Hello Sarah and Friends!
I’m always fascinated when a sliver of cardstock makes its way around the world relatively intact. Your metropolitan postcard traveled over 10,000 miles or 16,000 kilometers from your home in Melbourne, Australia, to mine, the suburbs of Richmond, Virginia, USA! Thank you for sending it, Sarah, and for sharing your book club process and the friendship within the group. As you said on the postcard, it’s another way of bringing book lovers together.
The W-class Melbourne tram has an everlasting history, and visibly, is quite sleek. I’m happy to have the postcard as part of my collection, complete with the stamp from Australia’s Beautiful Cities series. Cheers!
Sarah’s Instagram account is @thepatientreader. Her posts are about books and living with cancer. The bookclub is also featured at times.
About the AMAZING BOOK CLUBBERS
How did you choose the name your book club?
We don’t really have a name although recently we set up a WhatsApp chat group and Anna called us “Amazing Book Clubbers.” We all had a bit of a giggle about that but we never changed it!
Number and names of members:
There are seven of us. Two of the originals left and have been replaced by me (Sarah) and Chris, but the group has been the same for more than ten years now.
Simone, Maria, Chris, Naomi, Virginia, Anna, Sarah
How did you meet?
Simone, Naomi, Virginia and Anna met at university studying marketing. Maria and Simone are sisters. Sarah was living overseas when the group started and Simone asked her to join when she returned in 2004. Naomi invited Chris to join soon after.
Let’s just say we are in our forties and fifties!
Date of first meeting:
Meeting schedule, place, food/beverages:
We meet roughly every six weeks and we take it in turns to host at our homes. Whoever hosts, cooks dinner for everyone. Over the years, the meals have been a highlight and there is lots of recipe sharing afterwards. It’s also perfectly ok to order takeaway for those who are not a fan of cooking or if life gets in the way!
Book selection method:
On the night we meet, whoever is hosting next time chooses the next book. We call it “The Reveal.” There is much anticipation.
Our book discussion is relatively informal and often starts when someone says, “We’d better discuss the book!” We don’t make notes or answer questions. The conversation just takes its course, so sometimes there is lots of discussion and sometimes not much at all. Anna keeps a running list of all the books we have read.
Most popular book:
Best book discussion:
Anna is hosting us next and the book is a memoir by Australian singer Clare Bowditch. It’s about her struggles with anxiety, called Your Own Kind of Girl.
Do you do things together outside of your book club meetings?
We have had quite a few social outings over the years, including a weekend away together at the beach and hosting an author at one of our dinners.
An annual highlight is our Christmas dinner when we go out to a restaurant and exchange second hand book gifts to read over the summer holidays. The books are chosen by Simone who does a great job of tailoring the book to the recipient.
What does the bookclub mean to you all?
It’s a lovely opportunity to get together with a group of warm, kind and intelligent women who all enjoy reading. Just as important as the book discussion is the life discussion. Over the years we have been meeting, the group has dealt with some difficult times and celebrated joyous moments, too. We’ve supported each other through illness, new businesses, the birth of children, returning to study, career changes, the loss of friendship, and more! Once, the kids used to come and say goodnight in their pyjamas; now they are often helping serve up dinner. We are all very aware what a special thing the group is and so we look forward to our get togethers.