Deb Kim on Book Clubs

In the Fall of 1999 I joined my first and only book club in a Stepford’y neighborhood in suburban Akron/Cleveland. It was a terrific way to meet new friends, and as an avid reader, I thought it would be literarily (I made that word up, I’m a writer, I can do that) enriching.   I attended the monthly meetings and dutifully read the books, some I loved, others not so much. My favorite part of that the club was that it forced me out of my reading rut, introducing me to new authors.   That’s always a good thing. And I met some wonderful neighbors.

However… I soon learned that for some attendees the club was more about the wine. And worse, like any gathering, sometimes after the wine came the whining. And Kimmy is not good in a room full of whining. My tolerance for the vagaries of suburban life was low even  before autism smacked us upside the head.   I don’t care if your dishwasher isn’t stainless steel or your carpet is a dated mauve and your husband won’t let you buy new carpet. At all……  (See, I’m No Mother Teresa.)

The main reason I left the book club was that I became pregnant with baby number three. And without the wine, I really couldn’t take the whine!

Tell me about your book club. What’ the W:W ratio?  If you’d like to extend the invitaton, I’d LOVE to chat with your group via SKYPE about my book. It’s fun to bring an author into your home – costs nothing – and I’ll even BYOW.  🙂 Email me at

13 Replies to “Deb Kim on Book Clubs”

  1. My book club is fairly new. We don’t whine and don’t drink much wine either. We do have one member who doesn’t always read the book and will skip it at the drop of a hat. I look for her to drop out soon.

    1. I’ve Skyped quite a bit – for autism meetings and TV appearances. It’s pretty cool when you SKkype with CNN and hear the professional talk in the background. It is VERY HARD not to look like you are staring at yourself on your screen, instead looking up at the camera on your computer!

  2. My book club (woefully neglected since my own book was published) is one of the only ones on earth that is heavily about the book. Sometimes I wish it were less about the book and more about the whine! But that is probably because none of us know each other – neighborhood book clubs are probably much more likely to devolve into whining.

    Like Elise said on Monday, I think we’re kind of a book club to ourselves!

  3. See, my book club meets at my local library. It was one of my duties when I worked there – to moderate and facilitate the book clubs. Loved it. Have stayed in the clubs even after I no longer work there and because it’s at the library – we have no wine. I’ll admit that I was a fairly strict moderator. Not much whine and we kept on topic – mostly.

  4. I went to a book club a few times that met in a big chain bookstore. It was fun to be able to get a coffee drink and settle down to talk about books. The problem was – we hardly ever did that! I lost count of how many people showed up and didn’t even bother reading the book. It’s one thing to start it and not like it, but to not even try? Ugh. It doesn’t have to be book-talk the whole time (although I wouldn’t mind!) but at least for most of it. Needless to say, I stopped going after awhile.

  5. My book club does love the wine, but not so much the whine. We’ve been together for 10+ years, so we do tend to talk about weighty personal topics in addition to the books, but even when talking about tough things like a member’s divorce or another member’s husband going through rehab, there’s seldom much whining. Just good moral support.

    And wine. Lots and lots of wine.


  6. Haha! Kim, may I tell you about how we need a new dining room rug and my husband won’t let me buy one? Will you sympathize with me, pretty please? 🙂 xoxo

    1. Well just get ten friends in a room, hold up ten pink books and a pink Cosmo and we’ll be off and running! I’m ready to go!

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