Today I had lunch in Asheville with a book club -- a small group of charming women who meet once a month to discuss a chosen book and (this is the fun part) they meet at a restaurant that ties in with their book of the month. They'd read Signs in the Blood and they chose a bistro with the eclectic sort of food that Elizabeth enjoys -- including goat cheese! I'd fully intended to get a picture of them/us at the table, even had my camera with me, but got caught up in the talk and just forgot. (Hence the shot of one of my book shelves, devoted to old favorites and what I'd call comfort reads.)
I've met with lots of book clubs and generally it's been a really good experience. People who are passionate about books and reading, as these women today were, are just fun to be around. As a writer, I enjoy hearing their opinions -- what they liked about my book or what didn't ring true. And as a reader, I'm always ready to hear of yet another book I really need to read.
It's nice to know folks who get excited about books and talking about books. I've never belonged to a book club but I can remember my late mother-in-law was in one. Her club was not like the one I met with today, where everyone reads the same book and then they discuss it; my mother-in-law's group was of the book report variety -- more for socializing than anything else. Each member was responsible for reading one book and reporting on it -- once a year. Kind of a book club for those who don't much like to read. I particularly remember this because on two different years my mother-in-law had let the time slip by and hadn't read her book -- so she had me write up her report for her.