Do You Belong to a Book Club?

bookclub 1My neighborhood bookclub met at my house tonight. We meet every other month, which is a very civilized schedule. Sometimes we have “supper club” on the off months, when we get together with our spouses/sig others at one of our houses. It’s a diverse group in terms of age and a lot of fun. It’s also quite a large group, although tonight we had “only” twelve women, since it’s summer and many people are away.

We read The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. We take turns suggesting books. The “suggester” brings 5 or 6 books to the meeting and describes a bit about each one and then we vote. (Next up is Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay). The Thirteenth Tale was my suggestion. I’d already read it, but enjoyed the rereading as much, if not more, than I did the first time. What a fabulous book! I love the timeless feeling, the Gothic atmosphere, the sense of “what the heck is really going on??”, the quirky characters, the poignancy and the unexpected surprises. Discussing this book tonight was a real mind twisting experience! I now feel as though I need to read it a third time and right away!

Do you have a book club? I’d love to hear how you operate and what your club is reading.  (Also, remember that I’ll speak to your club by speakerphone if you’re discussing one of my books. Just click on “Reading Groups” on my website.)bookclub2


  1. Brenda on July 9, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    I Have an email bookclub and one of the first books was a DC book rec by Renee. I will always be thankful because that is how I discovered YOU. Of course it was the trilogy. Margo is a part of the club now. I am starting a book club in my home this fall with about six of us. The first meeting is an English setting with Pride and Prejudice. Of course we will have scones etc. I plan to have some little gifts for the girls. The second book I think is Hannah’s List. I plan to have a DC book at my next turn. My email book clubbers are going to read with us. I am excited.

  2. Diane Chamberlain on July 9, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    The email bookclub sounds wonderful, but it really is fun to get together in person (and eat). You’ll have a great time. It’s fun when the refreshments fit the book. I was going to make ginger cake to tie in with The Thirteenth Tale but ran out of time. I don’t think anyone minded the bakery-made tiramisu instead. Have fun!

  3. Gina on July 9, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    I am the coordinator of my bookclub and I’m also dubbed as the queen mum. Lol we r in existence 9 yrs. We just celebrated our 100th book by reading Little Women. There are 11 of us and we meet the last Thursday of every month except Dec when we meet first Thursday and combine as Christmas party. No mtg in Nov. Each person is free to choose whatever book they want and it is not announced until the end of the previous months mtg. I do make a schedule each yr so everyone knows what month they have. The person that makes the book selection also chooses a restaurant for us to meet. We take yearly weekend trips too in August. Next yr is our 10th year in existence and 10th trip. We r deciding how to celebrate.

    Excuse the typos, I’m typing this out from my iPhone.

  4. Diane Chamberlain on July 9, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Oh fabulous, Gina! 100 books! I bet that bookclub has become immensely important to the members.

  5. Brenda on July 9, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    Gina that sounds great. I sent a list to my members to sign up for the month they want the books
    We will meet at my house unless others decide they want to meet at their homes but a restaurant occasionally sounds fantastic and the trips. I am looking into us going to tea at The Greenbrier which is a short drive for us.

  6. Brenda on July 9, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    And you chose my favorite book for 100

  7. clicia Tremblay on July 9, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    I love talking about books and authors bt for years, due to all kinds of reasons, it’s been hard to belong to a book club or make it work consistently. Thus, for a long time now, I’ve become a solitary reader which does not bother me much until you really want to talk to someone about a book, a story, a character, an ending etc, etc. So, while nothing will ever surpass the energy of an in person meeting, I’ve warmed up to the idea of virtual book clubs. After talking for a long time with friends from diff parts of the world about this, we decided to create such group and held our first meeting this week and it was great!! The love of books/personal stories/chaos and giddiness was all there.
    We plan to do it again next month and I am lobbying for “TLWT”. I am also look forward to finding more such outlets online until I can see about organizing another in person group as well.

  8. Rob Lopresti on July 9, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    I learned something interesting recently. As Diane knows, my wife Terri works at our local independent bookstore. If a book club registers there the members automatically get a discount on whatever the club’s book of the month is. I don’t know if other bookstores do it, but it seems like a good idea.

  9. Diane Chamberlain on July 9, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    Clio, did you meet via Skype or just online?

  10. Diane Chamberlain on July 9, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    Rob, our local Indie, Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, also does that so I bet a lot of Independent bookstores do as well. Maybe the chains, too?

  11. clicia Tremblay on July 10, 2010 at 1:27 am

    We met via Skype chat, though some members were able to call one another by phone via Skype. In the future, we may decide to use chat or phone, with a mike or even cameras if we wanted to…I sure hope not!!!:)

  12. Gina on July 10, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Yep. My indie shop also offers bookclub members discounts.

  13. Margo on July 10, 2010 at 10:58 am

    I’m a member of a book group and we actually see each other every Wed at Border’s…we choose a book to all read and then discuss it 1 month later…sometimes we get together at each others homes, sometimes at a restaurant…and every Wed we have lunch together and talk about other books we are reading besides the bookclub pick…we also make time to walk around and buy new books that are out…I love the new bookclub Brenda is starting…I only wish I could be ‘there’ and enjoy the friendship and scones!…Gina, I love your bookclub!…trips and things, how wonderful!
    Diane, your bookclub looks fabulous!…and I recognize the beautiful photoart of Tulips from John.
    Aren’t we all lucky to love books like we do and have such wonderful friends to share them with!

