Chicago's Feltre School offers discussion of the great works, in a no-commitment setting.
One thing to know about our book club: The discussions are intelligent without being fussy, and fun without being frivolous. Author we'd most like to meet: Yann Martel, Jeffrey Eugenides or Plato.
Worst excuse anyone's given for not reading an assigned book: There is no need for an excuse. Sometimes people come without having read the book, just to listen. And because there's no commitment to come every month, you can skip a meeting.
Average time we spend talking about a book before conversation swerves off into other issues: Any ancillary conversations happen in the social time before the discussion (6:30-7 p.m.). Once the discussion begins, things stay focused on the book. There is a moderator from Feltre to keep things on track and supply background. What book is next: "The Grapes of Wrath," by John Steinbeck, at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 11.
Five books we loved: "Life of Pi," by Yann Martel; "An American Childhood," by Annie Dillard; "Siddhartha," by Hermann Hess; "Their Eyes Were Watching God," by Zora Neale Hurston; "A Streetcar Named Desire," by Tennessee Williams.