The Secret Bookers — California
How did you get together? Book club member Theresa and her mom, Colleen, started the club almost six years ago. We are a group of 12 women ranging in age from 25 to 75. With the range of ages we have, we have had a wide selection of books, and it's interesting to see and hear the many different opinions we have during our discussions. As with most book clubs, we are just a group of women who love to read and love getting together to discuss the books we read around a table full of food, drinks, laughter and stimulating conversations. We respect each other and our differing opinions, and we have a good time together—what more could you hope for?
Where do you usually meet? We meet every five weeks at a member's home (whoever chooses the book hosts the meeting). I do up a calendar at the end of each year for the following year so members will know when their meeting will be. Most members will serve dinner at their meeting, and we try to serve something that goes along with the theme of the book.
Which Oprah's Book Club selections have you read together? The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers, The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck and East of Eden by John Steinbeck, which is still one of our all-time favorites.
What are your all-time favorite selections? The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult, Pasadena by David Ebershoff, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón and The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. Some books that brought on some great conversations are: We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver, The Center of Winter by Marya Hornbacher and Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi.
Are you planning any special trips or events? Have you in the past? We've entered numerous contests and contacted authors directly, and as a result, we have been fortunate enough to have 14 of our books be author chats and two be author visits to our home. These "author chats/visits" add a whole new dimension to the meetings, and we have had great experiences with almost every author we have spoken with. At our December meeting, we do an ornament exchange where everyone brings an ornament that represents one of the books we read during the year—it's always fun to see what book is most represented.