Last year I wrote about how one of my New Year’s resolutions was to read two books a month, and since I joined two book clubs, that should have been a pretty easy goal to hit. I didn’t just join book clubs because I wanted to be forced to read, rather it was mostly for the social aspect. Both book clubs are with groups of friends I don’t see regularly, so it’s a chance to catch up, eat great food, and drink (lots of) wine. Kev calls it “wine club,” but I swear we actually do talk about the books…just maybe not as much as we discuss the lastest happenings on The Bachelor.
The two book clubs I’m in are quite different. For the first one every month we have a themed potluck, whether Mexican, Italian, or Chinese, and they are one of my favourite meals every month. We usually have structured questions about the books we read, and there are usually at least one or two people who either didn’t read or didn’t finish the book (hey, everyone has busy schedules, and not every book is everyone’s cup of tea). We always pick the book we’re reading at the end of every meeting, and we always set the date for the next book club.
My second book club is with former colleagues, and is a little more sporadic. Because most people (me excluded) are in PR, their schedules are pretty hectic and so people often miss them. They’ve been happening a little less frequently lately, but when they were more regular we would usually all bring appetizers, discuss the book, and then catch up on industry gossip.
For a list of what I’ve read in the past year you can check out my GoodReads account – I always update it there. I have to admit that sometimes I don’t read the books that are chosen for book club, either because they don’t interest me or I ran out of time. I read a lot of books on my own time, so I’ve tagged the ones that are part of my book club assignments.
I haven’t been blown away by many books over the last year. 2011 was a great year – I read wonderful books like Bel Canto, State of Wonder, Room, The Help, Sarah’s Key, and Before I Go To Sleep. Despite the fact that 2012 wasn’t as great a reading year, my fave reads over the last year have hands down been:
And now, for anyone looking to start or join a book club, here’s some advice on how to make them run smoothly:
Do you have any tips on great books to read, or any tips on running an effective book club?
Managing Director at Toronto-based digital agency 88 Creative. Former Managing Editor at BetaKit.com. Marketing Magazine 30 Under 30.