LitClub:  Happy Bookers—Maryland
Middletown, Maryland

club_happybookers-md1WHEN IT'S TOO COLD to hit a golfball, it's a perfect time to hit the books—which is what this group decided in 2010, just before winter rolled in. Starting a book club, they made the switch from happy golfers to Happy Bookers.

Do you meet in the winter only? Or can you read & play golf at the same time?
We take the summer months off—like a lot of book clubs. Otherwise, we meet all year, even during golf weather in the spring and fall.

So, yes...we can read and play golf at the same time!

You're all golfers?
No, just some of us. All together, we're nine in number—good friends and avid readers, who wanted a smaller, more intimate book club than the two that are sponsored by our local library.

Tell us what you've read in your 1st year.
So far, we've read...
The Bells
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter
Forgotten Garden
Glass Castle
The Help
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
Inheritance of Loss
Keep Your Mouth Shut and Wear Beige (see photos)
Mennonite in a Little Black Dress
Swan Thieves

Which led to particularly good discussions?
The Help. It wasn't complicated to discuss, but it was hard to believe human beings (especially women) could be so cruel.

Any favorites?
We all loved The Forgotten Garden and The Help.

Any disappointments?
The Inheritance of Loss. We couldn't quite follow the different time frames. It moved too fast, and we never were quite sure what part of the country or world we were in.

How do you choose your books?
Everyone brings three choices and then we vote.

Any rules?
Just one: we stay away from books and discussions of religion and politics.

Have you done anything outside your regular club meetings?
We've visited author Nora Roberts' bookstore (see photos above) and her inn in Boonsboro, Maryland, about 10 miles away from our home base. The Inn is beautiful...and each room represents one of her books.

Overall, how would you describe the Happy Bookers?
We have loads of fun. We tend to be critical of the books we read: some of us like the books and some of us don't. But, we all feel we've read some great literary finds the past year. The best part of our group is that we're very amicable and truly enjoy getting together once a month—to laugh, eat, and read.

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