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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Book Club

I know I’ve talked about how I’ve always wanted to join a local book club. (Yes, in spite of my constant complaining about how I don’t have enough time, this is another thing I still want to do). I’ve looked at local library and community center websites and found a few. Unfortunately there were always conflicts with either schedule – one group met Tuesday mornings, another on Wednesday nights -- or conflicts because of orientation --there is the local Lesbian and Gay Book club. I personally have nothing against gays or lesbians but am not really an avid reader of homosexual literature.

Long story short, I decided start my own book club and so I posted an on-line “ad” on Reader’s Circle. (You should check out the site, it is pretty interesting – http://www.readerscircle.org/ -- click on the "Readers Circle's story" by Norman Hicks). Reader’s Circle is a non-profit organization that aims “to bring together a new, more inclusive community, one based on a shared passion for books and conversation”. And on their website they have an online directory for book clubs (aka Reader's Circles). You can post information about an existing club or invite members for a start-up club.

Here is the ad I posted for my “start-up” club:

Hello! I'd like to start a bookclub for 25-45 year old women in the South Bay Area (Torrance, Carson, Gardena, Long Beach, Redondo Beach, Palos Verdes, etc.). I was thinking about meeting once a month -- Friday evenings or Saturday afternoons. Maybe we could start off by meeting at a local Starbucks? It would be nice to get together over coffee and some light discussion. Nothing formal, just a time and place to share thoughts, form friendships, and learn a thing or two! I read a wide range of books (mysteries, women’s literature, romance, non-fiction, Asian authors, self-help, even reference books) and am definitely open to suggestions. Some of my favorite books include: Little Women, Memoirs of a Geisha, Blink, The Joy Luck Club, The Tipping Point, The Da Vinci Code, The Shopaholic Series, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Empress Orchid, and The Divine Secrets of the Ya-ya Sisterhood. P.S. I'm not very interested in science fiction, horror, and sports-related books. Please contact me if you are interested.

The way it’s set up is that anyone who is interested can contact me thru the Reader’s Circle website – so it’s quite safe (at least I hope so!). I wasn’t really expecting anyone to reply right away since I only posted 3 days ago and I’m not very sure how many people are actually searching for book clubs to be a part of or if this website gets a lot of traffic. So, it was a pleasant surprise to get an email last night from my first “book club-mate”. Her email was very upbeat and excited. She also listed several of her favorite books (which I happen to love too). Yay! And she’s also not into sci-fi, horror and sports books. Double Yay!

I spent a few minutes last night browsing pages on “How to Start a Book Club” and “Book Club Dos and Don’ts”. I’m quite excited about this! Hopefully we get a few more interested ladies soon. Otherwise it may be pretty weird to have a book club for two.

3 comments:

jol said...

A book club is a wonderful way to find new friends who share similar interests. Wish you the best of luck!

ElliottPreciousPants said...

That's awesome! If I were there, I would join your book club, because it's something I've always wanted to do, too. But never found the time. I too really liked the Divine secrets of the Ya-ya sisterhood, but I didn't really like little altars everywhere. Have you read ya-yas in bloom?

When I read your profile, I noticed that we liked a lot of the same books. Have you ever read the Secret Life of Bees? I liked that one quite a bit, too.

Joanne said...

Elliott, I've read all three of the Ya-ya books. My favorite was The Divine Secrets, followed by Ya-yas in Bloom, and lastly, Little Altars Everywhere. Although the two later books are nowhere as good as the first, I would definitely still encourage folks to give them a try since they are entertaining (at the very least) and great for those who can't get enough of Vivi and her gang!

No, I have not read The Secret Life of Bees - I've come across it many times but have not picked up a copy. Maybe I will one of these days :)

Just an update: our book club now has 3 members (myself included). Too bad you don't live closer - it would be great to have you on board too!