The popularity of book clubs and community-wide reading programs, such as One Read, reinforces Nicholson’s assertion. People like to know someone else is out there, thinking about the same things they are. In honor of the slate of One Read events coming up next month, I go meta and present four books about book clubs:
“The End of Your Life Book Club” by Will Schwalbe
A friend once asked me what I would do if I knew this was my last day to live. Without hesitation, I answered, “Read faster.” Will Schwalbe’s mom was of the same mind-set. This is the non-fiction account of the two-person book club he and his mother formed in the final months of her life, as he sat with her through chemo treatments. Both avid readers, they’d always bonded through literature. Their tastes were wide-ranging, and each chapter is titled after a book they discussed.
“The Jane Austen Book Club” by Karen Joy Fowler
Six acquaintances meet to discuss Austen’s novels, even as their own lives play out similarly to the plots they discuss. The club organizer, Jocelyn, is a figure much like Jane Austen’s “Emma.” She delights in organizing and planning the lives of others. Since Fowler’s story is set in 21st-century California, there are also modern elements, including divorce.
“The Cherry Cola Book Club” by Ashton Lee
I’m automatically in favor of any book where a librarian is the hero. Maura Beth Mayhew runs the public library in the fictional town of Cherico, Mississippi. She starts the Cherry Cola Book Club in an effort to increase circulation numbers and save the library from city council members who see it as an expendable luxury.
“Read and Buried” by Erika Chase
Things are going well for the Ashton Corners Mystery Readers and Cheese Straw Society, until their guest author is murdered. It turns out Derek Alton was not only a mystery author but also a mysterious character with dark secrets. Now the book club members have their own whodunit to solve.
We read about book clubs to know that we are not alone in our desire to discuss what we’ve read.