  14. Diane Chamberlain on July 10, 2010 at 11:43 am

    John will love that you noticed his tulips, Margo. Yup, that’s my sunroom without the sun and the trees. Favorite room in my house.

  15. Margo on July 10, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Diane, I meant to mention that our bookclub has selected THE LIES WE TOLD for our next discussion!…it was my pick this time (-O: Of course I’ve already read it but we will be meeting over dinner at one of our favorite restaurants and talking about it…I can’t wait for the discussion!

  16. Diane Chamberlain on July 10, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    Cool, Margo. Let me know if you want me to call in, tho would probably be a challenge at a restaurant. 🙂

  17. Brenda on July 10, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    I Skype with my son once a week but because of the time difference, I am always ready to go to bed and in a robe. I bet when I got off the plane this time I looked different with makeup. Am enjoying my Ca trip again and my favorites. Getting ready to go for the weekend and next weekend my last–My favorite of course. Carmel and Monterey for the weekend if nothing happens to change our plans. my new daughter in law is a dream. So sweet

  18. Diane Chamberlain on July 10, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    Oh, Brenda, I would LOVE to go to Carmel and Monterey right now. Perfect time of year.

  19. clio on July 10, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    Sorry this is a long post about book endings and how we feel about them:

    Very inspiring stories about book clubs: one of the things I like and miss about bookclubs is the sharing – about the plot bt style. So,I’ve been thinking about something and I wonder if I can share with you and see what you think: how books end or endings in general. I’ve been thinking about it for a while even before the whole “thing” about “TLWT”‘s ending- I confess, I am one who had been more ambivalent about it!!LOL- this has led me to think about other books and other endings that touched me as well and when I looked some of them up on review boards, I saw how really controvertial the ending was and truly to heart readers take to endings/characters and how divided or outraged some of us feel!! I think it is a good thing when a book elicts such response. I am the one who loves to read love triangles and lately, I’ve had a “pervese” fascination with stories about betrayal and infidelity-maybe it is all the news. So, I’ve read some really interesting, touching bokos on the subject- like “Husband and Wife” by Leah Stweart/ “Love in Mid-Air” by Kim Wright/ “Love and Other Natural Disasters” by Holly Shumas/”Disobedience” by Jane Hamilton etc..each one unique in its own way. Anyway, I just read Emily Giffin’s “Heart of the Matter – who seems to have a corner on infidelity” LOL- and noticed quite an uproar over the ending too. I was ok with the ending, though I can see why it upset people and might have felt that a diff. ending could have been more “truthful”-however we define that…or not, maybe it was her point all along, to let you us decide.

    Anyway, my point here is: I can’t speak for anyone bt I’ve a feeling that writers write the books that they want to, that make sense to them- ending and all- not what would purposedly please or upset readers, cause given a chance, most readers are like “monday morning quarterbacks”…LOL
    So, anyway, I am just rambling and thinking out loud- about the fine line between realism, life-like, and fantasy or totally unrealistic bt when is the unexpected real..don’t know if it makes sense, if any thoughts, would love to hear.LOL

  20. Margo on July 11, 2010 at 10:59 am

    Would love that Diane, but I think it would be too hard at a restaurant…next time we meet at someone’s house I will remember that and see if you could call in…we usually go out and treat ourselves to a nice restaurant with our book in hand…so much fun…I know that this book will have lots of discussions and chatting going on and I can hardly wait!…(-O:
    Brenda…I’m so happy you’re with your loved ones right now…I’m with Diane, Carmel & Monterey…even Big Sur are some of the most beautiful places on earth…(along with Nantucket Island on the opposite coast)…I want to be there!

  21. Diane Chamberlain on July 11, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    Clio, I do write the ending–and the book–that feels right to me and pleases me, but I always have my reader in mind as well. As for the end of TLWT, some readers felt it was “right” (as I do, of course) and others really hated it. I think with that book, it would be impossible to please everyone. I’ve actually loved hearing all the different reactions, though, I do hate the idea of someone tossing the book across the room when they finish it!

  22. clicia Tremblay on July 11, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    Tks Diane. You know that I’ve been coming around to “TLWT”.:)I was actually at my Indie bookstore today, picked up a hard copy of it- since I have it in ebook- and re-read the prologue and it felt that resonated with me, sort of “aha”. I’ve been thinking a lot about “TLWT” bt more about the adoption vs biological child angle. I have relatives that have adopted so has my hubby, that to me is quite an interesting topic. My husband for instance is against adoption while I am for it and feel that I can love a child that I did not give birth- bt I am the one who LOVES/LOVES her daughters bt who hated being pregant. :). Anyway, so had I not been able to conceive- I was 38 when I had my first child, I don’t know how we would have handled it since I would be ok with not having kids, bt my hubby wanted to have kids, soI am going to ask my husband that question tonight!!!:) Lovely bedside conversations we have….hahaa
    Anyway, I know what you are saying about endings bc some of the books I’ve read lately – not yours- had endings that I would have liked or wanted, bt bc the way the story was told or went, the ending could have been perceived as ‘contrived” or manipulated or maybe not consistent, I don’t know…that was the case with “Heart of the Matter” for me.
    I had no clue that people had such “violent” reactions to the ending of “The Last Time They Met’ by Anita Shreve…really worth reading bt read “Weight of the Water” first- that some people literally threw the book across the room…I don’t do that and since I’ve been reading ebooks, I like my Kindle too much 🙂 So, I just email the author, the mother or father of the baby!!
    Thank you. You know that I LOVE, LOVE “TLWT” and “Keeper of the Light” is still with me…how can you forget Annie?? No way!!

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