Five decades of fiction

Our story

Our book club started meeting 48 years ago and we've been discussing books ever since. The original members were young, married women who'd just had their first children and wanted to stay intellectually active. Over the course of almost five decades, we've come to know each other very well and shared in each other's lives. Currently, members live in Chicago, Skokie, Northfield and Wilmette.

We have no outside leader, but rather take turns directing our discussions. Each month, one woman chooses the book for the next meeting and then leads the discussion. Another member serves as the hostess.

While our main purpose is coming together to read and talk about important works of literature, we always manage to catch up on each other's lives over cake and coffee after we finish discussing the book.

What we read

We only read fiction, but we vary the form by reading novels, short stories and an occasional play. We prefer to read classics, prize-winning books or novels by Israeli or Southern authors.

We would love to meet Isabel Allende, author of "The House of the Spirits," andF. Scott Fitzgerald.

Some books we really enjoyed: "The Elegance of the Hedgehog" by Muriel Barbery, "The Shipping News" by Annie Proulx and "Sarah's Key" by Tatiana de Rosnay.

Loved

"The Feast of Love" by Charles Baxter. The book is both sad and funny. We really enjoyed how Baxter presents unique viewpoints of the book's many narrators.

"The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" by Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows. Written in the form of a collection of letters, this work gave us insight into the state of England during World War II.

Hated

"Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" by Tom Stoppard. We found this play both difficult to understand and hard to relate to Shakespeare's "Hamlet."

Next up

"Nemesis" by Philip Roth. We think he is very imaginative and believe he ought to be a strong candidate for the Nobel Prize.

We want to talk to your favorite reader! Nominate a book club, writing group, librarian, teacher or great reader to be profiled in an upcoming edition of Printers Row Journal. To learn more, visit chicagotribune.com/printersrow.

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