Most of us would probably agree that October heralds the beginning of Autumn. September will have a go at being autumnal but its only when October kicks in and trees begin to look bare and pavements become slippery with wet leaves that it feels undeniably Autumnal. For me and my fellow band of 11 book loving, book club members it also heralds the beginning of another book club year.
If you have been reading Changing Pages for a while you will know that my book club is a little different from the usual. We don’t meet up, we on’t all know each other, and in fact a number of us have never even met. Our common link is our love of books, our desire to share what we read and of course our book club founder the lovely Karen who originally brought us all together.
We share our book love by post or snail mail if you will. We each individually choose a book for the year and on the first of every month, starting in October and ending in August we each send our chosen book plus a note book with a few scribbles about why we have chosen the book. Everyone else will add their comments after they have read it and before sending it on to the next person. By the end of the year, everyone will have received every book, made comments on every book and finally received their own book back with a note book full of everyones thoughts and comments. At the end of the year we also have the chance to vote for out top 3. Karen who organises this tells me that every year every book gets voted for by someone which I think is testimony to our diverse and varied reading tastes.
I have been a proud and enthusiastic member since the beginning in 2005. Other than a break in 2008 when I went travelling, I have spent every September since then, (this will be the thirteenth), mulling over what to send and looking forward to the book which will arrive through my letter box and start my book club reading year.
The books I have chosen have varied over the years. Some years, I have been so bowled over by a book I have been reading during the year, I have known very quickly that would be the one I chose. Other years, like this one, I have been much less sure and will spend lots of time gazing at my book shelves trying to decide which book above all others I want to share with the group. We have little criteria over what to send, so it can be classic, contemporary, fiction, non fiction and anything else in between.
So as we go into our 13th year as a book club who together have read and commented on a total of 132 books I though I would share with you the books I have chosen over the years. Each of them I have chosen because I have loved them and been desperate for others to love them too.
The Time Travellers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Terra Incognito, Travels in Antarctica by Sarah Wheeler
Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne
Diary of an Ordinary Woman by Margaret Forster
Magpie by Jill Dawson
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The Book of Summers by Emylia Hall
Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
The Home Maker by Dorothy Canfield Fisher
Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig
I have chosen not to reveal my choice for this year, as I know that some of my book group kindly read Changing Pages and I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise now would I!
I would love to hear about your book club or books you have discovered and loved by being part of a book club. Do share in the comments below.