A little about our club ...
I formed the club in May of 2005 after trying unsuccessfully to find an existing group to join. Rather than bemoaning the lack of established - and welcoming - clubs, I decided to start my own. So I emailed every woman in my address book and found a few that were interested. We started off with about 5 members. By encouraging members to bring friends and invite random people, our group has grown steadily; currently we have 11 members who attend meetings and another 9 on our mailing list. We are all women, and although there is no official rule against inviting men, we enjoy our time away from husbands/boyfriends/etc. and will probably never have men in the group.
About our name ...
The girls wanted an interesting name that described who we are. After much debate, we came up with Storie delle Sorelle, which is Italian for Stories of the Sisters. We like to think that we connect to each other through books and also through our own stories, forming a bond akin to family. There was no particular reason for choosing an Italian name except that it sounded good!
How we choose & rate books ...
At first, we nominated a list of books and voted on those titles but this became unwieldy as we added new members. So now each member gets a turn to choose any book she likes and everyone has to read it. I really thought this would be a bad idea because I thought I'd end up reading lots of books I didn't like. But in reality it has been great. The entire group benefits from reading a wide variety of books that we might otherwise have voted down. After reading a book, each member give it a rating between 1-10 (10 being the highest). I then average out the scores announce the official rating to the group.
When & where we meet ...
Our rule of thumb is to allow one week for every 100 pages in the book. That usually results in monthly meetings but not always. At the moment we are meeting exclusively on weekends to allow more people to attend. We usually meet at member's houses and everyone brings food to share (sometimes based on a theme from the book). In the summer we occasionally meet at an outdoor restaurant for Happy Hour where we drink 1/2 price margaritas and share lots of 1/2 price appetizers.
A note on audio books ...
We are very open to the use of audio books. One member uses them exclusively and the rest of us use them as needed. We feel that they give a different and valuable perspective on the book - sometimes for better and sometimes for worse. We don't feel that using audio books is cheating. Instead it is a way to keep us with the group when needed, and to fit great new books into our busy lives.
About us ...
My name is Heather, and I'm the official head of the book club (aka the Book Club Madam). It wasn't meant to be this way, but I don't mind. I'm the one who comes up with the discussion questions, background on the author, and any other pertinent info for each discussion. Our active members include:
- Annette - my mother
- Nicole - my sister
- Kara - my college roommate
- Stephanie - Kara's sister
- Bev - Kara's mother
- Nancy - Bev's friend
- Carrie - my childhood friend
- Amber - my high school travel friend
- Anna - Carrie's friend
- Kelli - Carrie's friend
- Joan - a woman I met in the thrift store :)
There will be more posted about each of these women, probably some time in November '07.
About this blog ...
I intend for this blog to be a place to share ideas on our current book selection. I'd also like to find other book clubs in our area to meet up with on occasion. SdelleS members are free to post whatever they want to this site, provided that it relates to the topic. Random readers are also welcome to post comments but I ask that they be relevant, timely, and not offensive in any way.
Thanks for reading!
PS. Thoughts on new members ...
We are open to new members, but that doesn't mean that we'll take just anybody. At this point everyone in the club is either an original member or was invited by an original member. We would like to add new viewpoints and opinions to our group however we have to be careful; most of our meetings are in our homes and we don't invite just anyone there. That's not to say we absolutely won't accept new members, but it will be done on a case by case basis. I'm also happy to give advice or help you start your own book club.