Wednesday’s Featured Book Club: The Omaha Bookworms
I am excited to start a new feature this week! Each Wednesday I will review a Book Club. This week I welcome Mari from Bookworm with a View
Please everyone welcome Mari!
What is the name of your Book Club: My answers will focus on the Omaha Bookworm’s but I also manage the Manic Mommies Book Club (an online book club).
How long have you been meeting? We are celebrating seven years in October.
How often do you meet? Monthly
Do you have someone who leads the discussion? I tend to get them started
Where do you meet? Over the years we have met at restaurants and in homes, attending author events and in July we attended a play production written by one of the Omaha Bookworm’s. Several of us have small children and to avoid disrupting their routine we tend to rotate between 4-5 homes.
How many members do you have? We and have about 15 members with 8-10 attending most months. When we have an author interview… watch out! A few months ago members brought friends – we have three author interviews schedule for the rest of 2009.
What age group(s) is represented in your book club? 25+. Our book club began as a sub group of a women’s social club in Omaha. We did not know each other when our group began so you can imagine how eclectic our group is, this is one of our best assets. I’m close friends with a few women whose paths would not have crossed if not for our common interest in books. We are no longer affiliated with the social organization, one of the restrictions was that no one had to RSVP (which can cause a challenge for the hostess).
What genres of books do you read? We read one memoir, classic and historical fiction/non-fiction a year. All other books are based on reader recommendation. We tend to enjoy learning while reading so we do read quite a few historical/event/cultural fiction books each year.
How do you choose what you will read? We have a few criteria: try to keep the book under 500 pages and someone must pre-read the book to make sure its ‘discussion worthy’. Several years ago we were meeting at a local coffee shop to discuss a book (a really good, top selling novel) and I was the only one who attended and the only one to read the book. This ‘experience’ redefined our book group. It was a low moment for us…
What was one of the best discussions and/or a favorite book that you read as a group? The Birth House by Amy McKay is one of our recent favorites (women love to talk about childbirth). Eating Heaven by Jennie Shortridge is also a ‘discussion worthy’ book. I have a list of Book Club Must Reads listed on the website (if you are looking for some ideas).
How do you keep things fun? We are FUN! J
Does your group meet for anything else other than your book meetings? (IE. author meetings, movies that were books you read…) Several of us meet for lunch, golf, movies etc outside of book club but we do not all tend to get together (outside our monthly book discussions)
Do you have a funny or “book club meeting gone bad” story to share? Well, in addition to the “no one showed up” mention a few years ago… earlier this year my 40 pound dog ate an entire cake and some other food on the coffee table while we were refreshing our wine before an author interview.
What advice would you give to other book clubs? Change it up! We try not to stick to a strict format, selecting an author interview every other month so we can relax and read a lighter book on the ‘off’ month. We have had themed evenings too, when we red The Diplomat’s Wife the hostess served Italian recipes cited from the book.
Later this month we are hosting our first “Skype to Skype” call. In addition to discussing the book with the author we have 5 women (and a book club in Colorado) across the country calling in to discuss with us. I’m very excited to see how this works. If successful, I will open this up to all for future author discussions.
Ok… LOVE LOVE LOVE the “dog ate the cake” story! That is a fun memory (probably not at the time…) I also am interested in the Skype to Skype call. I have never done that and not sure how it works but it sounds wonderful.
Thank you Mari for a great interview. Your book club sounds amazing and lots of fun! I am going to check out the books you recommended as well as your Book Club Must Reads.
Readers please take time to stop over and visit the wonderful Mari at Bookworm with a View.
Do you want your book club featured here like Mari’s? Link here to find out how