The Million Dollar Point Book Club in Durham started in 2002 and has always been coed, says club member Bob Pleasants.
Tell us about your club. Whoever is hosting for the month sends out a list of about four books and members vote for the next pick. We read mostly 20th and 21st-century novels, but occasionally we’ll do nonfiction or short stories. We went through a long period of exclusively classics but have been reading more modern fiction over the past few years. When we started the book club, we were in our late twenties and early thirties; back then we started in the late evening and met until late, often finishing many bottles of wine. Thirteen years later, most of us have kids and we often bring them to book club with us. Needless to say, we are a tamer bunch. Conversations about the book happen more organically and tend to last only 20-30 minutes, though we chat about the books via email or Facebook in between as well. We like each other so much that we rented a house on Oak Island together for the weekend for our 10th anniversary.
What are you reading now? “Everything I Never Told You” by Celeste Ng
What is your club’s favorite book? “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle” by Haruki Murakami and “Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie were the most unanimous favorites. “East of Eden” by John Steinbeck was the most loved classic. The most annoying book was a tie between “Dictionary of the Khazars” by Milorad Pavic and “The Ground Beneath Her Feet” by Salman Rushdie.
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What’s unique about your club? Our name comes from a book called “The Multi-Orgasmic Man” (MOM). We decided when we started that if someone didn’t finish the book that they would have to read passages aloud to the group from the MOM book as a form of shaming for not finishing. We stopped doing that years ago but kept the name. We once had a kickball face-off with a rival Durham book club, which was mostly made up of our life partners at the time (we lost, but they cheated). We’ve read more than 100 books.
Everything I Never Told You
Penguin Press, 297 pages