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.