The Harrison Place Book Club in Cary has about a dozen members, with six to eight attending an average meeting, says club member Laura Niemi.
Tell us about your club. We’re a fairly loosely-run club. The meeting date and book selection are up to the monthly host and determined as the time gets closer. We do this to accommodate busy schedules, letting members pick a month once they have a good idea of their schedule that month, and then selecting the book and the date that works. We try to select books that are easily available at the library, or schedule more recent popular books farther out. There’s no requirement that attendees have read the book – everyone is welcome any month. We gather at 7:30, socialize over wine and snacks, and then discuss the book. Our snacks sometimes reflect the book selection – for example, when we read “Bel Canto” by Ann Patchett, we were treated to pisco sours, the national drink of Chile. We usually skip one or two months during the year due to vacations or holidays, and have held potluck dinners and movie nights that included spouses.
What are you reading now? “The Dream Lover” by Elizabeth Berg
What is your club’s favorite book? “The Rosie Project” by Graeme Simsion
What’s unique about your club? We originally met quarterly, but folks lost interest because if they missed one meeting, they were uninvolved for 6 months. We gradually rebuilt our membership, scheduling monthly meetings and recruiting new members as they joined the neighborhood or as we met through social activities. We’ve recently welcomed several members from an adjoining neighborhood. And even after some members have moved away, they stay on our distribution list to keep up with what we are reading.
The Dream Lover
Random House, 368 pages