Clayton’s Halcyon Club celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2012, says member Tammy McLeod.
Tell us about your club. We most often meet at the Morning Glory Inn bed and breakfast in Clayton. We have 24 members, as required by our bylaws. Every two years, each member submits a book, and the 24 different books chosen are passed in rotation among the members. At the end of the two years, most of the books are donated to our local library. We meet September through May, and members are responsible for passing books to one another during the summer months. We have a guest speaker at each meeting. We normally do not discuss books at our meetings, although sometimes the speaker will review books (but not usually something that’s in our current rotation).
What are you reading now? One of the books in our current rotation is “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr.
What is your club’s favorite book? Our favorite book is anything by local author Lee Mims.
What’s unique about your club? We began as a social club. Newspaper articles about club meetings at the time even detailed the attire worn by members. The club disbanded twice, once during World War I, “when all the energies of the members were turned to war work,” and again during the influenza epidemic. We have a theme for each year, and each month has a sub-theme. We print a club booklet for each new year that details who is hosting each meeting and where. We also have a club song, composed in 1956 by a member at that time. Our name was chosen by the members on October 15, 1912. “Halcyon Days” refers to some past interval of alleged innocence and safety, and is often used in conjunction with some pitch about nostalgia. The minutes for that particular meeting state, “After a thorough discussion, ‘Halcyon’ was decided upon for the name of the club. We hope and feel sure that each member will do her part in making this appropriate.” (And yes, we have the minutes for every meeting since 1912.)
Read more about this book club and comment on its current book, or tell us about your book club at nando.com/trianglereads/.
All the Light We Cannot See
Scribner, 531 pages