100 Extra Books: the power of a book club

Today's post comes from Laurie Clegg, a supervisor in the Religous Books Department at the BYU Bookstore --

I love Book Clubs.  I think that there are few social occasions that I would rather attend than a Book Club.  My Club started 10 years ago, when a well-read friend decided to gather her friends and start reading books together.  Some of my all-time favorite books have come from the titles we have chosen, read, and discussed together.

I have learned about art, science, history, cultures, writers, places, music, medicine, and a myriad of other things from Book Club choices.  Cry the Beloved Country has become beloved to me, and I have passed it on to many other readers, thanks to a member of my Book Club who recommended it one year.  Anne Frank Remembered, The Candy Bombers, Team of Rivals, John Adams are all glimpses into other people, places, and times that I would not have had except for my Book Club.

My palate has been expanded through my Book Club, drinking bush tea from The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, or tasting vegemite from Ladies of Missalonghi. I have learned plate tectonics from Krakatoa and molecular biology from The Canon.  And the fiction! Gilead, The Book Thief, My Antonia, The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Help have all brought joy to me. 

I have read over 100 books that I may not have picked up except for my membership in a Book Club. And the great thing is, I may be out of ideas for what to read next, but my Book Club friends all have books they love and want to recommend.  We have had discussions that have changed my perceptions, and I have learned a lot from their insights. To me, the only thing better than reading a book, is reading a book and then being able to talk, talk, and talk about it!  Being in a Book Club has been a wonderful addition to my life.  From Ender’s Game to Endurance, reading will help you gain a whole range of ideas and experiences, and being in a Book Club can broaden that experience. 

How many of you belong to Book Clubs?  What titles have you read and what are your suggestions?
Laurie works in the BYU Bookstore General Books department and will be a regular contribut0r to this blog. Laurie largely works with distribution ordering, as well as some of the major displays within the Bookstore.  At the recent Utah Festival of Books, Laurie ran the Altered Book Competition, one of the highlights of the Festival. 

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