LitClub:  The Oldfield Book Club
Okatie, South Carolina

club_oldfieldBUILDING NEW friendships while building new homes was the reason for starting this book club. Now, homes are built, friendships forged ... and their reading list keeps on growing.

When and how did you form?
We organized in 2003. All of us had just moved into this newly built community, and what better way to make friends than through a book club! We started with only 4 members, now up to 18 ... and still growing.

What have you read this year?
So far we've read Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight, The Glass Castle, Lilla’s Feast, My Old True Love, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Water for Elephants, and When Madeline Was Young.

Any favorites over the years?
Our clear favorite is The Kite Runner, which we read a couple of years ago. It’s wonderfully written and nearly spoiled us when it came to reading other books. But we also loved Water for Elephants and My Old True Love.

What kind of books appeal to your members?
We enjoy books with a compelling story and powerful emotional content that triggers an emotional response in us. The Kite Runner falls under this category—it was a gut-wrenching story.

Which books inspired good discussions?
The Glass Castle led to one of our best discussions—about parenting, its challenges and responsibilities. Somehow, Walls allows us to tolerate her parents’ behavior, and certainly the children have done well in life. But we wondered whether the parents were, in fact, abusive.

Any disappointments?
We found The Divine Husband difficult and not terribly engaging. We were also disappointed in The Mermaid Chair: we didn’t think it was particularly well written, nor was there much to talk about.

How do you operate?
We follow three basic guidelines:

  • We meet at our clubhouse at 5:30 for wine and dinner. At 7:00 we discuss the book.
  • We choose 3 books at a time through recommendations and voting. That way we can read at our own pace, and we have plenty of advance notice if, say, we’re traveling.
  • One our members has become our de facto discussion leader. But we may change so that the person who recommended the book we’re reading leads that discussion.

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