Los Angeles, California

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BOOKS CAST A SPELL on the members of this Los Angeles, group. They love getting together to bond over reading, food, games, and discussion.

Tell us how you got your start?
Our founder Delilah has always been a great reader—and, like any good English major, can talk and talk about books. But when college ended, so did her reading. She missed the rich discussions of the classroom. Maybe, she thought, a book club would fill the void.

Mom to the rescue! A great reader herself, Delilah's mother agreed that the two should  pool their energy, imagination and friends—and start a reading group.

They obviously got a good response.
Yes. That was in 2011. We now have 20 members although, given eveyone's busy schedules, we usually get 12-15 at a meeting.

You must also have a wide range of ages.
We do, a good 40 years—our ages run from 19 to 60. You could say we're inter-generational.

So what have you read lately?
Here's a list of our most recent books:
Echo Park
Empty Glass
Gone Girl
Unbearable Lightness of Being
Last Time I Was Me
Fifty Shades of Grey
I Am Njuood, Age 10 and Divorced

Any all-time favorites?
Henry's Sisters by Cathy Lamb was one of our first books. It's quirky, but all of us were able to identify with at least one of the many characters.

Gone Girl is another favorite. We loved the plot twist, and it made for a good meeting.

How do you choose your books?
We nominate books at every meeting; then Delilah compiles a list of titles and synopses. At the next meeting, we take a vote. Each member votes for only two on the list, and only those in attendance can vote. The single book the largest number of votes becomes our next read.

What about your meetings?
Metings last about 5 hours—starting with mingling, eating, and then casting our votes. After voting we play a few games; then we move on to our discussion. We cap off the meeting by choosing the date for the next meeting. And we always take a group photo!

Any rules?
Only one: Don't talk about book club outside of book club! We want to build up anticipation and save all the talking for the meeting. The rule is actually hard to follow because when we see each other, we naturally want to talk about what we're reading!

How about special activities?
If there's a prominent theme in the book we stick to it. We try to eat the food the characters eat and dress how the characters dress.

  • For Henry's Sisters we ate Italian food since the family from the novel was Italian.
  • For I Am Nujood, we served middle eastern food and covered our heads with scarves.
  • For Fifty Shades we each wore our husband's ties to mimic the book's cover.

We even play a few games each meeting and try to tie them in with the book.

  • In Girl Gone, the main character has her husband complete a scavenger hunt. So Delilah put one together for us—using scenarios from the book that led to a place in the house...with a card that led to another...and another...and so on.

Overall, how would you describe the Spellbinders?
We all appreciate each other's unique personalities—and the different point of views those personalities bring to a discussion. Most of all, the club is a way for some very special ladies to bond with one another!

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