Book Club Spotlight: Washington Island Book Club

Club: In the year 2000, Janet Wilson began an informal book group, inviting 12 women identified by the Washington Island librarian as avid users of the library. Janet, an author, did not want the group to be called a club. She stated strongly that she would not belong to a group that did not discuss the book; if discussion devolved into gossip, she would resign. So, of course, we are careful to avoid gossip…mostly.


Meetings: The group archivist maintains a list of books read for every year since the group began. Books for the next year are chosen at the December meeting, where each member proposes a book. The selection list is determined by vote. The rule is, a member may not suggest a book if she has not read it. If her book is chosen, she will lead the discussion of it. A hostess, other than the discussion leader, volunteers for each month, so the meeting location rotates among members’ homes. New members are invited when a member departs.


What We Read: The book list includes a mix of non-fiction, fiction and poetry. The Constitution for the United States was once a selection.


What’s Next: Death in a Strange Country by Donna Leon; A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman; The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg; The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh; Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf; Being Mortal by Atul Gawande; Blue Horses: Poems by Mary Oliver; The Drifter by Nicholas Petrie; The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd; An Island Makes a Difference, ed. by Marjorie Bass; and All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.


– Submitted by Valerie Fons

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