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Overland Park, Kansas
Overland Park, Kansas, Book Club
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.
Old Sames Book Club
Old Sames Book Club
How did you get together? Our group has been officially together for two years. However, we have all been friends for many years. We have grown closer through our love of books and truly feel connected like sisters, or like "old sames." We officially have 13 members, with some members moving as far away as Las Vegas and North Carolina. No matter how far apart we are, our club still manages to stay in contact with our sisters, and they attend meetings when possible.

How does your book club work? Each member picks a month to host the book club, and that member also selects the book for that month. The hostess normally has a sit-down dinner (with lots of wine!) 

What are your all-time favorite selections? The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory, The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls, Ghosts Among Us by James Van Praagh. Our current book for April is The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. We also plan to view the movie at that meeting.

Are you planning any special trips or events? Our club is planning a trip to Gettysburg. We have had many lively discussions concerning ghosts and the beyond and have decided we want to take the Ghost Tour of haunted Gettysburg.
The Classic Book Club
The Classic Book Club
How did you get together? We've been together for more than six years. We are 10 women strong, and four of us are original members. 
 
Where do you usually meet? We each select a book and host in our home at least once a year. In January, one of us hosts a couples' get-together, and we read a book we think our husbands would enjoy.
 
Which Oprah's Book Club selections have you read together? Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi, Tara Road  by Maeve Binchy, Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald, Cane River by Lalita Tademy, The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck and East of Eden by John Steinbeck. 

What are your all-time favorite selections? Cane River by Lalita Tademy, Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden, My Sister's Keeper by Jodi PicoultSecret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd and Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.  
 
Are you planning any special trips or events? Most of us live in the same housing tract. We are all close friends and try to help each other through tough times. We just recently helped one of our gals through her fight with cancer. She won, and we celebrated! After we read Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik, I started a scrapbook, and we track our members, the books we have read and we each make a page for the book with information about the book we chose to read and pictures of the night we hosted.
The Bookworms Book Club
The Bookworms Book Club
How did you get together? We are a group of Head Start and Early Head Start parents who meet once a month.

Where do you usually meet? We meet in a conference room at one of our classroom sites. We began in the late '90s when one our parents asked, "Is there a group that gets together to read adult novels?" When the question was asked, my boss said, "Start one!" We began with reading Turtle Moon by Alice Hoffman.

What are your all-time favorite selections? Some favorites over the years are books by Carl Hiaasen, Rise and Shine by Anna Quindlin, Snow Angels by S. O'Nan, The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve, Gap Creek by R. Morgan and Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. 

Are you planning any special trips or events? Our annual trip is to go to a large bookstore about 20 miles from where we meet. We make a purchase or two and then go out to lunch to look at our new books that we can't wait to read.
The Words of Wisdom Book Club
The Words of Wisdom Book Club
How did you get together? Our book club began 10 years ago and was founded by one of our members.

Where do you usually meet? Our meetings are rotated at each member's home. There is a hostess and discussion leader for each meeting. The hostess prepares a scrumptious meal that is usually eaten after the book discussion. It has been said that we meet to eat.

Which Oprah's Book Club selections have you read together? Cane River by Lalita Tademy, What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day by Pearl Cleage, The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett and  Paradise by Toni Morrison.

What are your all-time favorite selections? The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks, Wake of the Wind by J. California Cooper, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, Cinnamon Kiss by Walter Mosley and The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.

Are you planning any special trips or events? When we discussed The Bondwoman's Narrative by Crafts and Gates, we dressed in attire and ate foods of that time period. When we read Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden, we dressed in kimonos and each member dramatized a character in the story and followed by a traditional Japanese feast. We've also had visits by authors, including J.T. Smith, author of Love Don't Come Easy, and Sandy Livingson, author of Fragments.
The Rockford Book Club
The Rockford Book Club
How did you get together? Our book club has met for 11 years, and we celebrated reading our 100th book together. We started the book club when our kids were in elementary school together. Over the years, our book discussions have deepened friendships and broadened perspectives. We've shared about each other's struggles and challenged each others opinions, all stemming from a conversation over a common book. 

Where do you usually meet? We each host a book club a year at our homes.

Which Oprah's Book Club selections have you read together? The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, Night by Elie Wiesel, A Million Little Pieces by James Frey, East of Eden by John Steinbeck , A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry, We Were The Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates, The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, While I Was Gone by Sue Miller, Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende, The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve, What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day by Pearl Cleage and I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb.

