LitClub: Lake County Book Club
Lake County area of Wisconsin
TEACHERS GONE WILD. No longer ruled by the school bell, these retired Wisconsin teachers play hookey at lunch (no cafeteria food for them). They talk about books, have fun, and support charities they care about.
What got you all together?
Some of us always thought it would be fun to have a book club, but teaching is so demanding we never had the time. It wasn't until retirement that a couple of us just decided to get a group going. That was in 2010.
How many members?
We email to an ever-growing list of retirees. We are up to 53 now! But typically 12-18 come to any given discussion.
Tell the truth—don't you all secretly grade each other?
Probably, though we'd never admit it. But we do make everyone raise her hand to speak.
Tell us what you've been reading over the past year.
Here's our list...
Girls Like Us
Moonwalking with Einstein
State of Wonder
We all have personal favorites, but most of us agreed on The Help and The Dovekeepers—because they were so moving and offered a lot to talk about.
Many also liked State of Wonder and The Shoemaker's Wife.
We went for a total light-weight when we chose Bossypants. It was okay to read but not for a book club. A few of us enjoyed Girls Like Us, while most agreed that Moonwalking with Einstein, wasn't all that great of a read.
Tell us about your charitable work.
We always make some sort of charitable contribution, usually to our local food pantry. The importance of making a charitable donation with every book we discuss has kept us focused. When we read State of Wonder, we collected money and first aid items because one of our members was volunteering in a South American village and could take the items along with her.
Some of our members do a lot of volunteer work and always have ideas for where we can help. This part of our club will gain strength, and it is one of the reasons we felt it would be good to be featured on this site. Maybe we can inspire others to do the same.
How do you choose your books?
At the end of the discussion of the current book, we all toss out ideas and tell about ones we've read. Then we list all suggestions and do a paper vote. We usually then pick the top three and vote again. Sometimes we use the top two and have our choices for the next two book club meetings.
What about your meetings—do you do anything special?
We always have lunch, and people volunteer to bring food/drink. The food usually is themed to fit the book. We're looking forward to our next one—Chinese food for our discussion of Snowflower and the Secret Fan. We also try to make sure there is some kind of prize (maybe a drawing) that goes with the theme. A couple of times, we made CD's with music related to the book so everyone could take something home. When we read The Dovekeepers, we did an art project that reflected the Biblical nature of the book (see photos above).
What about outside of your regular meetings?
We sometimes go on "field trips"—go figure, we're a bunch of teachers! We've gone to museums, plays, and even bars. As with our book club, we throw the invitation out to everyone and those who can go join in.
Overall, how would you describe your club?
We have so much fun just getting together.
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