Back when the kids were in elementary school, my friend Emily and I decided to start a book group. We approached a few women, picked out our first book (please don't ask which one -I can't even remember why I walked into the room) and started meeting monthly.
Fast forward almost 15 years and we are still together. Some members have dropped out and new ones have joined but the core group remains. We met last night and as I looked around the room I felt so grateful for all the friendship, not to mention the expansion of literary horizons, this group has afforded over the years.
You can check out the books tab on the left to see some of the many books we've read. It's not up to date, though. Last night we were discussing Patti Smith's Just Kids, which we all loved. The month before it was A Visit From The Goon Squad, which received a more mixed review. Before that it was Stacy Shiff's biography of Cleopatra, which a handful of people found a slog, but others, myself included, found fascinating.
Next month - "Swamplandia." By now I have read dozens of books I would have been unlikely to choose on my own, and have almost always been glad for the exposure. Our conversations have always strayed outside of mere literary discussion. For years it was about our little kids, and for a long stretch, adolescent difficulties, and then the college admission follies. Now we tend to focus more on the content of the book, but when we get off topic, conversation veers towards middle age issues, such as the burning question of whether you can actually get a "neck lift."
In the publicity packet the publisher sent me, I was told to come up with possible questions for a book group discussion. Wouldn't that be a kick?!