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Second Tuesday Book Club

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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2 Comments

  1. Fabulous idea! I run a book club called the “Edgewater Book Club,” located in Edgewater, NJ. We meet @library the last Tuesday of ea. month. Our books are obtained through the NJ library system called BCCLS which arrives once a month w/our selection.
    We range in size from 8-12(13 cap) members & demographic age range from 35 to 86 years old. The Edgewater Book Club began in 2006 & is a dynamic, well educated, well traveled group who care about the world we live in & how it impacts our lives.
    We read several genres including: fiction-historical & contemporary, bios, memoirs, some non-fiction & thriller/suspense novels. Each month a different person facilitates the newest book & conducts the meeting. Our discussions are open & pretty fluid…everyone gets involved(one at a time). Its stimulating & lively & our discussions can get animated. The members critique ea. book with an eye on never being negative towards another’s opinion. There’s a lot of respect & love in this book group.
    Last year(2011), we took the Theme of Global Lit. & read prize winning books from 12 countries in the news continuously for 2010-11. It was an amazing experience for everyone albeit sometimes difficult reading.
    This year we’re back on track in the US with a wide range of genre & most importantly many debut novels, which I love, as it shows publishers are opening up to new authors & new audiences.
    This year I submitted 48 titles, w/names/authors/genre/synopsis to the members. They will chose their favorites & vote on consensus as we’re very democratic.
    Jan. 2012 was “Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand (Novel-we love Brit. humor) by Helen Simonson
    Feb 2012 is “The Informationist” (Thriller-smashing debut) by Taylor Stevens
    Other titles may include “The Marriage Plot,” “The Magnificient Medills,” “Dreams of Joy,” “State of Wonder” & “Catherine the Great” among others.
    So there you have it, people still LOVE books…some members read off Kindle but most prefer the texture & intimacy of a printed book.
    We’ll keep you updated on our 2012 title choices.
    Thanks for the forum to express our love of books.
    Johanna B.
    Edgewater Book Club
    E: famouscomments@nj.rr.com

    Mar-Dec. will be finalized @ next meeting.

  2. The group I’m with meets monthly,called The Queensview Book Club. Named for the co-op we live in. The attendence is about 12 and growing so far there are no plans to cap the attendance. Our selections are fiction and so far all had a story line about New York City, picked as we are NYC residences. We have been meeting since Sept 2011 and last month – March – we tried something new, our selection was ‘Seize the Day’ by Saul Bellows and during seperate meeting the DVD was shown.

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