March 15, 2009
Over the past week, we've been discussing book club breakups. I'd bet that most clubs have lived through some variation of this trauma: the member who drops out suddenly or shows up less and less, the group that collapses entirely. The discussion began when reporter Mary Carole McCauley made her first appearance on Read Street and wrote about leaving her club. She had participated for a few years, but when several favorite members moved away, she took a hard look at the demands of a club.
May 24, 2001
An interview with Holly Gillum, founding member of Longfellow Nursery School Book Club . How many members does your club have? I think there's probably 15 of us on paper, and maybe between eight and 12 show up in a given month. A lot of the moms in the group - their kids are graduating out of the preschool, but we're just gonna stay a group. It's sort of taken on its own little thing. What book are members reading this month? This month, we're doing "Daughter of Fortune" by Isabel Allende.
March 23, 2000
An interview with Ann Hart of Town Center Book Club. What book are members reading this month? "The All-True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton" by Jane Smiley. Which books have members liked? "The Love of a Good Woman," a collection of short stories by Alice Munro; "Crossing to Safety" by Wallace Stegner. How often does the club meet? Once a month at Oakland Manor in Columbia, usually the third Friday of the month. How many belong to the club? About eight. When was the club formed?
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.
June 5, 2003
An interview with Lisa Bankman, co-founder with her daughter, Judy Bankman, of the Book Buddies Book Club. Is this a mother-daughter book club? Yes, the mothers are always invited, but they're not required to come. How did you start? My daughter and I had talked about it since she was in the sixth grade and by the time she was in eighth grade, we sent out invitations to a group of close friends and to the moms. We had our first meeting and took off from there. That was in the beginning of 2001.
November 8, 2001
An interview with Jenny Leopold, facilitator of the book club at Florence Bain Senior Center in Columbia. What is your role as the book club's facilitator? I'm a [former] English teacher, and I taught high school and college English, and now I'm at home with [my own] kids. ... I absolutely love working with this population. Seniors are just the best students ... and I think that they think of me as their teacher [even though] they are a group of women who have been active readers their whole life.
June 13, 2002
An interview with Rita Snyder, founding member of the Sampler Book Club. How did your club get started? We started in August of 1997. All of our kids went to the same nursery school. ... We had eight members. A few have moved on, but we've replaced them. We decided to stick with eight because we did not want it to be too large. We had decided to name the club Sampler because we were not going to be hard and fast about what we read. We really like to read a variety of different things. We each take turns choosing the book.
September 19, 2002
An interview with Susan Budden, founder of the Half Heimers GALs book club. Why are you called Half Heimers? (She chuckles.) We're ladies in our 50s. We're halfway to Alzheimer's. We're the Half Heimers GALs - G-A-L for get a life - book club. What book are members reading this month? When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro. ... It basically is about a person who is working as a cop inspector, like the kind you would have for Scotland Yard. And it starts out as an older man thinking back on his life in which he became an orphan living in Shanghai, where both of his parents disappear one after the other.
November 22, 2001
An interview with Joanne Zaslow, co-founder of the book club, Ladies Eat and Read Society. How did you get started? The name is kind of tongue-in-cheek. We all kind of know each other from the Columbia area ... and we had been talking about getting a book club started for months, and one day we said, "OK, we're going to set up a meeting," and now we're on our fourth year. In addition to our book discussions, we're trying to encourage literacy, and so recently we've been contributing funds to buy books in elementary schools.
February 14, 2002
An interview with Levern McElveen of The Freedom Readers book club. What is the makeup of your group? We're all friends. There are two other men in addition to myself. We have about nine members right now ... The average age, I would say, is probably around 40. What book are members reading this month? We're reading Van Whitfield's Guys in Suits. It's a story of four male friends bonding, and the catch-all is one of the friends comes down with prostate cancer, and the book then goes off into how the other friends handle that.