November 14th 2008.
This was the night of the first Book Club. Considering many of us were juggling newborns and toddlers as well as working – we were impressed we pulled off the first book club. We probably weren’t drinking much either. My, how times have changed. Back in 2008, we started out with the simple fact that our elementary school required the kids to read 30 minutes a day. If we had to watch them read, what better way to reinforce the importance of reading but to read along side them! This page may contain affiliate links. Please read our Disclosure Policy for details.
While the kids are much older and reading independently on their own – we are still reading! Nine years of books on the book, wow – does time fly! We spent the time reading in the months between book club date s & juggled life. Newborns. Toddlers. Potty Training. Schoolwork. Sibling rivalry. Vacations. Sports. Dance. Grade School. Junior High. Now a few of us have kids entering high school. Life has a way of sneaking up on us pretty fast and a lot has happened in the past decade.
In the spirit of documenting important events, I happened to have an empty journal the night of the first book club. Once dusted off, we wrote down the date, list of participants & the books we read. When the book club traveled to different hosts home – the journal would always follow.
This journal has a tale of the friends who have filtered in and out (and those have been along for the entire ride!) as well as the list of all the books we have suggested to read over the years. It has been fun to look back on how many book club nights we have had over the last nine years (approaching our decade mark this fall!) Looking back on all of the books we had read, we were impressed to find our tally for the first nine years of book club is 54 books.
54 Books & Counting!
Twilight (Just a reminder we all had infants and were a bit sleep deprived)
Year in Provence (Everyone wanted to move to France)
Friday Night Knitting Club (Yes, some of us started crocheting more)
Ride of Our Lives (I dream of a family road trip like this)
Loving Frank (History entwined with a love story, you cannot go wrong)
Remember Me (Sometimes a Sophie Kinsella book is just what you need!)
Meg (If you like sharks & oceans, you need to read this)
Song of Solomon (Toni Morrison. Enough said)
The Shack (Rough topic for young moms, but thought-provoking look at God)
Parenting with Love and Logic (Believe this is when we all had kids starting grade school)
Change of Heart (One of the groups favorite author, Jodi Picoult)
19 Minutes (We all had little ones, and after reading this didn’t want them to grow up)
Twenties Girl (Fun light read with a little ghost story thrown in)
Lightning Thief (If you love Greek mythology, this book is for you)
Time Travelers Wife (Time travel, history and love make a for a great read)
The Help (1960’s civil rights southern drama of the African American maids’ point of view on the white families for which they work – hilarious and thought provoking)
The Middle Place (Insight into the challenges of a breast cancer survivor & rest of life challenges)
Glass Castle (It’s a memoir – really felt it was a bit on the eccentric side of life but others liked it)
Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Took a bit to start reading, but about 1/4 way in you’re hooked)
Vintage (Friendship, determination & women overcoming their own struggles)
Hunger Games (Actually had a hard time reading this, finally broke down & saw the movie)
Welcome to America (Exchange student turned immigrant in the early 2000’s)
Other Peoples Rejection Letters (If you are worried about trying a new adventure & failing, realize that others have been in the same place)
Crooked Letter (Well written suspenseful tale of childhood friends brought back together under not the best circumstances)
Sh*t My Dad Says (You need a laugh? Read this as we all have a family member like this)
Heaven is for Real (Another interesting book regarding the afterlife thought a child’s eyes)
Hot, Flat & Crowded (Talk of a green revolution in America – and its still needed)
Radioactive Lady (I just loved the characters in this book – quick read!)
The Night Strangers (Creepy ghost story with an ending that left some perplexed)
Devil in The White City (Chicago’s World Fair plus a series killer – based on true events)
11-22-63 (If you ever wanted to read Stephen King but want to sleep at night, try this book)
50 Shades of Grey (Biggest turnout for book club. Ever.)
East of Eden (Classics made their way to our book club rotation – Steinbeck)
DaVinci Code (Loved how the mystery intertwined with the Catholic Church history)
Harry Potter – Sorcerer’s Stone (Such a great series – for adults & kids, just get all the books!)
Gone Girl (Suspenseful book – again, read this first before the movie!)
What Alice Forgot (Our first Liane Moriarty book & we now determined to read them all!)
Life of Pi (I tried twice but couldn’t get into the book, did enjoy the movie)
Proof of Heaven (Another near death experience novel with the patient being a neurosurgeon)
Unbroken (Our greatest generation is fading away, reminder on what they faced & how many overcame unthinkable odds)
Fault in Our Stars (Humor entertained with the fact that the young main characters are dealing with a terminal illness)
The Husband’s Secret (Another great read by Liane Moriarty – hope she keeps this up!)
Moms Who Swear & Drink (This is perfect for a good laugh!)
Defending Jacob (I couldn’t read this, others really enjoyed it)
Girl on the Train (Suspenseful thriller that actually had me guessing till the end)
Wonder (My kids recommended this book to me, well before the movie came out)
Big Little Lies (Another fabulous book by Liane Moriarty & excited to watch the series!)
Me Before You (Stirred some debate amongst readers regarding end of life/quality of life)
Still Alice (Inside the diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer’s; must read before seeing the movie)
Nightingale (One of my ALL TIME favorite books. MUST read on this list)
The Nest (Not bad, not memorable either)
Boston Girl (One of the books I haven’t read; still on my bookshelf list to read!)
Woman in Cabin 10 (This was actually my first audio book…can’t cheat by looking at the end!)
Before We Were Yours (Heartbreaking story that was an unspoken reality in the 1940’s)
So what are we starting out year 10 with?
Once We Were Brothers (Loved the story; hard to read as it was set in Chicago & referred to key political figures that didn’t exist).
We’ve never had “hard rules” for our book club. Once a host location is picked, everyone brings a little something to share that night. Depending on the night a few bottles of wine may or may not grace the table. Craft beer has been known to make an appearance. Usually, we meet about 3-4 times a year. Some years we met more often – other years we barely squeezed two book club nights on the calendar. Most times we had two books to read – just in case you really didn’t like the topic or genre of the one hopefully the other suited your fancy. Sometimes many (most) of us didn’t actually finish the books – but we tried. You always get points for trying. Heck, we made it out of the house for the night & that’s a reason to raise a wine glass & celebrate.
Thankfully the little journal has many more pages to fill. Might even starting adding notes on the sweet & savory treats we have brought or made (lemon & almond petit fours, nothing bundt cake and Señor Tacos beef & avocado tortas are a few from our last book club). As for the wine list…that part of book *wine* club you actually have to show up for to experience.