Triangle Reads What local book clubs are up to

Triangle Reads: What local book clubs are up to

tleonard@newsobserver.comApril 20, 2014 

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“People of the Book” by Geraldine Brooks.

  • Fiction

    People of the Book

    Geraldine Brooks

    Viking, 372 pages

The 11 members of the Page 49 book club have been meeting for about 11 years, according to member Dale Cousins. Although a few members have migrated to Cary or North Raleigh, most of the members still live inside the Beltline.

When and where do you meet? We meet every other other month from February through December in members’ homes. In the “off” months, we go out to dinner, go to hear authors or go to movies.

Tell us about your club. We nominate and select our six books for the upcoming year in a free-for-all discussion at our December meeting. We all tend to talk at once, and someone generally has to herd us back to the topic at hand. We are a strange mix of literary readers, nonfiction readers, best-seller readers, and even readers of children’s books. We have dentists, current and retired librarians, social workers, scientists and researchers; we’re very diverse in personalities and interests. All of us hold a genuine interest in books, reading and the stories that are out there. We rarely agree on what makes for a great book, although the books we generally don’t universally care for generate the best discussion. We have a good time, and no rule is large enough to go unbroken!

What are you reading now? “People of the Book” by Geraldine Brooks

What is your club’s favorite book? “The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America” by Erik Larson

What’s unique about your club? We began as a neighborhood group in Raleigh’s Five Points. The main criteria for membership was to be over 49 (no questions asked beyond that!) and that everyone would make the commitment to read any selected title to at least page 49. We usually pick second-run books – that is to say, books readily available in paperback and not on a waiting list at the library and that are under 500 pages. So, basically, it’s a no-pressure book club!

Read more about this book club and comment on its current book, or tell us about your book club at newsobserver.com/trianglereads.

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