Second Tuesday Book Club has been meeting in the back room of a small, independently-owned bookstore (The Bookloft) in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, since early 2011. Monthly meetings usually include 5-7 women from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences, who learn about the group through the bookstore. We didn’t know each other prior to coming to the club, but our group (which continues to grow – until we cap it at 8 members) seems to bond effortlessly with each new member. We have inspiring, respectful exchanges about the books and how they relate to our own life situations.We look forward to choosing the book each month – an opportunity to hear what others want to read, and why they’re interested, and we allow ourselves to be persuaded occasionally to move outside our comfort zone. It helps to meet in the bookstore because we often bring in copies of our suggestions from the store’s shelves or consult with the staff, then discuss as a group in the last 15 minutes of our meeting. We normally choose contemporary fiction with an occasional nonfiction choice. Our reading list includes a few books that members did not like, but even if the club unanimously didn’t like a book, the substance of our discussions deepens a collective understanding of each other and what we hope to get out of both reading and meeting.
BOOKS WE’D RECOMMEND FROM RECENT SELECTIONS:
The Housekeeper and the Professor (Yoko Ogawa), Out Stealing Horses: A Novel (Per Petterson), Brooklyn: A Novel (Colm Toibin), The Help (Kathryn Stockett), Never Let Me Go (Kazuo Ishiguro), The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Rebecca Skloot)
BEST FOR DISCUSSION:
- The Housekeeper and the Professor (Yoko Ogawa) Elegantly simple story of a relationship. Inspired a deep discussion about relationships, memory, and poignant stories from our own lives.
- Lit: A Memoir (Mary Karr) Mixed reviews over a sometimes wild and exciting, at times slowly-moving memoir. Our conversation was intense and opinionated.
- Out Stealing Horses: A Novel (Per Petterson) A quietly rich novel, respected by all. Members were impressed by the author’s style as character developed through reflective thought and memory.
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