July 5, 2018

Time To Fire Up Your Competitive Spirit and Pull Out Your Scorecards!

Now, I know you all love our book club but life gets in the way. How about I give you all a little incentive to, oh say, read the book? Come to the meetings? Can I tempt you with some prizes and a little competition?

Starting in July, you'll have a chance to earn points in several different ways. At our December meeting, prizes will be awarded. The top two point totals will win bookish prizes (and by "bookish," I might mean a bottle of wine to drink while you read a book!) and the person with the least points will win a lovely white elephant gift (I might have more fun with this prize than the other two!).

Here's how you can earn points:

  • Finish the book - 10 points
  • Host a meeting - 10 points
  • Attending a meeting - 5 points
  • Organize a book-related, non-meeting event - 5 points
  • Attend a non-meeting event (seeing an author, seeing a book-related movie, go to a play, do an activity you were inspired to do because of a book) - 3 points (an extra point if you've gone with book club friends)
  • Introduce a new member - 3 points
  • Recommend a book 1 point (2 points if your book is added to our reading list)
  • Submit a question regarding the book - 1 point 
If you can't come to the meeting, but have finished the book or if you've gone to a non-meeting event that qualifies, please let me know by email so I can add your points. There are a lot of movies come out this year that are based on books, so there will be a lot of opportunities to earn points just by going to the movies! I'll try to be better about keeping the calendar updated with bookish events on the website (http://omahabookwormsbookclub.blogspot.com). Let me know if you think of any other ways we could earn points!

**Sunday, July 15th is your first chance to earn points - please see Linda's email!**

June 27, 2018


We had a good turnout last night for our discussion of Little Fires Everywhere and a good discussion. We tried something new this month. Instead of just having a list of questions, we took drew rounds of questions from a basket. Not only did that put each person with some questions they had to answer but holding that question in your hand was a good reminder that we still had book discussion to continue with when we got off track.

We largely stuck to the publisher's questions for the book, although they were tweaked some and we didn't include all of them. This allowed us to talk about character development, the different kinds of mothers, the setting of the book and how it impacted what the characters did. We spent a lot of time talking about the open-ended questions Ng left for readers to consider. A lot of our discussion had to do with surrogacy: the way it was accomplished here, the difference it might make if neither of the prospective parents were a biological parent, and whether or not we would be able to carry a baby as a surrogate. We also spent a lot of time talking about adoption, the role race plays in adoption, and what happens when a birth parent decides they want their child back. We had to remind ourselves frequently that Ng has set this book twenty years in the past and then we worked to remember what the world was like at that time.

Those of us who had read the book enjoyed it and we would definitely recommend it for other book clubs. There were enjoy wider topics discussed in this book, too, so that those who hadn't read the book could also jump into the conversation.

Thanks to Ann for hosting and all of the yummies and to Lisa W. for sharing books!

June 26, 2018

April and May

April's turnout was the biggest turnout we've had in a long time and everyone there had even read the book. Huzzah! Apparently we need Paulette Jiles to start writing books faster? Of course, this was the only meeting I've missed in a year; fortunately, I was able to call in to talk to everyone about New Of The World. It was a great discussion. We talked about the writing, the characters, what we were expecting to have happen as we were reading (some of us were certain of a happily-ever-after and some of us were expecting the worst). This one was definitely a hit with the club, in no small part because we all really liked the relationship between the main characters. Plus, there were plenty of surprises, new things to think about (none of us had ever heard of traveling news readers), and we found a link to the cowboys in the story.

In May, we had the inverse - only three of us were able to make the meeting (sorry, Mary Beth but thanks for the great spread). Luckily, we'd all read the book so we had a good time talking about the book, what we had expected versus what we got, and how it seemed to tie into current events. We'd all definitely recommend The Women In The Castle for book clubs in no small part because of the way the rise of the Nazi party seems to parallel much of what we seeing now regarding nationalism. We found the ladies interesting and thought Shattuck had done a good job crafting unique individuals of each of them. We all remarked that this book touched on a part of the World War II era that we had not previously read anything about and it was interesting to see how the disparate factions began having to live with each other again.

Wonder what kind of a group we'll end up in June now that summer travels have begun? We should have a lot to talk about again with Little Fires Everywhere!

March 29, 2018

February and March

 And, just like that, we're back to having fairly small meetings with even fewer people having read the book. I'll grant you that Their Eyes Were Watching God was much more of a challenge than anticipated - the dialect was work to get through. But Alice I Have Been wasn't a tough read at all and both of the past couple of books did have quite a lot to talk about.

For example, Ann and I came away from Alice I Have Been with very different impressions about Melanie Benjamin's take on Charles Dodgson, a.k.a. Lewis Carroll. Then there's always the discussion with historical fiction about what was true and what wasn't. With Their Eyes Were Watching God Ann asked why the book was considered a classic and so we talked about that.

I still want to read books and have people to talk to about them.

Here's what I'm proposing. Going forward, for those who have read the book and want to discuss it, the meetings will start at 7 p.m. At 7:30 p.m., anyone else who's available to join us is more than welcome to join us so that we can catch up with each other and enjoy the friendships we've made. Let me know what you think!