Sunday, March 23, 2014

Books & Wine a Book Club

I love my book club. We are seven women strong and started our first book discussion on July 7, 2007. For our first book we read Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner. Seventy books later we finished The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison this past Friday night.

We meet once a month and generally follow the same hostess order: Aimee, Kristen, Kate, Amy, Me, Amy, and Heather. Yes. We have lots of Amy(ee)s in our club. Aimee is the one who started things off. If I remember correctly, some of her colleagues from work wanted to begin a book club. From those first inklings of a book club Aimee is the only one who went through with the idea. Thus we became Books & Wine/Wine & Books.

As I was saying, we meet once a month. In our first year we came up with some rules thanks to Amy. She's not just another pretty face.

Rule #1: The person who hosts the next month's book club must email the other members of book club about possible dates. Right. This rule hasn't really been followed. All though we do send reminders about book club on Facebook.

Instead we follow Rule #2: The future hostess should select two dates for members to choose. The future hostess brings the dates with her to the current book club meeting. This works well for us. Believe it or not we've been pretty good about meeting once a month. Even with all of our busy schedules plus our kids' and husbands' schedules. We make it happen!

Rule #3: The future hostess brings the book of choice to the current book club meeting to share. In the beginning we all purchased books. You know a cover and a back with pages in the middle and words on the pages. It began with one member buying a Kindle then slowly but surely every member purchased a Kindle. It was tough going with two English teachers who wanted the comfort of holding that book in their hands. ( I was one of the hold outs, but I love, love, love my Kindle.) Now we can read the description using technology. Wow. We're cutting edge.

Rule #4: There is no guilt involved when choosing a book and no one ends up liking it. Well, I can't seem to help feeling bad when one of my selections is a stinker. Like this last selection The Silent Wife. More on that in a minute.

Rule #5: Base your ratings on personal experience with the book. In the beginning we thought of the ratings as grades (teachers will do that) and kept comparing books to each other rather than holding the book up as an individual. We've since changed to judge the book based on our reading experience with the book. Here's our rating scale: 5 stars = one of the best; 4 stars = very good; 3 stars = good; 2 stars = made it through; and 1 star = couldn't make it through.

Rule #6: Book club begins at 7 p.m.

Whoever hosts the book club provides tasty treats and refreshments. It's extremely important to have delicious food and wine to stimulate conversation about the book.

So this last book club I served Asian BBQ meatballs, lemongrass chicken spring rolls, naan, ginger chips, and wheat thins with spinach and artichoke dip, sesame seed cashews, and lemon cake with lemon icing. For the wine selection I selected a Tuscan red called 1967 and from Pancake Cellars Big Day White as well as Project Happiness Chardonnay.

The book The Silent Wife (not a manual for husbands) was touted as being similar to Gone Girl. The only thing similar was the way in which the chapters were divided, Her and Him. It was supposed to be a psychological thriller and in one way I think that description fits. Kate said it was interesting to be inside Todd's head to listen to what he was thinking about Jodi. Many of us disagreed but Kate said, "I'm okay with the book being labeled as a psycho thriller. I'm standing by it!"

There was supposed to be a murder, but that didn't happen until just about the very end. I kept waiting for something to happen. There was no real cliff hanger to speak of and it just wasn't what I expected. The average rating of the book for the girls was 3.2.

Our next selection is called A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy.

Have a wonderful week.


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