Is your girlfriend book club beginning to get a little stale?
Are you worried that it might not last through another bestseller? Then it’s time to take some steps towards making your women’s book club fun and something that your girlfriends look forward to each month.
“There are no faster or firmer friendships than those formed between people who love the same books.” Irving Stone
I love my book club. We have so much fun eating, drinking and talking – that we sometimes ALMOST forget to talk about the book. Even though this girlfriend get-together is a blast, there are always opportunities to make it even more fun – right?! So, here are 7 Tips to Improve Book Club Night:
1. Branch Out – People make the mistake of sticking to books that are on the bestseller list. Branch out. Read classics. Read books written by independent authors. Read the book a friend has been raving about. Don’t limit your choices. More importantly, give everyone a chance to pick a book by alternating who picks each month or have everyone write down their choice and pick next month’s book from a hat.
2. Create a Themed Menu of Snacks and Drinks – People are more apt to have fun when there are drinks and snacks involved. Things are even more fun when you create snacks and drinks that revolve around the book’s theme. For example, if you’re reading a book set in Kentucky serve a bourbon-based cocktail and bourbon pecan pie. (For the book, The Help, one of my neighbors brought chocolate pie to Book Club! What a scream! For more ideas, read ‘Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons‘ by Lorna Landvik – very fun read about girlfriends in a book club.)
3. Watch the Movie – Another great tip is to choose book club books that have a movie and then watch the movie during the meeting or, if it is a current movie, go to the theatre together. You can then compare the two by discussing the actor choices, how close the movie stuck to the story line, etc.
4. Have Giveaways – Everyone loves giveaways and you don’t have to give away expensive stuff. It can be some cheap paperbacks you picked up at the local dollar store, bookmarks, $5 Amazon gift cards, etc. You could then give away items during the discussion or you could even have a contest on who brought the best snack to the meeting.
5. Swap Books – Chances are all the book club members read a lot of books each month. Why not do a book swap during the book club meeting each month? This is a great way for everyone to get more books to read without spending any money. (Note: my book club also does a magazine swap every Summer. We all get to try new magazines and take a summer vacation from reading a required book.)
6. Choose Fun Discussion Topics – Last, but not least, choose fun discussion topics. Talk about the sexy hero. Discuss who would make a great cast for a movie version. Talk about any loose ends and how you think the author should tie them up in the next book, etc. Just have fun with it and don’t stick to the discussion guide you found in the book or online. It should be fun, not an assignment.
7. Bring a New Friend Night – Our Fave, of course, is to make it a very social evening and invite other women to join you. They can choose to read the book or not, and may get out of bringing an appetizer or dessert (or whatever guidelines you have for eating at book club!). It’s just fun to meet new friends and to have new conversations with new women.
Your girlfriend book club doesn’t have to be boring. There are so many easy tricks you can use to make the meetings more fun. Whether it’s talking about the intriguing characters in the books or turning each meeting into a book swap, you can definitely improve your women’s book club.
Want some great girlfriend advice for women who love wine – and books? We got it! Our girlfriends at WINE SISTERHOOD know Book Club night is sometimes more Wine Club Night! So does bestselling author KRIS RADISH, author of one of our favorite Book Club books:...
What Girlfriend Traditions do you have? Any Book Club, Mom’s Group or Sorority Get-togethers? (Those count as Girlfriend Traditions!)
We’re on day three of the 12 days of friendship for our holiday celebration of the gift of female friendship. Today, Day 3 of the 12 Days of Friendship, we’re celebrating the gift of girlfriend traditions …
Tonight is our neighborhood Book Club. We’re a very friendly (we like to think!), non-stressful group of women who really like to hang out together, eat, drink and laugh. Oh, and sometimes we read a book! But not tonight!
Tonight is special. It’s our annual ‘Ornament Exchange’ party. We’ll all gather at Penny’s home, bring our appetizers, desserts and beverages (wine generally!) and an ornament to offer to the girls.
It’s a fabulous tradition of women sharing their lives and laughing a lot as we catch up on whose kid is doing what, the latest restaurant nearby or the funny stories that all women have to share with other women. (The above photo is from last year’s ornament exchange – we don’t go hungry!)
