The group's leader, Liz Boucher, invited me to their November meeting with enough notice that I was able to not only prepare a short talk for the group, but also to read their book of the month so that I could participate in their discussion. Their book choice was Saints for all Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan.
One of the many reasons I love book clubs and book discussion groups is that they force your to read outside of your preferred genre. I'd love to read all Stephen King all the time, but my brain always has it's recommended daily allowance of The Dark Tower Universe and I know that some nonfiction here, a western there and a light sprinkle of National Book Award winners will keep my reading diet well-balanced. I say that to say this; Saints for all Occasions is not a book I would have picked up on my own. I'm glad I read it, but it will not make my top 10 of 2017. I'll paste my official Goodreads rating and review at the bottom here for anyone interested.
Another reason I love a book discussion group is that they bring together diverse groups of people who have recently shared the same experience but can all have different reactions to it. Reading a book is such a solitary experience, you're all alone with the characters and the story and what you make of it all is your own. Sharing your thoughts on a book you've recently finished with others who have read it is a great way to elevate that experience and see how the same book has different effects on different people and how the ideas of others can change your own. I have a lot of friends who read, but we're rarely reading the same thing, so discussion groups give me the opportunity to connect with other readers who have thoughtful questions, answers and insights on my most recent "just finished".
This group of seniors was wonderful! They were a large group, I believe there were 16 members in attendance and what a discussion! Everyone shared their thoughts on the book and conversation flowed from book specifics to how some of the members related to the book and characters to sharing real life experiences to how the book related to current events in the local and national media. It was a very well rounded discussion that I enjoyed more than the actual book! The only downside is that as a non-senior myself, I can't participate regularly!
As promised... here's my review. Click it to go to Goodreads and let's be friends if you're on there!
If you hung in all the way to the end, let's keep the discussion going... what are your reading now?
(Don't say "your blog".)