What are your all-time favorite selections? The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, Girl with the Pearl Earrring by Tracy Chevalier, My Sister's Keeper by Jodi PicoultEast of Eden by John Steinbeck.

What's on your reading list this year? Our 100th book will be Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See.We're also looking forward to reading Wally Lamb's new book, The Hour I First Believed, as well as a novel by Salman Rushdie.
The Woodlands, Texas Book Club
The Woodlands, Texas Book Club
How did you get together? We first met in 1999 to discuss Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. We've read and discussed more than 70 books.

Where do you usually meet? We rotate meeting in members' homes once a month. The hostess of the month selects the book and provides snacks and drinks. Later, we gather with a glass of wine to discuss the book.

Which Oprah's Book Club selections have you read together?The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski, A Million Little Pieces by James Frey, The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen, Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail by Malika Oufkir, House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III, Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende, Mother of Pearl by Melinda Haynes, Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts, She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb.

What are your all-time favorite selections? It would be hard for us to say what our favorite books are, as we are a group with diverse opinions. We do agree that the books we enjoy most are the ones that produce the most lively discussions. For example, Double Bind by Chris Bohjalain and The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski created much debate late into the night.

Are you planning any special trips or events? Our December meeting is a time for fun. We bring white elephant gifts and then try to steal the best or worst from each other.
The Secret Bookers Book Club
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.
New Jersey Book Club
New Jersey Book Club
How did you get together? Our book club was formed six years ago when two of us met at the library, introduced ourselves and shared an interest in forming a book club. We put up flyers, posters and contacted other groups, and our book club was born with six original members. We now have 21 women.

Where do you usually meet? We meet at the local library once a month on Wednesday morning. We serve morning treats brought in by members.
 
Which Oprah's Book Club selections have you read together? Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi and East of Eden by John Steinbeck.

What are your all-time favorite selections? The following are some of the books we have read over the past six years: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, Manhunt by James Swanson, The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hossseni, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, The Color of Water by James McBride, Madame Bovary by Gustav Flabert, The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards, River of Doubt by Constance Millard, Life of Pi by Yanna Montel and My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Piccoult.

How do you decide what to read next? We all make suggestions as to which book we would like to read, and the person who suggested it moderates for that month. We try to chose two or three months ahead of time. 

Are you planning any special trips or events? Have you in the past? Six of us met Jodi Piccoult when she did a book signing at a local hotel. We had our pictures taken and really enjoyed her presentation at the luncheon. Many of us have met at the movies to see a movie that we read as a book, such as The Secret Life of Bees. One of our members is a published author, so we have had book signings at our library before our regular meeting. Sixteen of our members are writing a novel. Each member is assigned a chapter and, when finished, passes it on to the next member—we won't see the novel until it's finished. Should be exciting!
The Bookwalkers Book Club
The BookWalkers — Warwick, New York
How did you get together? We are a group of 13 women. Book club member Colleen says she and her friend Denise wanted to be in a book club. "We tried one. They never met again. We formed one with several of Denise's neighbors and limited the membership to 13, or else not everyone gets a chance to speak as the number gets higher. We have all become very close friends and are very proud of our book club."

Where do you usually meet? We meet almost monthly. We have gone out to dinner, gone to the movies of books we have read and normally rotate at members' homes.
 
Which Oprah's Book Club selections have you read together? The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski.  

What are your all-time favorite selections? Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks, Ask Again Later by Jill A. Davis, Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner, Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson, The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls, Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, The Rest of Her Life by Laura Moriarty and The Safety of Secrets and Aftermath of Dreaming, both by Delaune Michel.

Are you planning any special trips or events? Not only do we get together for book club, but it has turned into a charitable club also. Our members also love to either walk or run—hence the name "BookWalkers." We do walks and runs for breast cancer, arthritis and leukemia annually and help each other raise money for each event. We have donated books to several local fundraisers to be raffled off. In the next year, we look forward to authors speaking at local colleges and hosting an author dinner in March.  
Timshell 12 Book Club
Timshell 12 — San Diego
How did you get together? Friends, sisters and friends of sisters is how we became a book club. We are a bunch of moms who wanted to get our brain juices flowing and reconnect with ourselves. We used the Oprah's Book Club guide to get us started, and we named our book club Timshell 12, after a word in the first book we read, East of Eden by John Steinbeck. We've been together for four years.
 
