Novel Women Book Club
Located in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Novel Women began in 1996. Our group has changed somewhat over the years, but six of the women are the originals. When we formed, we made an outline of a few things to keep the meetings running smoothly--like keeping the group to a maximum of 10 - presently we have eight members, who fill a person's house quite nicely-- and asking everyone to arrive on time and to finish reading the book. These basic rules help us run smoothly.
We meet the second Wednesday of every month except July and August. Over the summer months we try to pick a longer novel as we have more time to read. One person will host the evening and another will lead the discussion. The leader is the person whose book we are reading that month.
Discussions vary widely depending upon the leader and her style. One thing the leader does try to do is to keep everyone on topic and also to make sure everyone has a chance to give some input to the discussion. Our discussions are usually very lively as our group is full of unique women.
After the discussion we feast on appetizers and desserts that our host has prepared.
The method we use to choose our books is to have everyone bring two selections that she would like to read. Everyone presents her books and then we vote on their two selections, so that we read something that each member would like. We have one person collect $15.00 from each person at each meeting and she buys the books for all of us. By buying in bulk we sometimes get a discount at the book shops.
The women in our group vary greatly but have the love of books in common. Some are working on their careers, some are retired. Some members have toddlers, some school-age children, and yet others are grandmothers, which gives very interesting points of view. It is neat to see it from another side. Although we only see each other once a month, the evening flies by as we talk and laugh.
The rating given for each book is the average of each individual member's rating. Each member rates the book from 1- 10 using her own criteria, usually a combination of literary merit and personal enjoyment. Ratings can vary widely between individual members, and although a higher group rating usually means that more people enjoyed the book, it is not always an indication of the best discussion. It is also interesting to note that as times passes, our ratings as a whole have increased.
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood - Rebecca Wells - 8.8
The Secret Lives of Sergeant John Wilson - Lois Simmie - 7
Midwives - Chris Bojalin - 8.5
The Bone People - Keri Hulme - 9.5
Inventing Memory - Erica Jong - 6.5
Deja Dead - Kathy Reichs - 4
A Thousand Acres - Jane Smiley - 8
Things Fall Apart - Chenua Achebe - 6.1
The Bean Trees - Barbara Kingsolver - 8.1
A Prayer for Owen Meanie - John Irving - 8.4
Alias Grace - Margaret Atwood - 8.6
The Englishman's Boy - Guy Vanderhaege - 8.9
They Shouldn't Make You Promise That - Lois Simmie - 7.3
Accordion Crimes - E. Annie Proulx - 7.1
The Book of Atrix Wolfe - Patricia McKillup - 5.5
The English Patient - Micheal Ondaatje - 9
Away - Jane Urquhart - 9
Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert - 7
The Horse Whisperer - Nicholas Evans - 7
A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry - 8.3
The Hundred Secret Senses - Amy Tan - 5
The Runaway Jury - John Gresham - 4.8
Ladder Of Years - Anne Tyler - 8.5
Postmortem - Patricia Cornwell - 4.5
The Cunning Man - Robertson Davies - 6
The Piano Man's Daughter - Timothy Findlay - 8.5
Emma - Jane Austin - 6.5
Oba San - Joy Kogawa - 8
Puerto Vallarta Squeeze - Robert James Waller - 5
Dead Man Walking - Sister Helen Prejean - 7.5
Waiting to Exhale - Terry McMillian - 4
Memory Board - Jane Rule - 7.5
Halfbreed - Maria Campbell - 6
A Colder Kind of Death - Gail Bowen - 7.5
The Butterfly Box - Nora Naish - 6.5
Miss Ellie's Purple Sage Saloon - Jerrie Hurd - 5
The Shipping News - E. Annie Proulx - 8
The Scarlett Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne - 6.5
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou - 6.5
The Perfection of the Morning - Sharon Butala - 6
The Stone Diaries - Carol Shields - 7.5