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What are Book
Clubs Saying,
and will Meg
Visit Us?

My Own Bookclubs

One of the reasons I love to chat with book groups reading The Four Ms. Bradwells, The Wednesday Sisters, of The Language of Light is that I know from my own groups how fun they are. My neighborhood book group has been meeting one Wednesday evening each month, more or less, since January of 2004, having a great time discussing books and, in the process, considering our own lives. When we needed a name for registering with local book stores, we chose … the Wednesday Sisters! (Can you tell it’s a really supportive group of friends? You can read more about us on Books on the Brain.) I’ve also been attending the Kepler’s Fiction Book Club since shortly after we moved to Palo Alto - a great, diverse group of people, with the amazing Molly McCall leading the discussion. And I've been loving Margie's 4th Tuesday Book Club at the Books Inc. Palo Alto Town & Country location since it opened - a lovely, more intimate group, with Margie picking some interesting reads!

My neighborhood group is now reading:
9/12 The Angels' Share by Rayme Waters

And our past books have been:
7/12 Marcelo in the Real World, by Francisco X. Stork
4/12 The Tiger's Wife, by Téa Obreht
3/12 The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
1/12 Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
12/11 The Great Holiday Book Swap!
11/11 The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
9/11 A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
7/11 Major Pettigrew's Last Stand: A Novel by Helen Simonson
6/11 The Language of Light: A Novel reception at Books Inc.
5/11 Super Sad True Love Story: A Novel by Gary Shteyngart
4/11 The Four Ms. Bradwells: A Novel by me!
3/11 Midnight's Children: A Novel by Salmon Rushdie
1/11 Zeitoun (Vintage) by Dave Eggers
12/10 The Great Holiday Book Swap!
11/10 Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
9/10 The Road from Coorain by Jill Ker Conway
8/10 The May Trees by Annie Dillard
7/10 The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli
4/10 Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
3/10 The Help by Kathryn Stockett
2/10 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee- Book and a Movie Meeting
1/10 The Last Summer of the World by Emily Mitchell
12/09 Holiday Book Swap!
11/09 Dracula by Bram Stoker and Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
9/09 Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
7/09 Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
5/09 Short Stories by Rayme Adzema
4/09 The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
3/09 Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama
2/09 The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
12/08 The Great Holiday Book Swap!
11/08 The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies
10/08 Eccentric Neighborhoods by Rosario Ferre
9/08 Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
7/08 The Wednesday Sisters! (Like I said, amazingly supportive!)
5/08 Hunting and Gathering by Anna Gavalda
4/08 The Senator’s Wife by Sue Miller
2/08 The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
1/08 The Bad Girl by Mario Vargos Llosa
12/07 Holiday Book Swap!
11/07 Pyres by Derek Nikitas
10/07 Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl
8/07 The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
7/07 The Road by Cormac McCarthy
6/07 The Camel Bookmobile by Masha Hamilton
5/07 Searching for Mary Poppins edited by Susan Davis and Gina Hyams
3/07Black Swan Green by David Mitchell
2/07 Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
1/07 On Beauty by Zadie Smith
12/06 Holiday Book Swap!
11/06 History of Love by Nicole Krauss
9/06 Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
7/06 Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
5/06 Self-Made Man by Norah Vincent
4/06 Intuition by Allegra Goodman
3/06 Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
2/06 Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
1/06 Collected Stories by Grace Paley
12/05 Holiday Book Swap!
11/05 The Book of Salt by Monique Truong
9/05 The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
7/05 The Man Behind the Microchip by Leslie Berlin (who is one of us!)
6/05 Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
5/05 The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
4/05 The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
2/05 The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
1/05 House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
12/04 Holiday Book Swap!
11/04 Three Junes by Julia Glass
9/04 Possession by A.S. Byatt
7/04 Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi and Funny in Farsi by Firoozeh Dumas
6/04 Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
4/04 The Amateur Marriage by Ann Tyler
3/04 The Language of Light by Meg Waite Clayton
1/04 A Yellow Raft in Blue Water by Michael Dorris

The Book Group Holiday Book Swap, Wednesday Sisters Style

I'm sure there are lots of ways to have fun with a Book Club at the holidays, but the Wednesday Sisters Book Group does a book swap in lieu of a December Meeting every year, and it is a ton of fun:

Step 1: Everyone brings a book they enjoyed reading (not one we've ever read for the group), wrapped in swanky paper and bows. (Mine is always the pathetic-looking one; I clearly flunked Fancy Wrapping 101!)

Step 2: We pile the presents in the center of our circle, then we draw numbers. No, wait! First, we pour whatever we are drinking and nosh a little. (The first year, we had margaritas at a local restaurant, but after that we decided we were best off doing pot luck at someone's house so we could all walk home.) Okay, so then we draw numbers (nothing fancy, just numbered scraps of paper thrown into a bowl).

Step 3: The person who drew #1 gets to pick and open a present. Feeling and shaking of unopened packages is definitely permitted.

Step 4: Whoever brought that book tells us all a little about it.

Step 5: #2 then gets a choice: to opened another package or to steal #1's book. If she chooses to steal, #1 opens a second book.

Step 6: #3 then gets the open or steal choice, and can steal any of the books that have been opened. If she steals, say, #1's book, #1 can steal #2's book or open a new package.

We go on like that until everyone has a book, with the caveat that once a book has been stolen 3 times, it can't be stolen again, except that...

Step 8: Once everyone has an opened book, #1 can put her book in the center and steal any book she wants, even the thrice stolen ones. At which point the stealing goes on until someone wants the book in the center.

It's really great fun, and we end up knowing a lot about new books we might read, even if we didn't get to take them home.

Happy Holidays! - Meg