How did you get together? Together for nearly five years, our book club gatherings are like an international summit. We live in the heart of the Midwest, but Jan is from New Zealand, Diana is from Australia, Birgit is from Germany, Margaret is from Poland and then we have a few token Americans.
What makes your book club unique? Everything we read goes through this fabulous assortment of foreign and domestic filters. So rather than all of us reading the same book at the same time, we have a traveling "library," and each of us will choose from one to 10 books to take home each month. The hostess for the month is given $5 from each member. She has the opportunity to spend the budget any way she likes—a gorgeous coffee table book, a handful of romance novels, classic literature or the latest best-sellers. These books are presented when we meet, and then time is spent with each person commenting on the book or books they've read. We're all avid readers, so books are shuffled around quickly.
What are your all-time favorite selections? Favorites over the years have been The Red Tent by Anita Diamant, Skinny Dip by Carl Hiaasen, Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi, Q and A by Vikas Swarup (the book on which Slumdog Millionaire was based), Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, plenty of Jodi Picoult, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, Jesus Land by Julia Scheeres, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. The list goes on, and it is always interesting to get someone else's take on a book as it makes the rounds.