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February 5, 2010

Variety is the Spice of Life

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My book club met last night at the Whole Foods Market on Ponce de Leon Avenue in Atlanta. We're a new group, (only three months old) and open to the public. We met to discuss THE BRIEF WONDROUS LIFE OF OSCAR WAO by Junot Diaz and we had an interesting discussion about a fascinating book.

I think what made the conversation so interesting is that we all came to the book from such different places. So far we're a small group - but our ages vary as do our places in life (married, single, kids, no kids, etc.). We're from different parts of the country, in different lines of work and have different religious and political views. Of course we also have different experiences reading and some knew more or less about the history and current political situation in the Dominican Republic (which is where a good bit of the book takes place). In fact, the only thing our group has in common is our love of reading and a desire to talk about books. (And okay yes, a love of cheese and crackers too).

Every book group I've been a part of has been open to the public, so I have had the lovely experience of sitting in a room once a month, with women from all walks of life (and even the occasional guy) and seeing the world and the books from so many different perspectives. This is something I treasure and wanted to share with you. I guess what I'm saying is if you're looking for a book group and had rejected the idea of joining a group where you don't know anyone, think again. It's a wonderful experience that will really open your eyes and your heart.

Are you a member of library or bookstore group? Or is your book club full of the wonderful women from your college or neighborhood that you've known for years? Have experiences you want to share? We'd love to hear how your book club experience enriches your life and your reading! Feel free to comment here or email me at dana@bookreporter.com!

And by the way, if you've thought about reading THE BRIEF WONDROUS LIFE OF OSCAR WAO or started it and struggled with it a bit - hang in there. It was slow going at first - but very much worth it by the end.

--Dana Barrett, Contributing Editor