Accidental Book Club: Tessa’s Guide To A Brilliant Book Club

April 28, 2015

Last night, I got to attend my very first book club gathering – something I’ve been dreaming up for quite a while. It was fun to discover that all of the other women — some avid readers, some more on the casual side — had also been longing to form and take part in a book club in their young adult lives.

A lot of the leading ladies in my life, whom I admire and hold near-and-dear, are involved in book clubs — and the bonds they’ve formed with other wonderful women was always something I thought was so valuable.

I’ve laid out a few key things that I’ve found to make a brilliant book club setting — and I’ll share with you below.

Gather a few (not too many, though) wonderful souls, maybe just a couple that you know or know well — and definitely some that you don’t know at all. It’s a wonderful way to meet and get to know people on a unique level, gaining new perspectives and philosophies on life. We called ours The Accidental Book Club, cherishing the fact that a number of us were brought into friendships by chance.

The setting I think can be treasured no matter where you end up – but is also something you can definitely take advantage of and make extraordinary. We chose a rooftop setting in the North Loop, with blankets and sweaters for when the night grew cooler.

Rooftop view

Each member brought a bite to eat or a refreshment, and even flowers(!), and it made for a really fun, collaborative setting. Green grapes, chilled wine, sparkling water, homemade kombucha, gourmet cheeses and crackers, nuts, and sweets were our featured hors d’oeuvres. It was delightful.

Below are some of the questions we found to spark great conversation during our discussion:

How did you experience the book as a whole?

What feelings did certain parts of the book bring out in you?

How did the main character change throughout the story?

Was there symbolism that jumped out at you?

What passages struck you as insightful or profound?

Did any part of the book cause you to reflect on a part of your own life?

Why do you think the author ended the story the way they did? Was it surprising?

Has this novel changed you?

The Language of Flowers

Also, don’t worry if conversation begins to stray off-topic. Those were my favorite moments from the evening – the points in which everyone opened up and shared stories and anecdotes from their own lives, and led us to all become a little bit closer.

And now, onward to “The Glass Castle” — a memoir by Jeannette Walls. Comment below if you’ve read it!