The very patient and wonderful Michele from the fabulous blog Michele – One L talks about her book group, the LOLAs, in this 23rd volume of In Praise of Book Clubs. I apologize to Michele and all the LOLAs for the long delay in posting this terrific entry!
I have loved to read since I was little and was excited to be invited to join a group of women reading and talking about books! This was seven years ago and at that time I hadn’t really heard of book clubs other than what Oprah was doing. What fun to think about reading the same book and talking about it with other women!
Ladies on Literary Adventures, otherwise known as LOLAs, is our book club. It started in April, 2001 and I joined in December, 2001. We started out as an off-shoot moms group and have had up to 25 folks on the list. While we don’t limit our membership to moms, it seems that the majority of folks we know that love to read are also moms. We currently have 11 active members and all are quite faithful about reading and coming to the meetings.
The Literary: As you can imagine, we’ve read a lot of books over the years. We’ve read fiction, memoirs, and self-help (not my favorite – I usually can’t even finish them). Books range from fluffy chick lit to serious subjects. Some of the books that stand out to me: Protecting the Gift by Gavin de Becker – I never would have read this book on my own but it has shaped my ideas and actions regarding my children and their safety;
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier - another one I would not have picked out myself, I’m not much of a classics reader, but thoroughly enjoyed;
These is My Words by Nancy E. Turner – one of my favorite books of all time; and
Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik – another of my all-time favorites.
You can see all the books we’ve read at Library Thing HERE.
There are a lot of books that I’ve read because of LOLAs that I may not have searched out on my own. I was a tried and true mystery/thriller fan and would never consider anything else. But I’ve grown to love many other genres because of just one book suggested by the ladies. It’s wonderful.
The Adventures: We’ve talked to a lot of authors! We’ve talked with Caroline Leavitt twice! She was our first – her book Coming Back to Me was awesome and based partly on her own life! Caroline was great fun to talk to and is a wonderful author. The second time we chatted was about Girls in Trouble. We talked with Adriana Trigiani about Big Stone Gap and Big Cherry Holler. Jennifer Haigh, author of Baker Towers, was also fun to talk with. And it was interesting to talk to Lisa Tucker – I just love all her books, with The Song Reader being the best. We talked to Victoria Zackheim, author of The Bone Weaver. Two more are Lorna Landvik for Oh My Stars and Sarah Bird, author of The Mommy Club.
It always feels so surreal to talk with the authors of books we’ve just read, to hear what they think of the books, their characters. It puts such a different spin on the book, making it come alive in my imagination even more. I was amazed to learn from each one of them that their characters are very real to them. Not in a ‘crazy I hear voices way’, but, in my engineering mind, as close to that as you can get without being crazy. LOL I am fascinated to learn of the writing process and how different it is from what I would have imagined.
Our other adventures would be our meals – we either eat out or bring appetizers to a home. We’ve discussed the theme idea where we eat foods relating to the book, but the closest we’ve gotten to that is eating at a Chinese restaurant when we were discussing Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.
The best part of LOLAs is, of course, the Ladies! I’ve made great friends that enjoy reading as much as I do! During our meetings, the book discussion sometimes is a large part of the night. I usually learn quite a bit about myself and other points of view/thought from these discussions. Other times the book discussion is a very small part of the evening. But either way we make sure we laugh and talk with each other, finding out about their families, children, jobs, life.
We are truly Ladies on Literary Adventures and it’s tons of fun!
For previous volumes of In Praise of Book Clubs, click HERE
For more info on starting your own book club, click HERE
For fun ways to make your book club better, click HERE
To check out my current giveaway, click HERE
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