Tuesday, June 08, 2021

A New Format For Our Book Club

Last night we had another meeting of the Book Club, with a tasty, filling pot luck dinner. Dessert was scones with all the trimmings. So obviously we would have considered the evening a great success even if the discussion part had been a bust.

This meeting was the most ambitious so far of our new framework. We had been given (actually I think it was my idea) a rather open assignment. Read any book written by Herman Wouk, and as the date of the meeting got closer, I, as facilitator, loosened the requirement a bit. I told the participants that they could even watch one of his books as a movie or see one of the tv shows he had  written or was based on a book of his.

Our custom is to eat first and then talk books. Who can really focus on books when sitting around a table heaped with great food?

As we polished off the scones, we began the meeting. If I remember correctly, first I gave a summary of Wouk's life and discussed his book that I had read, This Is My God, which is a very personal book. Wouk was an Orthodox Jew in a time when it seemed that Jewish Orthodoxy was a dying breed. So we also discussed the state of American Jewry in the mid-twentieth century, which shaped Wouk.

Then I asked everyone to state the book they had read and I wrote it all down. There was only one overlap; two read the Caine Mutiny.  Each member described her book, and what she thought of it. The two who had read Caine Mutiny had a mini-panel discussion. Then we talked about Wouk and what we had learned together. 

We all agreed that this new format is working for us. It's such a relief not to have to search for the same book and/or rush reading so it could be passed on to other members. Our next meeting with deal with a time in history, and we'll all have to find suitable books in the genre.

If you use any of our ideas or are a member of a book club, please let me know in the comments. Thanks

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