Today I attended a great book group with which I hope to continue. San Antonio Book Lovers Meetup* held their monthly Book Swap & Gab Session at La Madeleine, and my friend Margaret Ann went with me to see what it was like.
We were met by the Meetup organizer, newly-appointed Bill, who did a great job as head honcho. Bill showed us the name tags (“Hello, My Name Is…”) and the entries for the door prizes (Yay!), and took the roll as we arrived. When the meeting started, he introduced himself and told us newbies about the group. He introduced Assistant Organizer Jane, who laid down the guidelines of the gatherings, all quite informal but definitely rewarding. This group has experience and it showed.
Each person brought at least one and mostly several books to discuss and share. We all rose and introduced ourselves and the books, gave a synopsis of the volumes and told whether we liked it or not. Some explanations were longer than others, of course, but all were interesting. It was an extremely varied group: from non-fiction to steampunk, each presenter gave a short description and opinion.
Often, by the time a presenter was done discussing the book, another group member would raise a hand and ask to try the book. It was a wonderful way to swap, and although I brought two books with me, I came home with three. What a deal!
Some of the titles discussed today:
How Music Works by David Byrne
In the Garden of the Beasts by Erik Larson
The Ten Laws of Wealth & Abundance by Ron Willingham
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
Tenth of December: Stories by George Saunders
Reunion at Red Paint Bay by George Harrar
The Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Inquisition by Alfredo Colitto
The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul by Deborah Rodriguez
Phoenix Rising by Pep Ballantine and Tee Morris
I’m looking forward to the next meeting in February. Thank you to the group for making me and Margaret Ann so welcome today, and thanks to Margaret Ann for accompanying me. (She won a door prize!)
*If you’re not familiar with Meetup, it’s a wonderful way to find others near you who are interested in the same things, and to meet them in person at group get-togethers, or “meetups”. There is literally something for everyone at Meetup, from vocations to hobbies to fitness to culture and everything in between. You search by interest to find Meetups nearby. You’re then able to see a list of other members and connect online. If you don’t find one — create one yourself!
© Jan McClintock of We Need More Shelves