I am currently in the middle of reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and LOVING it! I was so inspired by how the characters set up their book club that I wanted to try it out in real life and see how it translates.
Here's how the characters in the book do their book club:
1. Each person would choose a book to read--any book. Those who didn't want to read, were forced into it (to keep up a front against the invading Nazis).
Translation into real life: Everyone in our Guernsey-style Summer Book Club also gets to pick their own book, but according to a general theme. We're just meeting for the summer, so each month, we'll have a different theme. In June, everyone will read a book they've been meaning to read, but haven't gotten around to. In July, everyone will choose one classic fiction novel, and in August, everyone will read one non-fiction book of their choice. (Some in our club may also feel they were forced into it, but don't believe them.)
2. When the Guernsey Book Club met, they'd each talk about their book, or quote parts from it, and try to convince the others to read their book.
Translation into real life: Each month, we'll get together with our book, at a park, with the kids, and do the same. We'll have five minutes each to share about our book, then we'll eat our brown bag lunches and enjoy each other's company while the kids play.
3. The Guernsey book club met out of necessity, and were all on the same small island during WWII. They were from all walks of life, and all had differing opinions about books.
Translation into real life: If you are setting up your book club, what types of people would be in it? Your close friends? Friends that you don't see enough? Family? Neighbors? A group you already belong to for another reason? Our Guernsey-style group is a homeschool co-op I already belong to and the kids already know each other. It'll be fun to keep connecting through the summer months.
4. In the Guernsey book, lives were changed dramatically by the books they read.
Translation into real life: While our lives might not be deeply changed because we aren't in such dramatic and terrible circumstances, we will definitely connect more during the summer and stretch ourselves in new ways by reading material we might not otherwise read. The freedom to choose our own books will also be fun and hopefully entice those who are unsure they want to do it. That, and arm-twisting.
Optional: A friend of mine suggested having the kids do the same type of thing while we meet. They would read a book of the same genre and meet together to talk then play. I think it's a GREAT idea!
Your Challenge: DO IT! Set up your own book club this summer and get reading and connecting!