Elite Bitches

LitClub:  The Elite Bitches Book Club
Marina del Rey, California

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DO THEY SAIL through literature ...or blow through it...or just skim the surface? None of the above. They're serious readers having a boatload (groan) of fun.

Talk about your name.
We formed our book club in 2007. But we never needed a name ... until 2011 when we decided to compete in a sailing regatta (see top photo). Looking for something catchy, one of our members got the idea for Elite Bitches from a greeting card she received.

You sailed together first...then became a book club?
Right...We were looking for an intellectual pursuit distinct from our sailing activities. In the beginning we reached beyond our racing friends to form the book club. But we've gravitated back to our sailing group as time has passed.

Do you really criticize each other's clothes?
Sometimes.

Tell us what you've been reading.
In the past few months, we've read...
Broken Glass
Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World
Creation: The True Story of Charles Darwin
The Paris Wife
The Marriage Plot

Any favorites over the years?
The Omnivore's Dilemma—it changed our view on food and the pleasure of reading non-fiction;
Last Night in Twisted River—because of John Irving's character development;
The Feast of the Goat—because of the historical context and the way the point of view shifted throughout the book.

Any Disappointments?
The group found One Hundred Years of Solitude so tedious that we called it "A Million Years of Solitude."

How about really good discussions?
The non-fiction choices lend themselves to our liveliest discussions, probably because they present facts and conclusions with which one can argue.

Tell us about your selection process. It's clever.
At each meeting we randomly select a name. That member brings several titles to the next meeting, and out of those titles, the group chooses one for the following meeting. Once everyone has had a chance to bring in her choice of titles, we start over.

How about some club rules?
Never forget to bring a bottle of wine.

Do you do anything special for your meetings?
We do potluck dinners at every meeting. Each meeting is themed, so we bring dishes appropriate to the book we're discussing.

You also have a special holiday gathering.
Yes. Rather than discussing one title, each of us brings a favorite (non-book-club) book and a decorative bookmark. Each member gives a 5 minute report on her book (and bookmark!); then, in random order, we each choose a book to take home.

What do you do outside your meetings?
SAILING! In 2011 we formed our all-book-club-team to participate in a local women's regatta. We won first place! And while sailing, we did dramatic readings from that month's book—Cleopatra: A Life.  (See the above photos of us on the water and with the trophy!)

Overall, how would you describe your club?
We want to read and discuss and learn. But we also laugh a lot...and we keep the group to a manageable size. Our ages span 30 years—some new moms along with several proudly child-free women. We're also a bunch of pretty good cooks.

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