Triangle Reads: What local book clubs are up to

“Zoo Station” by David Downing.
“Zoo Station” by David Downing.

The Not for Men Only Book Club is an in-store book club at Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh and is open to anyone, man or woman, according to club moderator Jim Parina. However, their reading choices are books that generally appeal to male readers.

When and where do you meet? We meet the second Monday of the month at 7 p.m., usually at the store.

Tell us about your club. We have about 25 members on the email list, and 10-12 at most meetings. Members submit book recommendations, and I keep a spreadsheet. We try to balance fiction and nonfiction and throw in one or two biographies or classics. We choose books that have been out at least a year so that paperback versions are available. If you recommend a book, you should have already read it, and you should be willing to lead the discussion of that book.

What are you reading now? “Zoo Station,” by David Downing

What is your club’s favorite book? “Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War,” by Karl Marlantes

What’s unique about your club? It was born out of the desire to bring together people – men originally – who would read books of interest to men and have informed and vigorous discussions about them. It wasn’t meant to be a social club. I wanted to call it the Men’s Book Club or Men Only Book Club, but Nancy Olson, the former owner of QRB, convinced me to be more inclusive. We have four or five women who come on a regular basis. We’ve hosted a couple of meetings with the author in attendance or on Skype.

How to join: Information about the club and a schedule of upcoming books and meetings is at Readers are always welcome to attend. If you have questions you can contact Jim Parina at You can also get on a mailing list to be notified of any last-minute changes.

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