An interview with Shirley Carey of Clemens Crossing Book Club.
How did your group get started? Clemens Crossing is a neighborhood in Hickory Ridge village. I think it was just kind of formed by a group of women who were well-educated who were raising their families and wanted a little bit of extra stimulation, so they started a book club. And this probably was 25 years ago.
Has the number of members been pretty consistent over the years? We have 11 members, but two of them are sort of emeritus members. They've moved away, but we keep in touch with them by e-mail and they keep up with the reading. One of them will send comments in, and her comments are discussed at the meetings.
What book are members reading this month? It's called Blue Hearts by Jim Lehrer. He's the PBS broadcaster. It's a spy novel about a CIA agent who was involved somehow in either the Cuban missile crisis or Kennedy's assassination. I haven't gotten that far yet. It's a light read, and we try to do something light at this time of the year. It's a short book, and it's mostly dialogue, so it goes quickly.
Is there a book that your club members have especially liked? The one, I'd say, that the group absolutely loved, or there was absolutely no quibble about, was The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. It was the hands-down favorite. It's a ... biblical story told from a woman's perspective, and it was interesting to read about Joseph and that period from a "theoretical" woman's perspective. I say "theoretical" because it's a novel. It doesn't attempt to be a historical presentation.
Is there a book none of the members liked? Oh, yes, The Fencing Master. The hero of the story was a very weak, unlikable character. When you started reading it, you felt it was going to be an action story, but then nothing ever happened.
How did you come up with that book? I believe someone asked a librarian for a recommendation, or it might have been on a recommended reading list. I'm not sure. Sometimes we're bursting with ideas on what to read, and others times we're, "Oh, what are we going to read?" The hostess of a particular meeting selects the book, with the agreement of the group.