Thursday, November 26, 2009

Book Club Exchange - Lisa of Lit and Life

Welcome to Book Club Exchange, a relatively new (and hopefully) regular feature on Booking Mama which highlights anything and everything book club-related! Today, Lisa from Lit and Life has written a great post about her book club - The Omaha Bookworms. I think you'll enjoy her essay and I know that I even related a little bit to some of her feelings about her book club!

The Omaha Bookworms

When I went to my first meeting of what is now The Omaha Bookworms, it was a book club in transition. The club had started about eight years earlier as an offshoot of a larger social group. The group met various places but, as part of the larger group, the book club was not allowed to request head counts for meetings. Which meant that one month, the leader was left sitting alone in a restaurant, waiting for almost an hour for someone else to show up. At my first meeting almost no one had even read the book. I wasn’t sure that this group was going to work for me; I was looking for a group of ladies with an interest in books, not just a social evening. Two months later a group of the ladies decided it was time for some changes to be made.

Our fearless leader, Mari, set some things in motion that have been a great help in the past year making sure that people are reading the books, that there are people at the meeting, and that we are reading books that are discussion worthy. The book club broke free and now we meet almost exclusively in someone’s home. We always have great eats and plenty of wine. We only read books now that have been pre-read so that, like the book or not, there is plenty to discuss. In September of 2008, Mari started a blog and began reaching out to authors and publishers. We were all astounded by how willing to send us books they all were. But the biggest surprise was how many of the authors were willing to “meet” with us by phone. Now we try to talk to authors every other month. There’s no better way to convince yourself that you have to get through the book than to know you’re going to have to have questions for the author! Right now our club is up to 15 members and we average 9-10 each month. Every month I look forward to spending time spending time with these bright ladies laughing, enjoying a glass of wine (or two!) and talking books.

Lisa is a wife of 27 years and mom to three kids of her own and countless others that call her Mama. Some of Lisa's favorite things are books, cooking, movies, music, flea markets, football and having fun with her family.

I am so grateful to Lisa for sharing her some of her book club experiences with us. If you are interested in participating in a future Book Club Exchange, please contact me at bookingmama(at)gmail(dot)com.


rhapsodyinbooks said...

I love the idea of doing re-reads so everyone has something to discuss!

bermudaonion said...

I think every book club needs a strong leader and it sounds like they're lucky to have Mari. Great post.

Amused said...

Sounds like you have a fabulous book club!

Maria said...

Sounds like a great book club!

Jo-Jo said...

Sounds like a great group Lisa! Our group usually tries not to read books that we have read, but I think we will be having a couple of those in the near future.

Lisa said...

I think I didn't explain properly. We don't do re-reads; we're generally looking for things that are new. Usually Mari or sometimes another member reads the book first and then makes a recommendation to the club to make sure there's enough to take about. I think the only book that's been a re-read for any of us was Pride & Prejudice and even then some of the ladies had not read the book before.

Ti said...

We tried the pre-read idea and no one wanted to do that. We pick our books a year in advance and for the most part, we have picked pretty well but once in awhile there is a zinger that makes it on the list and we are always left scratching our heads as to how it happened.

My new book club starts in March and I am heading it and I am a bit nervous about it.

Serena said...

That's a unique idea reading pre-read books. Thanks for sharing this with us, Lisa, and thanks to Julie for hosting.