The Evening Book Discussion Group at Otis Library in Norwich, CT has been meeting for well over 16 years. As we’ve loved to say for many years, “We were here before Oprah!” Our theme has stayed pretty much the same – we are a peer-led discussion group. Occasionally, we will mix it up and have a scholar-led discussion with a local English Professor, or an author visit. And we plan to start skyping with authors at our next meeting. We meet from September through June, and choose our titles for the next season at our June meeting, which is a pot-luck dinner. We each bring one or two book suggestions (which we must be ready to defend!), and vote at the end of the meeting. It’s so much fun to see what people will recommend!
Attendance for the discussions has changed over the years, with some months attracting over 20 people, and others only 3 – especially in the winter months. But there is a core group of about 5 of us who have been coming since almost the beginning, and this club means a lot to us.
Even those who have moved away still stay in touch, sending book lists from the clubs they joined in their new town! The love of reading a good book is what created this club in the beginning, and is what keeps us coming back.
BOOKS WE’D RECOMMEND FROM RECENT SELECTIONS
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain; The Help by Kathryn Stockett; The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon; One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus; Beloved by Toni Morrison; and Possession by A. S. Byatt
BEST BOOKS FOR DISCUSSION
One of the best discussions we had was for Life of Pi by Yann Martel. Ten of us attended this meeting, and we split down the middle on whether the animals in the raft were real or a figment of the character’s imagination! For a classic, we recently read A Passage to India by E. M. Forster, and loved it. And one of the best-attended discussions we ever had was for Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.