Thank you to the Goddess of Book Clubs (for surely she is a she).
Only a female could pluck 12 unrelated women from my local community, throw us together in a swish wine bar and decree that we should read shared books and meet monthly to discuss.
And only a goddess could have created such an open, respectful, tolerant and honest space for us.
Just over a year on from our first meeting, our book club “The Timemakers” is thriving.
We’ve come a long way since that awkward initial gathering where we introduced ourselves and wondered how we’d all get along, this disparate bunch of thirty-somethings, forty-somethings, fifty-somethings and sixty-somethings, all from different backgrounds.
It was far more daunting than any boardroom of suited men I’d faced up to.
I shouldn’t have worried. We bonded fast through our love of reading and, as the months rolled through, it was our differences that enriched our discussions.
Each book had its devotees and its detractors, each character its admirers and critics.
We shared special stories of connection: those who’d visited the book’s exotic setting, read the author’s earlier works or knew a snippet of trivia worth telling.
Often we played “who would you cast as the lead character in the movie” or wondered “what if” about a plot twist.
We took turns “hosting” … organising questions to spark discussion. And spark they did: robust, lively and heartfelt discussion that ranged from the use of literary devices to our personal emotional reactions, and everything in between.
Tonight, we meet again to kick off another year of “The Timemakers” and I couldn’t be more grateful to the goddess who included me in this bevy of fabulous, intelligent, warm, candid and easy-laughing women. I feel a special connection and a sense of trust and friendship with each of them.
I used to wonder why my sister K attended two book clubs each month. Now I get it. It’s about much more than the reading.
We meet at Strasse Bar, just a twenty minute walk from home. Those who can come early and share a meal and social chitchat (OK, and a glass of wine) before the serious discussion gets underway at seven.
I hear that other groups have trouble staying on task and devolve into chatter about the mundane (you know: work, family, sport, holidays). Not us. We’ve vowed to keep our dialogue related to the book and we rarely digress.
We’ve now got our own secret Facebook group where we can catch up between meetings and there’ve been the odd excursions to see movies/shows related to the books we’re reading.
But mostly, it’s about our Tuesday night tradition. I love that these women are not connected to the rest of my life and that we come together without judgement and without baggage … just about whatever book the library throws at us for the month.
Thank you Goddess of Book Clubs for your divine work.