Chicagoland book club: the second Friday group

A few things to know about our book club: Our book club originated 10 years ago with 7 members discussing our first book “The House of Mirth” by Edith Wharton. That proved to be a daunting first choice and led us to lighten up and diversify our book selections. We’ve become group of 15 faithful readers and friends with diverse backgrounds, careers and interests, which make for some pretty lively and interesting discussions. We meet the 2nd Friday (hence the name) of the month, September through June, and have compiled a list of almost 90 books we’ve discussed since our first meeting. Together, our club has volunteered at charity events and soup kitchens, supported each other through illnesses and personal losses, and shared a lot of laughs.

Author we’d most like to meet: David Sedaris as we love his sense of humor and writing style.

Worst excuse for not reading an assigned book: Generally, everyone reads the book, but there have been occasions when someone doesn’t finish or just doesn’t like the book. It’s still ok to come to the meeting. We have a few members who’ve been known to take a day off and “tuck themselves in” just to complete the book, or who’ve been the last one off a plane at O’Hare trying to get the last few pages finished.

Average time we spend talking about the book: We generally spend a good hour or so discussing the book. The host of the meeting researches the author as an opening to the discussion, and has questions about the book ready to get the conversation flowing. Sometimes food and drinks are coordinated around the book subject, such as empanadas and sangria for “American Chica: Two Worlds, One Childhood” by Marie Arana or chocolate pie for “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett. We occasionally choose an author or book pertaining to an upcoming holiday or season such as “The Snapper” by Roddy Doyle for St. Patrick’s Day and “Holidays on Ice: Stories” by Sedaris for December. Five books we loved: “The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel” by Barbara Kingsolver, “The Red Tent: A Novel” by Anita Diamant, “The Education of Little Tree” by Forrest Carter, “Interpreter of Maladies: Stories” by Jhumpa Lahiri and more recently, “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett

What we’re currently reading: We just finished “In the Woods” by Tana French and reading “Olive Kitteridge” by Elizabeth Strout next.

Tell us about your book club at

Find these books and other titles at the Chicago Tribune Amazon store.

Copyright © 2018, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World