I have to admit it—I love my book clubs. Of the four adult book clubs here at NCPL, I’m fortunate enough to lead two of them. There’s Classic Lit, which is fairly self-explanatory (although we do have a rule that the author needs to be deceased and the work has to be at least 50 years old for us to consider it), and First Monday, a general book club where we read a lot of modern fiction, but we also throw in the occasional classic and nonfiction book as well. Right now I’m reading the book for the next First Monday group, which thanks to Labor Day is actually September 10. We’ll be discussing The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, a remarkably beautiful book about a boy growing up in Barcelona following the Spanish Civil War and his profound love of books. I listened to the audiobook years ago, but I’m enjoying reading it again now.
So how do I pick the books? Well, I like to have a mix of tones, sprinkled with some nonfiction, and at least one book a year that wasn’t originally written in English. (The Shadow of the Wind, for instance, is translated from Spanish.) But it’s not just me dictating to my groups what we will read and discuss. I compile lists of possible books that I think will make for good conversations that I can order enough copies of, and then let the members of the groups vote for what they want to read the following year. In fact, right now is voting time. For anyone interested in having a say in what we read next year, now is the time to start coming to meetings. In September and October, you can vote when you come to the discussion and get to know the great folks who are already members. And if you have any questions about either group, feel free to come chat with me at the Reference Desk when you’re in.
First Monday Book Chat meets the first (or second when there’s a holiday) Monday of the month at 2 p.m. See the list of what we’re reading the rest of the year here.
Classic Lit Book Club meets the third Thursday of the month (or the second when Thanksgiving is early) at 6:30 p.m. See the list for that group here.