My “other” book club got started 32 years ago. With a few exceptions we’ve met every month for all those years. We choose the books 6-8 months at a time and it has to be consensus and our preference is for books that none of us has read before although occasionally someone will say “I’ve read it but I’d love to read it again and talk about with you all.”
Deciding on the books can be stressful at times. Two of us are voracious readers, one reads a lot of newer items, two of us read a wide range of genres, one pretty much prefers fiction. For many years we used to all purchase the book in question but starting several years ago most of us moved to library books instead (money for some, space for others). This means that the book has to be readily available in our various library systems.
Then there are the other issues that have cropped up over the years. One of us is sick of “sisterhood” books (Snow Flower & the Secret Fan), one of us is tired of books about China, one of us feels overloaded by WWII titles, one of us doesn’t care for “old-fashioned” language which leaves out a lot of classics. Three years ago, two of our members battled breast cancer, so books about the big C are still out of contention. And I suppose it might go without saying that the last year everybody wants lighter fare.
It’s gotten to be a research project these days to try to find good titles. One of us doesn’t like to suggest titles; she takes it pretty personally if we end up not liking a book she has recommended. (This isn’t a problem for me – the three worst books that we’ve ever read (and we agree on these) were all my picks!) This increases the stress a bit on the rest of us. Hopefully if I start now I can find a few good ideas by next week when we have to come up with the next six months of reads.
Any suggestions for me?