LitClub:  Long Island Ladies
Long Island, New York

club long-island1
THEY LOVE TO READ and discuss, these Long Island Ladies. In fact, they've been reading and discussing books for 14 years. Oh, did we mention they REALLY love to read and discuss?

Okay. You love to "read and discuss." What  else can you tell us?
Well, we love to agree, and we love to disagree. And we love to agree that we disagree.

Ah, yes—words to live by! So how did you get your start?
When Susan was diagnosed with cancer, she decided it was time to work through her bucket list. Starting a book club was one of the items on the list.

Fourteen years later, we're thrilled to say that Susan is healthy—and the same goes for our book club!

Congratulations—a great story. So how many members?
Ten all together, 6 who have been around from the beginning.

What have you read lately?
Here's our list for the past year:

Husband's Secret
Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
Museum of Extraordinary Things
Big Little Lies
Girl on the Train
Ice Twins
Fall of Marigolds
Luckiest Girl Alive

Any all-time favorites?
One Thousand White Women—We loved this one for it's creativity and for the discussion it stimulated, including women's rights issues.

Defending Jacob—We loved the book's mystery, our inability to figure out where the story would take us, and its insights into issues of parenting and love—i.e., how far would any of us go to defend our child?

The Reader—Historical fiction is a favorite of this group, and we loved this novel, as well as Pope Joan and The Book Thief.

We have other favorites—
A Fine Balance
House Of Sand and Fog
The Island
Art Forger
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
Space between Us
The Namesake
The Help
Of Mice and Men...

Actually, we could go on for ever...considering we've been meeting for 14+ years. As we age, though, it's harder to remember all of our "Hits and Misses."

Any disappointments?
A few:
Cider House Rules—No one could read through it.
Of Human Bondage—No one wanted to read through it.
Wicked—No one could figure out the sense of it.
Zookeeper's Wife—No one was interested in the long-winded scientific passages in it.

Best discussions?
The Reader—Lots of disagreement, which is always fun.
The Husband's Secret—Lots of opinions, ditto...
Finding Jake—Parenting issues: Could this happen to me?
Middlesex—We read this many years ago and found the story fascinating—even before all the changes that have taken place today.
Room—How could this ever happen? We talked about the strength of the human spirit.
The Book Thief—Touching and says much about the human condition.
Ice Twins—We loved it and had a blast discussing ghost...or psychology?

How do you select your books?
Sometimes we have trouble choosing a book, but we always base our choices on general consensus. Suggestions come from members, friends, and relatives. We look at the New York Times Bestseller List, Facebook, Goodreads, LitLovers and other online sites.

We also check our local library. And occasionally, we use "Book Club in A Bag"—our library puts together up to 10 books with complete Reading Guides. [Many libraries have these programs. See our feature, "Book Club to Go" from Monterey, California. —Ed.]

How about club rules?
We have several:
  1. Only one person can talk at a time (sometimes hard to follow).
  2. The Host facilitates the meeting and provides a summary of the book, information on the author, and the list of questions.
  3. Everyone must take a turn hosting.
  4. Each member gives $5.00 per meeting, which our treasurer collects and saves for our December Holiday Party.

Do you engage in any community work?
We've recently become active in BOOKS TO KEEP. [See our LitLovers Blog post. —Ed.]

Also, all of us are involved individually in many community programs—volunteering at Animals Shelters, Dogability Center, The INN, CHADD, Cancer Charities, to name a few. All these groups and others are supported generously by our members.

Any parting words about the wonderful Long Island Ladies?
When we first started we all worked. Now many are retired, but all of us lead busy lives with families and friends. Overall, we're an eclectic group of articulate women, who are active in the community...and who love to read and discuss.

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