Our fun girlfriend tradition starts when we draw numbers and begin picking a package to open. Everyone watches as the ornament is discovered then passed around the room for full examination. Then, in true ‘White Elephant’ or ‘Dirty Santa’ fashion, the keeper of the new ornament may exchange it for a previous gift that was opened. It gets pretty heated as certain ornaments are desired by multiple women and there often are negotiations to secure the most popular ornament.
When we talk about one of the main benefits of female friendship being stress relief. I GUARANTEE that any stress from the day or life in general will be laid aside tonight by every woman there tonight. Concerns over finances, health, relationships, too much to do, etc. – all will be forgotten for at least a little bit as we genuinely laugh and enjoy spending time together.
That’s part of our ‘girlfriend tradition’ – just enjoying the time we share and our friendships together.
What’s the point of having a book club if you don’t get to eat brownies and drink wine?
I’ll admit it, I didn’t read the book this month.
As a matter of fact, I can say that for me personally, that is very often the case when it comes to the book club I’m in. It’s not that we choose uninteresting books to read. It’s not that I don’t enjoy reading. It is simply that somewhere along the way in growing a very tight-knit group of girlfriends, “book club” became less literal and more of a euphemism for a time of bonding between girlfriends.
This week, book club was as far away from a book at it could be. The reality of the day was that one of our girlfriends who has welcomed us into her home on many occasions, and has shared the joys of her life with us all was in a difficult situation. As women, being supportive does not mean trying to fix things, or give advice that frankly we would not have the knowledge to give. It means making the effort for her happiness.
Our effort for the happiness of our friend was simply to reassure her that we were thinking of her, praying for her, wishing for her wellness in every way we know how. As a group, being supportive and caring for each other is something we know how to do. I know that if it was me in this situation I would receive the same care, concern and thoughtfulness.
We did our best to let her know that we were holding her up. In the midst of this wonderful, positive energy being generated, it was heartening for me to know that this was all because somehow we had all found each other.
I am so thankful for the wonderful community of women in my life. I am happy to each of them friend, happier even more when we are able to lift others with our friendship when it’s needed most.
Do you have a Book Club? A Girlfriend group? A community of women who care?
If not, I’d highly recommend that you stop whatever you’re doing and find your female tribe. Life is about friendship. Happiness. Caring for each other. Believe me, it is.
Do you have a Girlfriend Book Club? (If so, what are you reading?!) I love my Book Club. It’s my favorite girlfriend tradition, my favorite GNO (or GNI – Girl’s Night In) with some of my favorite friends. Within five minutes of Book Club, I’m de-stressed, laughing and enjoying my girlfriends!
One of my Book Club Girlfriends, Judi has been kind enough to give her girlfriend recommendation for your book club. Here’s her review of …
The main character is Mary McAllister. The story bounces back in forth in her life from her teenage years to present time, more than sixty years. Mary had a tragic event with one of her high school teachers and then an abusive marriage. After her husband died she became a recluse. Due to these two tragic events Mary developed social anxiety disorder.
Through the help of her husband’s grandfather, Mary met Father Michael, her best and only friend. Though she has isolated herself from others in the Mill River community, Mary was very interested in the lives of the townspeople. Father Michael kept her apprised of the town’s events, she faithfully read the local paper, and eventually she watched local TV news. As a result of this interest Mary reached out to the people through anonymous gifts.
The secondary characters had their own effect on the plot. They were all linked by Mary and her anonymous gifts. These characters were the citizens of Mill River, most specifically Officer Kyle Hansen, school teacher Claudia Simon, Daisy Delaine, Officer Leroy and Rowen, the daughter of Officer Hansen.
Throughout this book many people were not how they were perceived. Most of them, like Mary, were flawed in some way.
This book reinforced the value of friendship. Topics to aid in discussion is how do you show friendship and is there more than one kind of friend; what is the role of in-laws after that family’s member is deceased, what kind of support do foodoholics need, and is it appropriate to take one’s own life?
What are you and your Book Club reading? What have been your favorite Book Club books? Share in the comments!
Check out these other Girlfriend Book Club recommendations: