Book Group Problems Solved

We’ve all been in book groups. And there is no perfect one. The novels are chosen in different ways, by vote or by the leader or by a different person each time. Sometimes people don’t have time to finish the novel or find it’s too boring to go on.

My friends and I wanted to read and share our thoughts on literature, but none of us had time for a full novel and we didn’t have the freedom to choose one night all of us would be free every month, so we did something a little different.

We created a short story group. We each took turns choosing the story and would email it or bring copies. We didn’t have a specific day or date, but it would be “next time we get together.” This was lunch or dinner or a walk through the park for the following week, two weeks, or occasionally a month.

This became such a wonderful part of our activities. We’d have lunch and then discuss the story, or we’d walk around the pond in our regular conversations before we moved on to talk about the reading.

It was a pleasurable, no pressure way to get our lit fix. WomenWalking.jpg

2 thoughts on “Book Group Problems Solved

  1. I really really REALLY have to recommend the short stories of the woman I think is the greatest living writer in the English language, Deborah Eisenberg. Her “short” stories are actually pretty long as far as short stories go—around 30 pages. But they’re packed with more than most 500 page novels. She uses compression and omission to startling effect, managing to be epic in small spaces. Some standout efforts are “Twilight of the Superheroes,” “Rosie Gets A Soul,” “Across The Lake,” “The Robbery,” “The Custodian,” “Like It or Not,” “Transactions in a Foreign Currency,” “Recalculating,” and “Some Other, Better Otto.” She’s a MacArthur Genius Grant recipient and teaches in the MFA program at Columbia. And I’ve had the privilege of meeting her (literally one of the happiest days of my life) and we correspond occasionally.


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