LitClub:  Revenue Readers
Austin, Texas

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REVENUE GIRLS WON'T YOU come out tonight...and read by the light of the moon. Working with numbers all day long puts these women in the mood for the written word. They're all great readers—and great friends.

Tell us how you got together as a club?

We're all account examiners at the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts—and we take our lunch breaks together. One day we realized that a good part of our conversation revolved around books. We had so much fun talking about what we'd read that we decided to start a book club.

How long have you been around...and how many are you?
We formalized the club in 2008...and we have 16 members, ranging in age from our mid-30s to mid-60s. We meet in a conference room during our lunch break—which means that, because we've got only an hour, we don't do any socializing. We get right to the book discussion.

Let's talk about what you've read recently.
Here's what we've read this past year:

The Dry Grass of August
The Peach Keeper
Tuesdays with Morrie
These Things Hidden
Have a Little Faith
Look Again
Good Night Beautiful (Dorothy Koomson)
The Confession (John Grisham)

Any favorites over the years?
We like books that grab our attention from the start, have great finishes and richly developed characters. Our favorites include The Help, Water for Elephants, Memory Keeper's Daughter, Secret Life of Bees, and Gods in Alabama.

Have any led to particularly good discussions?
Our best discussions came from The Help, Memory Keeper's Daugher, Vanishing Acts of Esme Lennox, The Confession, and Same Kind of Different as Me.

Discussions are always best when our members have had experiences similar to a book's characters. When we share our personal stories, the books seem so real. Or when members express different view points, it helps the rest of us think about a book in a whole new light.

What else do you do?
We like to invite authors to our meetings. Evelyn Palfrey joined us for one meeting to discuss her book, Everything In Its Place." Donna M. Johnson, who wrote Holy Ghost Girl: A Memoir, will be at our February (2012) meeting. Another activity we enjoy is discussing which actors we envision in the main characters' roles. [Just like "Hollywood Bowl" in LitLovers Games & Icebreakers. —Ed.]

What about outside your regular meetings?
We do a lot. We've attended the Texas Book Festival in Austin, which Donna M. Johnson and Paula Dean attended. We've seen movies as a group—The Help and Secret Life of Bees—followed by dinner where we compare book and film. And because we've become good friends socially, we even attend Texas Longhorn Basketball games together.

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