My Own Bookclub
My neighborhood book group has been meeting one Wednesday evening each month, more or less, since January of 2004, having a great time discussing books and, in the process, considering our own lives. When we needed a name for registering with local book stores, we chose … the Wednesday Sisters! (Can you tell it’s a really supportive group of friends?)
My neighborhood group is now reading:
No reading — it’s the Holiday Book Swap!
And our past books have been:
10/22 Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson
9/22 The Boys by Katie Hafner
7/22 The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill
6/22 Summer Beach Book Swap!
5/22 The Postmistress of Paris by … me!
4/22 Crying in H-Mart by Michelle Zauner
3/22 Everyone Knows Your Mother is a Witch by Rivka Galchen
12/21 Holiday Book Swap!
10/21 Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
9/21 The Wonder Test by Michelle Richmond
8/21 My Year Abroad by Chang-rae Lee
6/21 Summer Book Swap!
5/21 Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
4/21 The Bellwether by Connie Willis
2/21 The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Dare; zoom
1/21 The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
12/20 Holiday Book Swap!
10/20 The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
9/20: The Glass Hotel by Emily St John Mandel
8/20: The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon
7/20 Summer Book Swap!
6/20 Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
5/20 Exhalation by Ted Chiang
4/20 Writers and Lovers by Lily King
3/20 Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk
2/20 The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
1/20 Trust Exercise by Susan Choi
12/19 Holiday Book Swap!
10/19 Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
9/19 The Last Train to London by … moi!
7/19 The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai
5/19 Lake Success by Gary Shteyngart
4/19 Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
3/19 Severance by Ling Ma
1/19 There There by Tommy Orange
12/18 Holiday Book Swap!
10/18 The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott
9/18 Less by Andrew Sean Greer
8/18 Beautiful Exiles by … yours truly
7/18 Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
6/18 Beach Book Swap!
5/18 Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
4/18 Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
3/18 The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
2/18 Troublemakers by our own Leslie Berlin
1/18 Waking Lions by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen
12/17 Holiday Book Swap!
10/17 – The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot by Robert MacFarlane
9/17 – Outline by Rachel Cusk
8/17 – Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
7/17 – Version Control by Dexter Palmer
6/17 – Beach Read Book Swap
5/17 – The Vegetarian by Han Kang
4/17 – Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
3/17 – Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
2/17 – My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
1/17 – the association of small bombs by karan mahajan
12/16 – Holiday Book Swap!
11/16 – Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
9/16 – Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
8/16 – Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
7/16 – A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
4/16 – The Sellout by Paul Beatty
1/16 – Last Orders by Graham Swift
12/15 – Holiday Book Swap!
11/15 – The Martian by Andy Weir
10/15 – Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
9/15 – The Race for Paris by yours truly
7/15 – Station 11 by Emily St. John Mandel
5/15 – Euphoria by Lily King
4/15 – Family Life by Akhil Sharma
2/15 – All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
1/15 – We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
12/14 – Holiday Book Swap!
11/14 – Clash Of Civilizations Over An Elevator In Piazza Vittorio by Amara Lakhous
10/14 – The Lady, the Chef, and the Courtesan by Marisol
9/14 – The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson
8/14 – The Good Lord Bird by James McBride
4/14 – The Love Song of Johnny Valentine by Teddy Wayne
3/14 – The Beauty of Ordinary Things by Harriet Chessman
2/14 – Naked by Betsy Franco
1/14 – Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
12/13 – Holiday Book Swap!
11/13 – The Wednesday Daughters by moi
10/13 – The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa
9/13 – Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
7/13 – The Wednesday Daughters launch party
6/13 – Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan
5/13 – Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
3/13 – Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
2/13 – The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
12/12 – The Great Holiday Book Swap!
11/12 – Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper by Harriet Scott Chessman
9/12 – The Angels’ Share by Rayme Waters
7/12 – Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork
4/12 – The Tiger’s Wife, by Téa Obreht
3/12 – The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
1/12 – Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
12/11 – The Great Holiday Book Swap!
11/11 – The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
9/11 – A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
7/11 – Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand: A Novel by Helen Simonson
6/11 – The Language of Light: A Novel reception at Books Inc.
5/11 – Super Sad True Love Story: A Novel by Gary Shteyngart
4/11 – The Four Ms. Bradwells: A Novel by me
3/11 – Midnight’s Children: A Novel by Salmon Rushdie
1/11 – Zeitoun (Vintage) by Dave Eggers
12/10 – The Great Holiday Book Swap!
