We started calling it The Tazas Book Club simply because we meet at a local coffee shop with that name.
We average four to six members, inducting new ones only when our group gets too small to make the discussion interesting. We choose a new book by acclamation, and then give ourselves 4-6 weeks to read it.
We started off without much guidance; other than we were all writers and wanted to discuss the craft of writing through the works of published authors.
If we’ve learned anything – it is that we are no different than any other book clubber, writer or not. We each respond viscerally to the assigned book. We don’t always agree on our tastes, and we don’t all glean the same knowledge from the book. We are living examples of Louise Rosenblatt’s Reader-Response Theory: each getting a different meaning from what we read because we each bring different experiences and beliefs to the text.
In the past, I’ve barely escaped being lynched for daring to like The Friday Night Knitting Club (and its jumbled use of words and sentences), or for not liking Bel Canto (because it romanticizes the Stockholm Syndrome). I couldn’t finish The Eyre Affair orThe Heroines because they were too incredible for my taste, and I was nearly expelled from the group. (If it wasn’t that we basically like each other and we were down in membership at the time, I would have been a goner for sure.)
For this reason, I offer you The Tazas Book Club List for 2011 (in alpha order by title) without assigning them a rating.
· Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
· The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
· The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
· The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
· The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
· The Help by Kathryn Stockett
· The Heroines by Eileen Favorite
· The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield
· Room by Emma Donoghue