WOW! This is the 20th installment of In Praise of Book Clubs! I can hardly believe it! Today we hear from Laverne at the very fun Redhead Fangirl blog, which you must check out if you like comics or graphic novels. Here she talks about her Adult Book Discussion group at the Ewing Branch Library, where she is the reference librarian.
While I was attending library school and working full time, I was drafted to be the book club coordinator in 2005. We host a once a month adult book discussion, and this group has been one of the most rewarding parts of my very busy reference librarian schedule.
Our book club reads fiction, nonfiction, memoirs, poetry and short stories. I love the diversity of the styles we read, and the group is extremely democratic on bringing suggestions to the table. We only ask that the title be available through our library system, so it promotes our collections and there is no expense for any patron.
We have a group of regular patrons, but always have an influx of new participants. The group is led by a now retired Corrections Officer, who told me he only knew of one other guard who was a reader in all his years working in corrections. There are several current and retired teachers who bring witty classroom stories to the table.
One of our favorite yearly discussions is the “Short Stories for a Short Month”, where every February we read 4 or 5 short stories. I make copies for the entire group, and then we share our thoughts and feelings. It has turned us on to T.C. Boyle, Jeffrey Archer, and more– many times we like a short story enough to want to read more by that author.
The biggest hits of this year are the nonfiction The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan, the memoir Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, and Skinny Dip by Carl Hiassan. This fall I’m looking forward to our discussions of the Benjamin Black (John Banville) mystery Christine Falls and the historical fiction novel People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. I saw her speak at ALA, and thought she was so wise and funny that it even propelled me to read historical fiction- usually my least favorite genre.
Mostly it has allowed a deeper connection with patrons through years of telling our stories and tidbits in the book group. Some patrons have gotten ill, or moved, and we miss them. But I’m always recruiting new readers to tell their stories by reading the stories of others.
(A librarian, redhead and fangirl’s commentary on comics, graphic novels, and libraries)
Blogger Bio: Laverne loves graphic novels and writes at the popular Redhead Fangirl blog. She is a reference librarian in New Jersey, where she lives with her husband, cat, and turtle. You might find her there playing guitar or WiiFit or drinking Irish beers.
***Would you like to share about your book club here at Books on the Brain? If so, leave a comment and I will get in touch with you about a guest post!
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
Filed under: blogs, book clubs, books, friends, Life, reading, Reading Groups, Uncategorized Tagged: | adult book clubs, benjamin black, book clubs, book groups, books, carl hiassan, comics, elizabeth gilbert, graphic novels, guest blogger, guest post, in praise of book clubs, librarian, libraries, michael pollan, reading, Reading Groups, redhead fangirl