Which Oprah's Book Club selections have you read together? The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver and A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle.

What are your all-time favorite selections? The Red Tent by Anita Diamant, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult, Atonement by Ian McEwam, Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden, The Other Boelyn Girl by Philippa Gregory, World Without End by Ken Follett and Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. We just finished To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. We try to incorporate some type of theme food or cocktail to go along with the book we are discussing.

How do you decide what to read next? Majority vote rules on what book is decided that has worked really well for us. 

Are you planning any special trips or events? In November, we were invited to visit Victor Villasenor's ranch; he is the author of Rain of Gold, which we will read in the fall. We would love for Oprah to join us!
El Cajon Book Club
El Cajon Book Club — El Cajon, California
How did you get together? In 1990, as school employees, we were losing a favorite principal to retirement. So, a book group was formed in order to keep everyone in contact. Throughout the years, members have come and gone, and now only two of the original members remain. The group has grown from eight members to 15. We're a mix of working and retired women.     

Where do you usually meet? Normally, we rotate turns and meet in our homes, and, of course, our discussions are fueled by pizza and wine. Our favorite meeting places have been Paris, Rome and, just this past month, a charming wine tasting room in Old Town San Diego.   

Which Oprah's Book Club selections have you read together? The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski.  

What are your all-time favorite selections? Our book list is pages and pages long and is now kept on a database. We recently read The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, and we have read The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner, All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy, Devil in the White City by Erik Larson, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi and, most recently, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.   

How do you decide what to read next? Each hostess chooses a book and announces the month before we meet.   

Are you planning any special trips or events around a book you're reading? Have you in the past? Sometimes we manage to have a local author join us, such as Judy Bernstein of They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky or her physician husband, Paul Bernstein, who wrote Courage to Heal.  
Appleton Book Club
Appleton Book Club — Appleton, Wisconsin
How did you get together? A little more than two years ago, two of us decided it was time to get a neighborhood book club together. We made a list of people we knew were readers and who we thought would enjoy getting together in a casual, relaxed setting to exchange thoughts.

Where do you usually meet? Our Appleton Book Club is very low-key, with no rules or study questions. It's just an excuse to read and a place state your thoughts without judgment! We usually meet once a month at a member's house or occasionally a coffee shop or restaurant. 

Which of Oprah's Book Club selections have you read together? The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez, The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb, The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver and, of course, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski. 

What are your all-time favorite selections? Our favorite books that the Appleton Book Club has read are: The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See and The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards. Some of our lifetime favorite books are: Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier, I Know This Much Is TrueThe Poisonwood Bible, The Red Tent by Anita Diamant, Atonement by Ian McEwan, Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin, The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz and People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks.

How do you decide what to read next? We usually decide what the next book will be at our book club meeting. A few people make suggestions and we go from there. We all have very diverse tastes in books which encourages each of us to explore books to which we would not normally gravitate.

Are you planning any special trips or events around a book you're reading? Have you in the past? We plan to rent the movie Love in the Time of Cholera and travel to Chicago for the Devil in the White City tour when the weather gets warmer! 

See what this book club had to say during the Edgar Sawtelle webcast!

Phenomenal Women Book Club
Phenomenal Women Book Club — New Orleans
How did you get together? Phenomenal Women Book Club in the New Orleans area has 22 local and two auxiliary members. We range in age from 21 to 53 years, creating a variety of opinions about the books and questions asked. We've been meeting since October 2007 on the second Saturday of the month for two to three hours to discuss the book, club business and to socialize. We began after returning home from Hurricane Katrina to bond with female family and friends. 

Where do you usually meet? We've met in restaurants, a bookstore, member's homes and a battered women's shelter that we held a book drive for. 

What are your all-time favorite selections? Our favorites discussed are Every Woman Needs a Wife by Naleighna Kai, White Lines by Tracy Brown, Donna's Dilemma by Brian W. Smith and Sleeping with Enemies by Eric Jerome Dickey. 

How do you decide what to read next? Each month has a book captain and co-captain who decide the book title and genre. We switch genres to give members a chance to read their favorite types of books and expose others to new genres. We also choose books if an author offers to meet with us. We incorporate foods, themes, settings, etc. from the book into the discussion. 

