Book Club Spotlight

Club: Bittersweet Bookies, founded in February 2000. Bittersweet Bookies was born of frustration. A former 25-year member of a book group in Janesville, one of the first things I did when I moved to my new home in Fish Creek was to seek out a local book group, without success! But Holly Somerhalder came to the rescue. On one of my frequent library visits, the very knowledgeable librarian suggested, “Start your own group. And meet here.” And I did!

Meetings: Our group consists of 18 women from Gills Rock to Sturgeon Bay. Some of us are year-round residents, some come for the summer. We come from cities and small towns; some of us were born and raised in Wisconsin, others claim another state as home. But when we come together, books are our common denominator. We meet in December for a holiday gathering and make our choices for the next year. Each member brings two titles to the table, providing a brief description of her book. We vote on our final 11 titles based on availability through our library system. Some of us choose to purchase a book, but it is not mandatory.

What We’ve Read: Our group has read more than 150 books to date. Over the years we have read books in nearly every genre: New York Times bestsellers (Clara and Mr. Tiffany), autobiographies (Prague Winter), histories (The Astronauts Wives Clubs), scientific stories (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks), and nearly true stories (Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker).

Review: A good book will elicit a response and most of our choices most certainly do. Our group recently read The Sense of an Ending and our ensuing discussion was stimulating and intense. It was a testimony to Julian Barnes’ success as the author; he provided us with themes that made us react.

What’s Next: The Paris Architect; a biography or autobiography by or about a woman; Me Before You; The Man in the Rockefeller Suit; The Sense of an Ending; The Invention of Wings; Thordarson and Rock Island (includes a field trip to the island); The Orphan Master’s Son; All the Light We Cannot See; Redeployment; and Seven (a play).