LitClub:  Wine & Words Book Club
Newnan, Georgia

club wine words5"SOMETIMES," says a member of Wine & Words, "it's more about the wine than the words." But that's hard to believe because this group has been reading for 10 years. That's a lot of books with a LOT of words…plus a lot of discussions with EVEN MORE words!

Let's begin with the various projects your club has initiated.
It started with reading I Will Always Write Back, the story of 2 young students, one from the U.S. and the other from Zimbabwe, who become pen pals.

Yes! The two become great friends.
That's right—they corresponded for 6 years, and it changed both of their lives.

The story inspired us: it was such a simple idea. So we decided that, as a group, we should pool our funds and find a way to make a difference in someone's life.

So what happened?
We ended up paying for 7 students to go to school through the International Rescue Committee.

Yesss! It takes a book club… And you've done more.
We also read The Alice Network (Katie Quinn) and made donations of pet food to a spay/neuter facility.

Then after reading King of Lies (John Hart), we collected eye glasses for a local optometrist who then donated them.

Getting back to basics, how many are you?
The group varies in size, but we usually have 10-15 members in attendance.

All of us live in "The Cottages," part of a planned community in Newnan, Georgia, and we meet in each others' homes once a month.

Any food…or is it wine only? (Just asking.)
Well, we do love our wine, but over time we've rotated between serving full meals or simply appetizers or desserts. We're back to desserts now—like the scrumptious pecan cake and ambrosia Pat Darrow served at our last meeting.

Hosting for 15 is a lot of work.
That's for sure. As our ranks have grown, we've found it helps when two members share hosting.

We've also found it's taxing to both host AND lead the discussion. So as a "reward," the host gets to choose the next month's book, as well as lead the discussion.

Well, that takes pressure off.
It does. Sometimes we even find ourselves leaderless, yet everyone still contributes and shares. This is a group that knows how to be flexible.

Let's get to the books: any favorites over the years?
Our club favorites include…

♦ Grandma Gatewood's Walk
Gone Girl
The Language of Flowers
A Man Called Ove
Big Little Lies
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter
and Sweet

The Girl Who Wrote in Silk
I Will Always Write Back.

Everyone of these selections led to outstanding discussions.

Ten years covers a lot of books. Tell us about your idea for a Club Historian.
We thought it would be good to to keep a record of the books we've read each year. It would be especially helpful to new members in making book selections to know what we've already read. So thanks to Alicia Fox for taking on the role.

What about books that disappointed your group over the years?
When polling our members, one (a true Southerner) said, "Oh, we're from the South, that would be rude!" So, no, we wouldn't dare tell.

Any final thoughts about WINE & WORDS you'd like to leave us with?
Well, that last response—about books that have disappointed us—made us double over in laughter, and once again we were reminded why this group means so much to all of us. Laughter and true understanding, woven in and out of the pages of fascinating books, equals joy every time!

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