Are you planning any special trips or events around a book you're reading? Have you in the past? We just met Brian W. Smith for Nina's Got a Secret. Nathan Eshe sent us CDs of readings of poems from My Love, and members will recite poems they've written on love for the meeting. In February, we will hear Dr. Maya Angelou speak—the inspiration for Phenomenal Women.
San Diego Moms Book Club
San Diego Moms Book Club — San Diego
How did you get together? A few of us went to college together and coincidentally ended up in the same neighborhood and reconnected.

Where do you usually meet? At someone's home.

Which Oprah's Book Club selections have you read together? There are many...The Road by Cormac McCarthy, Love in the Time of Cholera and One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski, The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers, The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck, A Million Little Pieces by James Frey and probably some I'm forgetting!

What are your all-time favorite selections? The Red Tent by Anita Diamant, The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, A New Earth, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz, The Good Earth and Moloka'i by Alan Brennert.

How do you decide what to read next? Whatever book gets the most "votes" wins.

Are you planning any special trips or events around a book you're reading? Have you in the past? The only trips we've done were to The Oprah Show for a book club, which was The Heart is a Lonely Hunter.

Watch Oprah and the San Diego Moms discuss Love in the Time of Cholera Watch
The Bookends Book Club
The Bookends Book Club — Canton, Michigan
How did you get together? Book club member Sabrina tells the story: "When I first moved [to Canton, Michigan] in December 2005, my first three goals were to find a church, bible study and friends. When I met my next door neighbor Tara, we were both reading Memoirs of a Geisha. After talking about the book, I asked her if she wanted to go see the movie together. We went to the movies and out to dinner afterward to discuss it. We had such a great time that I suggested to her that we should start our own book club. We chose The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. We both took four books and walked around our new subdivision knocking on doors asking women if they wanted to join our book club. The first eight women that said yes were given the book and asked to join us in January 2006 at my home for the first meeting. We are so excited to have such a diverse group of women. We were all so excited for our new book club and friendships. Over the past three years, we have been there for each other with love, food and friendship during childbirths, surgeries, birthday parties and more."

Where do you usually meet? We rotate houses the fourth Saturday of each month. Every month, someone volunteers to host the meeting at their home. The host makes dinner, and we discuss the book as we eat. We chose to rotate homes so we can keep the intimate and cozy setting.

Which of Oprah's Book Club selections have you read together?
Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald, A Million Little Pieces by James Frey, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez and The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski.

What are your all-time favorite selections? Fall on Your Knees, The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory, My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult and A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

How do you decide what to read next? We discuss the upcoming books at the meeting and then decide as a group what book to read next. Sometimes it is based on a recommendation about a great book, wanting a deeper read, wanting an easy read, etc.

Are you planning any special trips or events around a book you're reading? Not as of yet. We decided this year to do some community service as a book club. We have decided to focus our outreach on books or reading. In the past, we've gone to the movies together to see The Kite Runner and The Da Vinci Code. We also watched The Other Boleyn Girl on television during one of our monthly meetings.

We all went to The Oprah Show together for a taping. We even received the cool Amazon Kindle. Thanks, Oprah! 

See what this book club had to say during the Edgar Sawtelle webcast!
Read Between The Wines
Read Between The Wines — Chicago
How did you get together? Three of us were discussing some of our favorite books on the beach in Cabo San Lucas. That conversation sparked the book club idea, but we truly underestimated the level of interest—we currently have 20 people at each meeting!

Where do you usually meet? The location rotates each meeting since we take turns hosting at our homes. The host makes a main dish and everyone else brings the sides, appetizers and lots of vino. We joke that we're really a "wine club with a reading problem."

What books have you read together so far? Just to name a few: The Last Days of Dogtown by Anita Diamant, The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls, Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos, The New Adventures of the Hunt Sisters by Elisabeth Robinson, The Secret Lives of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See, I Was Told There'd Be Cake by Sloane Crosley, The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards and The Sunflower by Richard Evans.

What are your all-time favorite selections? We all really enjoyed Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.

How do you decide what to read next? The host gets to unveil the next book at the end of each meeting.

Are you planning any special trips or events around a book you're reading? Have you in the past? When we read Bright Lights, Big Ass by Jen Lancaster, we had her come speak at one of our meetings (pictured above).

One of our members signed up for a mission trip to Peru after reading The Sunflower by Richard Evans. She volunteered at the orphanage featured in the book and is trying to recruit other members to go back with her this summer. Our book club organizes regular social events to fundraise for books for children's charities such as Off the Street Club in Chicago.

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