The Awesome Chicks Book Club
My younger sister told me she was forming a book club in Ontario and I was both proud of her and envious and then I thought "Well, why can't I start one out here?" (in Calgary) and so I approached several of my friends to see what they thought. All of them were more than eager, as much for the social aspect of it as for the chance to discuss their favourite books! As a result, we formed our book club in February 2002. Currently we are seven awesome chicks, with five original members. We have a lawyer, three legal assistants, a human resource manager, a teacher and a librarian. All but one are mothers, some married and some divorced, but all with a great sense of humour, much wit and valuable insights into life (we don't think much of each other, do we?).
We meet the third Saturday of every month, flexing with long weekends, and only have August off. In December we do a Christmas get-together and do not discuss any book (like that's a hard thing to do!).
At our founding meeting we decided on our goals and criteria, the goal being to "stretch" our reading as we all felt, while reading a lot, we were in a rut with our favourite genre. We decided having a criteria would ensure that we would not fall back into our rut and so out of the ten books we read each year we make sure that there is at least one foreign, one Canadian, one "classic", one mystery and one biography or non-fiction on the list. We make sure that everyone has at least one book of their choice and vote on the rest. We try to choose at least three months in advance so we all have an opportunity to read them and we also try to choose books that will be available in the library. We meet during the afternoon from 2:00 to 4:00, the one who chose the book is group leader and is not the hostess, who provides coffee, tea and snacks. The group leader, or the secretary (me), ensures that the bulk of the afternoon discusses the book or at least some relationship to the book (everyone likes to remind me that I am "strict") but we have laughs, talk about our families, work, the world and other things as well. We also ensure that we are out of the hostess' house after the two hours so we can ensure our welcome the next time!
Our list of books is as follows:
- Chocolate by Joanne Harris
- The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
- No Great Mischief by Alistair McLean (Canadian)
- The Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells (the movie of course!)
- The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde (our classic)
- Daughter of Fortune by Isabelle Allende (foreign)
- Any biography on Nellie McClung
- A Morbid Taste for Bones by Ellis Peters (our mystery series)
- White Oleander by Janet Finch
- About Schmidt (the movie)
- Unless by Carole Shields (Canadian)
- Quentins by Maeve Binchy
- Stones from the River by Ursula Helgi (foreign, sort of)
- The Haunted Abbot by Peter Tremayne
- so Big by Edna Ferber (our classic)
- A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry (foreign, sort of)
- Sisters in the Wilderness by Charlotte Grey (bio)