Laurie’s Book Group From Montclair NJ

"The books we've read have introduced us to new cultures, faiths, and experiences."

Our book group is comprised of a group of colleagues from a private school in Montclair, New Jersey. We are all avid readers; one of the things we love about the group is that it pushes us to read things we might not otherwise choose on our own.

According to several members of the group, that is part of our “mission.” The books we’ve read have introduced us to new cultures, faiths, and experiences. We like to read about families, relationships, and finding meaning in life through the book. What can the characters’ experiences teach us about our own lives?

“Although we were all friendly before the club, we’ve developed stronger bonds and camaraderie beyond the workplace,” said one member of our group. Another member told me that the discussions really bring the books to life. One friend reminded me in addition to discussing our book, we always have a great time sharing stories of our own lives; oftentimes, asking and giving sage advice to one another.

Sometimes our meetings take place at a local eaterie, and other times we go to one another’s homes. We’ve had a holiday party with a fun gift exchange, jingle-bell necklaces, and a complete turkey dinner with all the trimmings! We had Chinese food when we read Amy Tan’s The Bonesetter’s Daughter, and we watched Rebecca, the movie after we read the book Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.

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One of our best book club meetings was about The Help. I stumbled across it on Amazon listed below another book I was researching. We read it before it became really popular in the book club circuit. Everyone loved the book; we hope it becomes a movie!

The toilet scene at Hilly’s house would be priceless! We were amazed this was Kathryn Stockett’s first novel. Her words literally jumped off the page. She wrote exactly the way the characters would speak. According to Stockett, there is one line she truly prizes: “Wasn’t that the point of the book? For women to realize, we are just two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I’d thought.”

We’re not overly organized when it comes to choosing books but that allows for great flexibility! If someone knows of a great book, she suggests it. Lately, we’ve been generating lists and voting for our selection. This summer, for the first time, we’ve decided to read two books: The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak and Every Last One by Anna Quindlen. Our meeting in September (we don’t meet over the summer) will be replete with fun-filled conversation for sure!

We want to hear about your book group! Email us about your favorite recent book group book – and your group may be featured in an upcoming issue of Read It Forward. If we feature your book group, you’ll receive a Book Group in a Box full of great reads for everyone in your group!

About Kira Walton

Kira Walton

KIRA WALTON has been stalking books all her life as a college English teacher, bookseller, book club consultant, author, and editor.