Sisters Literati has been meeting monthly for over 15 years. All book group members have been divorced, some remarried, some not. All are mothers. Originally they read only women authors, but about seven years ago they decided to allow reading an occasional male author-if the book was really exceptional.
What book by a woman have you currently read recently?
"People of the Book" by Geraldine Brooks. We chose the book because we love books that are multi-layered. This book is poignant in its delineation of world history, religious thought, social class and prejudice, politics, geography and multicultural relationships.
What book by a woman recently sparked a great discussion?
"My Antonia" by Willa Cather was a favorite. It was written in a clear, straightforward way, yet the characters were complex. The author's love of the land comes through in the writing. It's an interesting perspective that Antonia's story is told by Jim, her boyhood friend.
What book by a woman would your group most recommend?
A classic: "The Good Earth" by Pearl Buck. The land was a main character in the book and it was all important to the farmer. Without the land he would have nothing. It was his livelihood, the source of his family's food, their identity, their future.
What makes your group work? What tips could you share with other groups?
We don't all have to like the book chosen. In fact, some of the best discussions have come from a place of strong opinions both pro and con. We try to look at what resonated rather than how much we liked it.
One member commented that she loves how the books are stepping stones that lead to wonderful discussions that may or may not have anything to do with the book. We have an high level of honesty and trust in the group, which gives a feeling of safety. Opinions are respected, no judgments are made.
Does your group have any rituals or traditions that you follow?
We meet in a different member's home each month and the hostess picks the book. She starts off our meeting by telling why she chose the book and then the discussion is open to all. We always have a potluck after the discussion.