The Joy of Book Clubs — 14 Comments

  1. I loved reading about your book club experience!
    I’ve been a member of a Jane Austen book groups,
    a classics book club and currently belong to a
    general book club and a group which reads only
    about France, French history and culture, and
    French literature. Each one was different in
    organization, rules, type of member, etc. and
    I enjoyed all of them.

    • Susan,
      Thank you for your kind comments and for sharing your own book club experiences with me! I’ve always wished I could be a part of an Austen book group that meets in person. The closest I’ve come is having discussions at JASNA events with other members ;). Your book clubs sound wonderful!!

  2. Marilyn, I’m in Crown Point, Indiana and if ever there is an event where I could drive up and meet you and some of the other authors or JAFF folks in general, please let me know. I’m Several years back I was invited to a tea at the Drake held by Beth Massey. It was great fun meeting her and several of the gals that live in the area who I knew from the forums. Meanwhile, best wishes with your publications. I’m going out of town for a week and have two of your books loaded on my Kindle (which Brenda Webb gave me, by the way.) I say, when it comes to JAFF it’s a small, friendly world! Jen

    • Jen,
      Oh, it would be so wonderful to meet you in person! Yes, if I’m near your area again, I’ll definitely let you know 🙂 . The next two things I have coming up aren’t until February & May of next year, and they’re both multi-author events in Illinois (they’re listed on this page: — the closest one to you would be the Spring Fling Writers’ Conference in Schaumburg — but I’m really hoping I’ll get to visit Indiana again, too. A good friend of mine is originally from Valparaiso, and we took 2 different road trips there to visit her mom’s book club. SUCH a wonderful group of women, and many were Austen fans!! (They’d read According to Jane first and then did Friday Mornings at Nine a year later.)
      I hope you have a lovely trip and that you’ll enjoy the stories Brenda shared!! So sweet of you both <3.

  3. At our former church, I led a monthly book group called Logos which met after church for lunch and discussion. We read everything from Shakespeare to Twilight, discussing the works from a viewpoint of faith. It was an amazing group, and we had such incredible discussions. I really miss that group which slowly shrunk from 15 people to about three, so we disbanded. It was a wonderful four years, though! 🙂

    Your description of the book club sounded so much like a Logos meeting, Marilyn–it made me miss the group more than ever. We have a library group in our small town, but the librarian who leads it is quite anti-Christian, and my viewpoint is not welcome. 🙁

    Thanks for your lovely post!

    Susanne 🙂

    • Susanne,
      How fun it must have been for you and your church book club to have those luncheon discussions! I’m so sorry to hear that the group disbanded. Having spoken to a few book club leaders about their group’s history, it sounds like many go through periods with just a handful of members…so maybe you’ll be able to gather together some old friends and new ones and start it again at some point. XO

  4. I’m in a book club, which is good because it motivates me to read a wider range of things than I would otherwise.

    I’ve also, several times, been the special guest at book clubs who are reading one of my books: best time ever! You’re right, Marilyn. What’s not to like? – books, new friends, and good food. I’d never thought of doing a long-distance telephone appearance, though (or I suppose Skype would be great). That would infinitely expand the number of book clubs within reach. I like that idea!

  5. Shannon,
    I totally agree that being a part of a book club opens up all kinds of new books and authors. The other members bring up titles I’ve never heard of and it’s been really cool to expand my reading range 😉 .
    Love hearing that you’ve enjoyed being a guest at book club so much too!! I hope you’ll have many more visits (in person & virtual!) coming up!

  6. Hi Marilyn! I am not part of a book club but have attended one that my sister hosted. She and some other teachers in her former school set one up and each take a turn hosting it at their homes. My sister invited me down last June for hers, though I think it was to help her make food and set up (LOL). Originally, they would all have to read the same book and still do in some cases, but mostly they pick their own. I like that idea better. Anyway, it was fun and everyone had read some interesting books. Unfortunately, none have ever read any JAFF, let alone Jane Austen!!!! Of course, I had to tell them how passionate I am about Jane and all the JAFF out there! They all nodded politely but I don’t think they truly understood my obsession! All in all it was a lovely evening. Not sure though if I could do that on a monthly basis.

    • Carole,
      LOL about your sister wanting you to help set up for the book club! That’s really interesting about everyone in the group sharing the different books they’d read… I haven’t heard of another club that does is that way. I’ll bet that helps them all learn about a lot more authors than they might have otherwise, and I’m glad you were there representing the Austen lovers of the world! 😀

    • Deborah,
      I think you’d really love the experience and I know that the other book club members would enjoy having someone like you (who’s kind, reads a lot, and knows about many different authors!) in it 🙂 .

  7. I tried to go to a book club years ago and it was not a great experience, because all the ladies knew each other for years and years and they did not make me feel welcome at all, especially when I disagreed with nearly every viewpoint they had. After a few months I quit going.

    Most of my book-clubbing is done online, and is very unofficial, but they do have them at my library here, so maybe I should try again. It would be good for expanding my reading horizons, as others mentioned, into different genres.

    Your book club sounds pretty perfect! I’d love to have been there.

    • Monica,
      I would have loved to be able to bring you to it… Truly, this group would have *adored* you and would have welcomed your comments, no matter how similar or different. With a gathering of 12 – 15 people every time, the women in it are used to a range of opinions, and their ages span from mid-20s to early 60s, so they’ve had vastly different life experiences. I’m so sorry the book club you went to before was such a disappointment. They were missing out because I’ve read a lot of your comments about novels on blogs or on Twitter, and you bring a tremendous insight to stories 😉 . Hope you’ll try one again sometime. <3

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