No two persons ever read the same book.
If you’ve ever participated in a book club, you know that Edmund Wilson is absolutely right. That’s what makes book discussions such enriching — but sometimes frustrating — experiences. Over the past thirty years, I’ve been a member of several book groups and I’ve facilitated many others. Highlights, or perhaps lowlights, of groups I’ve facilitated: the club “discussing” The Poisonwood Bible in which not one person had read the book (which didn’t prevent them from expressing strong opinions) and the group of elderly women who thought our meeting to talk about Tolstoy and the Purple Chair was actually naptime.
Readers in Chicago’s northern suburbs, please come to one of our book discussions next month:
- Thursday, May 3, 7:00 p.m., The Heart’s Invisible Furies with Alice Moody (Gorton Community Center, Lake Forest)
- Tuesday, May 8, 8:15 a.m., American Panda with Ann Walters and Diane Grumhaus (Lake Forest Book Store, Lake Forest)
- Thursday, May 10, 6:30 p.m.,The Woman in The Window with Alice Moody (The Book Stall at Chestnut Court, Winnetka)
We’re also planning to hold presentations on “Books You Can’t Wait to Discuss” this summer — the first is scheduled for the evening of Thursday, July 12 at the Book Stall. What was the latest book you couldn’t wait to talk about with your book club (or your spouse, best friend, or co-worker)? Please share your recent favorite in the comment section below, on Facebook or Twitter, or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For me, it was Educated by Tara Westover. My sister just told me that this memoir, about surviving a difficult childhood in a Mormon fundamentalist family, provided material for her book club’s best discussion ever. I wish I could have been there!