Book groups.

Author:Thomas, Sandra Mouton
Position:NIA Book Club

How would we describe our book group?

Three women who share a passion for reading founded the NIA Book Club in 1991. We are currently 13 women strong and have enjoyed these same members since 2000. The book club name NIA is based on the fifth principle of Kwanzaa; it means purpose in Swahili. Our purpose is to unite women who have discriminating taste in literature.

Our 20th year anniversary, celebrated at a local bed and breakfast, was greatly influenced by our book club selection, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. We were intrigued by such a captivating story built on the strong bonds of female friendship and enjoyed it so much so that we adopted the title, "Sworn Sisters."

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How is our book group structured?

We begin each year by developing a recommended reading list. Of course, this list is fluid as we often change our minds throughout the year, and our reading selections vary with the tastes and interests of our members. The member who recommends a book is the designated discussion leader and comes prepared to discuss the author and the author's previous work. We hold our meetings monthly on a rotating basis in different members' homes.

What have been some of your best discussions?

A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini evoked very energetic and opinionated discussions. Another wonderful discussion centered on The Help by Kathryn Stockett, especially after the hostess served chocolate pie for dessert! We have read some novels, including The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, more than once, each time from a different perspective.

What has been your book group's favorite fiction?

During our 20th anniversary, we produced a lovely book chronicling ourselves, our favorite books, and our many adventures. Each member chose a favorite book. The list included Verbena by Nanci Kincaid, The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, Though...

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