By: Janet Benton

Nothing like a good book to read, especially on a day like today when the calendar is empty and the wind is blowing the rain across the creek. Being a member of the Plantation community expands the ways to enjoy the reading experience; by sharing opinions among friends, by borrowing books from neighbors, by joining one of the many book clubs. There are six of these book clubs meeting throughout the year, many of them having been in existence for up to 20 years. However, there doesn’t seem to be a published list of these clubs, nor any hints on how to join the discussions. So I did some nosing around roughout the year, many of them having been in existence for up to twenty years. However, there doesn’t seem to be published list of these clubs, nor any and would like to share the results of my search in hopes that anyone who is interested will find a spot and join the action.

So Many Books, So Little Time
Mary Petersen – mjpteach@gmail.com
The format for this club is that members alternate between hosting and discussion-leading, and this limits membership to 24. Book choices are voted on each year after member nominations and always include one classic volume. In 2022, this classic was To The Light-house, by Virginia Wolfe, and among past classics were The Catcher in the Rye, Washington Square, Heart of Darkness, and Murder on the Orient Express.

Bookish Belles
Marietta Thompson mariettaquig@embarqmail.com
One of their members just moved after participating in this group for 20 years, so there is now one spot open, as membership is limited to 12, one leader for each month. The hostess for the month chooses the selection, having previously read the book, and there is always an animated discussion as there is never lack of opinions. As a recommendation, Last Bus to Wisdom, by Ivan Doig, is a charming, wise, and slyly funny gift to any reader.

Ladies of the Evening
Suzanne Ratkowski – ratkowski1@aol.com
In this club there are two new members who have joined recently, and there are several old-timers who have attended over 14 years. This is the definition of a “good mix.” As their name implies, The Ladies meet at night on the third Monday of the month. In October, the women vote on the book selections for the year. This method results in choices members wouldn’t have read otherwise and usually yields discussions with many various perspectives.

Safe Harbor
Phyllis Calvano – pcal321@protonmail.com
A newly formed group, this club shares books, pod-casts, and sometimes movies. Before each monthly meeting, the volunteer hostess picks the selection, and those who are interested attend the meeting, sometimes many but sometimes a small group. A recent gathering focused on One Second After, by John Matherson, which resulted in an interesting discussion highlighting the shared values of the group.

Sangria Sisters
Carroll Pereira – pereiraca12@gmail.com
This club is limited to 12 members because they meet each month; and at the beginning of the year, the books are selected by vote and each member hosts one discussion. The hostess not only leads the discussion at Dockside but provides the sangria (who knew there were so many recipes?) The Thursday Murder Club, by Richard Osman, was a current selection which proved to be a light read and fun conversation.

All Booked Up
Arlene Tesmer – arlene.tesmer@gmail.com
Our newest book club, begun in 2015, continues to invite everyone to join its ranks as there is no limit to the number attending each meeting. They meet each month from 1:30 to 3:30, and the assigned hostess chooses the date and leads the discussion with the questions provided by the author or publisher. These questions are distributed before the meeting, and there is no requirement to have read the selection to attend. Selections run from heavy reading to light fare. A recent choice was, Tisha: The Wonderful True Love Story of a Young Teacher in the Alaskan Wilderness, by Robert Specht.