11/10 – Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
9/10 – The Road from Coorain by Jill Ker Conway
8/10 – The May Trees by Annie Dillard
7/10 – The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli
4/10 – Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
3/10 – The Help by Kathryn Stockett
2/10 – To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee- Book and a Movie Meeting
1/10 – The Last Summer of the World by Emily Mitchell
12/09 – Holiday Book Swap!
11/09 – Dracula by Bram Stoker and Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
9/09 – Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
7/09 – Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
5/09 – Short Stories by Rayme Adzema
4/09 – The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
3/09 – Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama
2/09 – The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
12/08 – The Great Holiday Book Swap!
11/08 – The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies
10/08 – Eccentric Neighborhoods by Rosario Ferre
9/08 – Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
7/08 – The Wednesday Sisters! (Like I said, amazingly supportive!)
5/08 – Hunting and Gathering by Anna Gavalda
4/08 – The Senator’s Wife by Sue Miller
2/08 – The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
1/08 – The Bad Girl by Mario Vargos Llosa
12/07 – Holiday Book Swap!
11/07 – Pyres by Derek Nikitas
10/07 – Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl
8/07 – The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
7/07 – The Road by Cormac McCarthy
6/07 – The Camel Bookmobile by Masha Hamilton
5/07 – Searching for Mary Poppins edited by Susan Davis and Gina Hyams
3/07 – Black Swan Green by David Mitchell
2/07 – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
1/07 – On Beauty by Zadie Smith
12/06 – Holiday Book Swap!
11/06 – History of Love by Nicole Krauss
9/06 – Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
7/06 – Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
5/06 – Self-Made Man by Norah Vincent
4/06 – Intuition by Allegra Goodman
3/06 – Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
2/06 – Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
1/06 – Collected Stories by Grace Paley
12/05 – Holiday Book Swap!
11/05 – The Book of Salt by Monique Truong
9/05 – The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
7/05 – The Man Behind the Microchip by Leslie Berlin (who is one of us!)
6/05 – Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
5/05 – The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
4/05 – The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
2/05 – The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
1/05 – House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
12/04 – Holiday Book Swap!
11/04 – Three Junes by Julia Glass
9/04 – Possession by A.S. Byatt
7/04 – Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi and Funny in Farsi by Firoozeh Dumas
6/04 – Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
4/04 – The Amateur Marriage by Ann Tyler
3/04 – The Language of Light by yours truly
1/04 – A Yellow Raft in Blue Water by Michael Dorris
The Book Group Holiday Book Swap, Wednesday Sisters Style
I’m sure there are lots of ways to have fun with a Book Club at the holidays, but the Wednesday Sisters Book Group does a book swap in lieu of a December Meeting every year, and it is a ton of fun:
Step 1: Everyone brings a book they enjoyed reading (not one we’ve ever read for the group), wrapped in swanky paper and bows. (Mine is always the pathetic-looking one; I clearly flunked Fancy Wrapping 101!)
Step 2: We pile the presents in the center of our circle, then we draw numbers. No, wait! First, we pour whatever we are drinking and nosh a little. (The first year, we had margaritas at a local restaurant, but after that we decided we were best off doing pot luck at someone’s house so we could all walk home.) Okay, so thenwe draw numbers (nothing fancy, just numbered scraps of paper thrown into a bowl).
Step 3: The person who drew #1 gets to pick and open a present. Feeling and shaking of unopened packages is definitely permitted.
Step 4: Whoever brought that book tells us all a little about it.
Step 5: #2 then gets a choice: to opened another package or to steal #1’s book. If she chooses to steal, #1 opens a second book.
Step 6: #3 then gets the open or steal choice, and can steal any of the books that have been opened. If she steals, say, #1’s book, #1 can steal #2’s book or open a new package.
We go on like that until everyone has a book, with the caveat that once a book has been stolen 3 times, it can’t be stolen again, except that…
Step 8: Once everyone has an opened book, #1 can put her book in the center and steal any book she wants, even the thrice stolen ones, with again the 3 steal limit. At which point the stealing goes on until someone wants the book in the center.
It’s really great fun, and we end up knowing a lot about new books we might read, even if we didn’t get to take them home.
Happy Holidays! – Meg