it is not at all an easy book to read due to its content, but wow, does it make for great discussions!! Not knowing how the conversation would flow, I tossed out a feeling I had about the ending of the book, and then the fun began. People were so eager to wonder, ask questions, give opinions, share favorite parts, talk about language, and talk about characters. We didn't have a list of guidelines; we were just a group of fun, smart women talking about a book that had several important messages for all of us. The conversation was a like a ping pong ball being hit all around the room. Some of us had a lot to say; others not as much, but everything shared added to our appreciation of the book, Little Bee.
It was also interesting to see the format in which each of us had read Little Bee. The majority of us had an actual paper book, but one had it on her iPad, and another had read it on a Kindle. I love that there are choices available to suit each readers' needs.
For me, book clubs are so rejuvenating!! It is an opportunity to share a book communally and talk about meaty topics. That experience just heightens my appreciation of the book. I'm still abuzz with the excitement of last night, and I look forward to sharing books with this lovely group of women for a long time to come!
We have decided to read The Lincoln Lawyer for July, followed by Jodi Picoult's latest, and then Half-Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls (many had read and loved her memoir, The Glass Castle). We are also considering the following as future reads:
- Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
- Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett
- State of Wonder - Patchett's latest
- The Alchemist