Book club party
Photo: Marcus Nilsson
A good book—and a good meal—gives six busy women a chance to share a few tales of their own.
The book club was not my idea. I read and write and edit for a living, so the prospect of using my professional skill set as the basis for a social event never struck me as fun. But my charismatic, enthusiastic, new-in-town friend, Tam, proposed the idea, and she's hard to say no to. Two years later, all I can think is, "Thank goodness."

Six of us meet every other month, a concession to our busy schedules. We convene on weekend afternoons, taking turns as hostess and relishing the escape from our abundant lives. Collectively, we have two kids, four stepkids, five husbands, a fiancé, six dogs, a bunch of cats, and at least six careers. Some of us have dated the same men, some attend the same church, and two are cousins. Because of these intersections—or despite them—we never, ever run short of things to talk about: upcoming weddings, the presidential election, a child's new frohawk. We chat, we eat, we drink, and eventually, we get to the book.

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