GFWC Book Clubs
November 17, 2017
November is a month filled with literary celebrations! On top of being National Novel Writing Month, it also has National Young Reader’s Week (November 10th-14th), National Author’s Day (November 1st), and Book Lovers Day (November 5th). It’s a great month for book lovers, and GFWC has a lot of those! Book clubs are a popular activity for GFWC clubs, and this month is the perfect time to celebrate books and the people who read them.
The Elmhurst Junior Woman’s Club (Illinois) has had a book club for two years now, and it’s been a popular social offering for the club. It has eighteen participants and they meet every six weeks. The group agrees upon a book, sometimes fiction, non-fiction, a classic, etc. and has a moderator to lead discussion. Afterwards, they have a “What I’m Reading” chat to have further bookish conversation. The club finds that it’s a good option to engage members’ interests.
The Upper Allen Woman’s Club (Pennsylvania) was inspired to form a book club in 2000. They had a regular program meeting called “The Girl with a Pearl Earring”, where they met to discuss a book they had read. Since the program was so successful, the following year the club created an afternoon book club. It became large enough that it had to be split into two groups, with one that has eleven members, and one that has ten. They also created an evening book club, which currently has five members, for women who work or can’t make daytime meetings.
The book clubs sometime decide upon books based on member recommendation, other times by the New York Times best sellers list. They choose books across different genres so that members can broaden their reading choices and read something they might not otherwise pick for themselves. The clubwomen take turns hosting book club and providing refreshments, occasionally even coordinating the menu with the book!
The book clubs meet year-round, and plan books at least three months ahead so everyone has a chance to locate it. They also find questions from the author or online to facilitate book discussion. The Afternoon Book Club is currently reading Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate; the Book Buddies, the second afternoon book club, is reading Flight Patterns by Karen White; and the Evening Book Club is reading The Lost Bastards by L. Todd Wood. In seventeen years, the book club members have read over 300 books!
If your GFWC club doesn’t already have a book club, consider organizing one! It creates an intellectually stimulating community where you can find new reading material. Reading is often a solitary experience, but with a book club, you can share your thoughts with your fellow clubwomen, as well as listen to theirs, and get new perspectives on what you’ve read. Book clubs can be a rewarding experience, and can foster an open and enjoyable environment for your club members, both new and old.
Mary Lou Parks
For accomplished author and GFWC clubwoman Mary Lou Parks, writing her club history, HerStory, was a journey that formed lasting friendships and a new perspective on women’s history.
Success For Survivors Scholarship
Each year, GFWC awards scholarships to help intimate partner abuse survivors obtain a post-secondary education that offers a chance to reshape their future by securing employment and gaining personal independence.
Junior Woman's Club of State College
When Robbin Zirkle moved back to the area after grad school, she addressed the challenge many people face as adults—making new friends— by joining the Junior Woman’s Club of State College (Pennsylvania). GFWC provided her a place to connect with like-minded women who shared her passion for community service.