The Book Blab Episode 17: All Things Book Clubs Plus Two of Our Favorite Books for Mother's Day

May 10, 2018

Well, that was kind of a long hiatus, but Suzanne and I are finally back with another episode of The Book Blab! This one was worth the wait though, I promise.

Long-time readers will know that I have been a dedicated member of my book club (actually, several) for many years. Suzanne, it turns out, is the same, and between the two of us, we have quite the array of experiences. We had fun reminiscing about the various book clubs we've participated in, and we also shared a few tips and tricks for how to make a book club work no matter your situation.

The time flew, as it always does, and so we never got around to actually talking about the kinds of books that work well in a book club, so stay tuned for part two of this discussion!

As always, we'd love to hear about what your experience in a book club has been like, what some of your favorite book club reads have been, and why you think book clubs are so amazing (because you do think they're amazing, right?!).

Enjoy! (Oh, and p.s., please excuse the little technical glitches in this episode. We had a bit of a slow connection.)

1:00 - Life updates
1:50 - Today's topic: book clubs
2:40 - Why would you want to be in a book club?
  • 3:20 - A book club lets you discuss those books that beg to be discussed
  • 4:08 - A book club helps you see a certain book in a new way
  • 4:16 - It's fun to socialize with other readers
  • 5:10 - A succinct answer to that question
5:58 - A few descriptions of some of the book clubs we've been in
  • 6:17 - Suzanne's traditional book club in Chicago
  • 7:50 - Suzanne's casual book club in Houston
  • 8:03 - Suzanne's Learning Circle through the Power of Moms organization
  • 9:22 - Amy's education group
  • 10:15 - Suzanne's brand new book club in Kansas City
  • 10:33 - Suzanne's virtual book club with former college roommates
  • 11:57 - Amy's neighborhood book club
  • 12:58 - Amy's very traditional, very serious book club
  • 15:55 - Amy's family reunion book club
  • 17:00 - Suzanne's family book club (and surprising confession!)
  • 17:53 - Amy's plans for a book club with her kids this summer
  • 19:30 - The Book Blab mini-book clubs
20:18 - Helpful tips for making a book club work well
25:36 - A few ideas for how to start a book club
29:26 - Two of our favorite books about motherhood
  • 30:05 - Suzanne's recommendation
  • 31:20 - Amy's recommendation
33:47 - Conclusion

Books and links talked about during the show:

The Read-Aloud Family by Sarah Mackenzie
Power of Moms Learning Circles
Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis
Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin
Mini-book clubs on The Book Blab (Episode 6 on A Man Called Ove and Episode 13 on The Girl Who Drank the Moon)
Educated by Tara Westover (Suzanne's review)
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey (Amy's review // Suzanne's review)
The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio by Terry Ryan (Amy's review)

1 comment:

  1. I somehow missed this one, so after listening to the July one I went back here. I recognize many of the book clubs you describe -- the serious one, the chatty one, the virtual one. And I've read and enjoyed The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio, so I felt all clever at your recommendation.

    I like some of the traditions my main book club has evolved -- in the past, we've picked a more serious nonfiction book early in the fall and then every member can bring a guest (married people can just grab their spouse, the rest of us have to get more creative) which opens up the discussion a lot. We do a children's book in December, and have a literary movie meeting in January, which might be a movie based on a book we've read but we have gotten creative -- one month we assigned everyone to watch the classic movie Sabrina and then had the remake at the meeting and then discussed the changes.

    The past few years we've had a special summer meeting where I bring all the Cybils picture book finalists and we discuss and judge them and then compare our choices to the official winner. This year I also brought along all the board book finalists and then I managed to foist them on people who knew people who had babies.

    I run a lunchtime monthly book club at the local elementary school, and I'm always looking for idea for that. It's open to 4th and 5th graders of any reading level, so we read all over the places. I'm always looking for ways to get myself to shut up so the kids can ask each other more questions, but it's hard because I do love children's books!


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