It could be said, one of the rites of passage of adulthood is joining a Book Club. Amazingly, I have now been part of the BBC book club going on 16 years. We were a group of parents whose kids went to the same elementary school and many of the kids were on the Dewing Park Swim Team. Our co-founders, Allison and Janet, started discussing it on the playground while waiting for the kids to get out of school, invited friends, and, thus, in September 2004, the BBC Book Club was formed. I have never been exactly clear on the acronym for our book club, but it came about by the first book that was read: Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik. So, it is the Bon Bons Book Club, but that is too many B’s for BBC – maybe it was condensed to “bonbons” as one word.
We are 20 members strong and usually have 12-14 people show up for our monthly discussion. A few have come and gone and we have added some new faces, but it remains always fresh and interesting. We alternate hosting, and the host gets to pick the book and provides the refreshments. You can imagine with that many women it is sometimes hard to get a word in edgewise and keep the discussion focused. We may talk about the book for a short time, or it might be a very involved discussion depending on the book. Sometimes it will get sidetracked and we catch up with each other’s personal lives or new books to read.
We now have known each other for so long that we have been there through many trials, tribulations, joys, and happiness. We’ve been together when our children going off to college and out on their own. There has been support in times of trouble and sorrow and just as many celebrations. We will occasionally do a movie book club of a book that we had read instead of meeting at a house and then going for dinner to discuss. We have had stays at a cabin, got together for a tutorial in painting by our in-house resident artist and craft guru Julie Zouzounis. And then there is our annual Christmas exchange meeting…my favorite of the year!
We usually gather at Erica’s house, because it is one of the most festive and earliest, fully decorated homes of the group. We do a themed gift exchange where everyone brings a gift worth $25-30 and puts it under the tree, wrapped of course. This year’s theme was consumable gifts, i.e. candles, honey, etc. (and then there were a few not-so-consumable things like angel teaspoons and a cutting board, but they do promote consumable items!). Once a gift is opened (we draw numbers to determine the order of opening a gift), you have the option of stealing an opened gift. It can be stolen twice before it’s frozen.
Some people really hate that concept of stealing because they don’t want to upset anyone, but I love it! There is banter and laughing and at the end of the day everyone leaves with a nice gift that was meant for them, even if it didn’t feel like it when a gift you really liked got swiped out from under your nose. 😉
We have also done a few charity programs. This year, we donated diapers to the Monument Crisis Center. In the past, we have put together cards for Kids Creek Care and some have adopted families for Christmas at the Trinity Center. I think books were the initial draw, but the glue of this group is the friendships and experiences we have shared! And that is why this BBC continues to endure as a group.
Do you belong to a Book Club or would you like to start one of your own? Would love to hear your comments or questions.
Here are the names of our voted favorite books each year – we each get three votes. Some years there is a tie, so I have added them too.
2005: Kite Runner
2006: Broken For You
2007: Glass Castle
2008: Plain Truth
2009: The Help
2010: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
2011: Cutting For Stone & The Hunger Games
2012: The City of Thieves
2013: The Fault in Our Stars
2014: The Night Circus
2015: The Orphan Train
2016: Boys in the Boat
2017: Small Great Things
2018: Nine Women, One Dress & Before We Were Yours & Beneath the Scarlett Sky
2019: Where the Crawdads Sing