The Clayton Newcomers and Neighbors Club has a number of small groups centered around favorite activities such as canasta, bridge, arts and crafts, golf, etc., including two book groups, says Judy Hoffman, a member of Book Club #2.
Tell us about your club. We have about 12 members. At our June meeting, instead of discussing a book, we choose the books to read the following year. Two weeks before that meeting, each member is asked to submit via e-mail her recommendation of three books which she has personally read and can vouch for, including a short summary of each book. Everyone comes to the June meeting knowing which books they want to vote for. Votes are tallied, winners announced and dates selected. This allows members to begin reading the choices over the summer. Since we don’t meet in July and August, we often select a longer book to be discussed in September. When we get together, we normally spend about a half-hour socializing; then the leader begins by providing some background on the author and handing out discussion questions, usually from study guides found on the Internet. We always have a lively discussion and very much enjoy sharing our viewpoints, which are sometimes quite divergent. We end each discussion by rating the book on a scale of 1 to 5 reflecting how much we enjoyed it and whether we would recommend it to others.
What are you reading now? “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr
What is your club’s favorite book? “Still Alice” by Lisa Genova and “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett; each received a rating of 5 from almost everyone.
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What’s unique about your club? We used to meet in each others’ homes but had a couple of experiences of members getting lost in the dark winter months, so we voted to meet at a local restaurant that has a private room available for us. Our members have become true friends who care about each other and have stepped up to help whenever one of our members needs it. We look forward to our meetings and work hard to make it every month, even though we lead busy lives as active retirees.
All the Light We Cannot See
Scribner, 531 pages