Wide scope of offerings and ideas

Book club

October 25, 2001

An interview with Lorraine Morgan, member of Chat `N' Chew book club.

Does your club specialize in a certain kind of book?

Our ages in the group range from - the youngest person is probably 37 and the oldest is about 57 ... so it's made for a real wide scope as far as what books people are picking. For a while there, we were picking Oprah's [Book Club] books, and I suddenly thought they were a little whacko. ... They're ultimately about somebody conquering evil or terrible circumstances. We read Map of the World ... I couldn't get the characters out of my head for months. It was just very strange.

We try not to stick to any one type of book. We try to read a classic here and there. We try to read maybe a little bit of humor. Funny enough, one of the very best books - not the best book, but the best discussion - was Stella in Heaven by Art Buchwald. The questions that were generated from that little book were amazing ... and we are now really stepping outside of the box on what kind of discussion questions we ask.

What kind of questions arose with that book?

"What's your vision of heaven?" was a wonderful question.

What book are members reading this month?

Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy by Frances Mayes.

Is there a book that club members have especially liked?

The Red Tent. We really liked that one. It goes back to biblical times. ... It was a wonderful book because it talked about a number of rituals and customs that happened so long ago, and it got us talking about what we think about things today and why.

There was a book we read this past April, Brothers and Sisters, that was about racial tension in Los Angeles. ... That was not a book that I would have picked, and it got us thinking about racial issues, so it was a good discussion. ... We wondered what it would have been like if ... black people had read the book, whether they would have seen it as we did, whether they would have thought of it as a true picture or not.

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