Once every month, we’ll share the motivation and passion that drives one book club — it could be yours! — from across the globe. These are the people who have combined the solitary pleasure of reading a book with the joy of sharing, discussing, and debating it in a social setting.
May’s spotlight features Sheryl of League City, Texas, whose book club Smart B*tches Who Read has already reached 72 members.
What was the inspiration for starting your book club?
I attempted to join a local book club but found they were either too far away or had too many rules. I decided to create my own because I doubted I was the only reader in the area who felt this way. Soon after, the book club was born and we are now 72 ladies strong!
Who are the members of your club? How did you come to know each other?
We are an eclectic group of women who began as total strangers. I began this book club as a private club through the Meetup.com site. It is limited to women only and everyone is required to answer a series of screening questions before they are allowed to join. We have a wide variety of ages and backgrounds in the club but have all been getting along wonderfully!
How does your group select each book? (And how often do you meet?)
We meet once a month at either my home or a member’s home who has volunteered to host. We also require everyone to either bring some type of drink or food as a way to avoid paying any type of dues. The first couple of times I chose the book and as we grew larger we now have everyone bring two selections, either fiction or non-fiction, and we throw them in a hat and draw. So… each month is like rolling the dice. You never know what you’re going to get.
Do you have a unique way of preparing for a book club meeting?
The main prep I do is to jump online and see what type of questions I can find to incorporate with our book pick that month. I also normally either make a dessert or ensure I stop at the store to pick up needed items for the club. Nothing major, though. We’re all pretty casual about our gatherings.
Has your book club and its members had a meaningful impact on your life?
Yes, they have! All of the ladies I’ve met have been absolutely wonderful. One woman, in particular, happens to be a gardener like me and we’ve been talking shop! I think all of us impact each other in some way because we all share one common interest: a love of reading and fellowship.
If you could invite any author (or even just any person) to join one of your meetings, who would it be and why?
Oh goodness. This is a tough one. I’d have to go with Nora Roberts, probably because I am a writer and a reader. I admire her drive but I also love her stories. Her books are responsible for many of my sleepless nights.
Of all the books your club has selected, which is your favourite? (And do you have another favourite book that hasn’t been read by your club?)
We are reading one right now that the ladies are raving about! Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson (a.k.a. The Bloggess). I have several favorites but if I had to choose one, I’d actually have to go with a series: The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. So amazingly good!
To be featured in a future Book Club Spotlight, email email@example.com with a brief description of your club. We’ll be in touch if we’d like to spotlight you!