Posted by: judyweightman | November 13, 2012

Book ’em Danno — let’s start a book club

I had a dream the other night that I should start a book club, and when I woke up the next morning it still seemed like a good idea. Any Philly folks interested?

Here’s what I have in mind:

photo by Ed Yourdon (Creative Commons/Flickr)

Meeting once a month in Center City in a coffee place or bar, either a weekday evening or a weekend day, whichever works better for people. Time frame: It’s going to take us a while to get organized for start-up, and then the holiday season really kicks in, so we’d pick a book to start on and have the first meeting in early January.

Reading a mix of literary fiction and general nonfiction — either recent or classic. (Me, I love a good Victorian novel.) It would be nice if it were stuff we could either get from the library or find used, so this doesn’t require a huge investment. Each month a different person chooses a book and kicks off the conversation. You can either pick something you’d like to read, in which case you’re not responsible if it sucks, or something you already have, in which case you would be.

Here are a few nonfiction books in my own to-be-read queue:

  • The Reluctant Mr. Darwin: An Intimate Portrait of Charles Darwin and the Making of His Theory of Evolution by David Quammen
  • The Language Wars: A History of Proper English by Henry Hitchings
  • A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness by Nassir Ghaemi

And some novels:

  • Arthur Rex by Thomas Berger (a retelling of the Arthurian legend)
  • Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald (haven’t read it since high school)
  • The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton (my favorite book of a favorite author, I’d definitely be up for a reread)
  • Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon (Victorian novel that I read 15 years ago and enjoyed the hell out of)

These are the kinds of things I have in mind — do any of those sound interesting to you?

If you’d like to get involved, leave a comment with a couple or three books that you think it would be fun to read with a group, and also shoot me an email (jmweightman at gmail dot com).

C’mon, it’ll be fun!

Update 1/4/13: We’re going to start with Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall.



  1. Me, me! My preference is to meet on a Sunday (any time will do). My to-read pile is towering, but in general, I like contemporary literary fiction, classics, think-y non-fiction. If I had to pick a book for us to read on the spot, I think I’d go with Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel.

    January…let’s do it!

    • Sunday morning is bad for me — a standing coffee date with a pal — but I could do Sunday afternoon. And I’ve heard “Wolf Hall” is excellent!

      Yay! Who else?

  2. Hi, I’m a friend of Jackie’s and I am interested!

    • Terrific! Welcome!

      Do Sunday afternoons work for you, or would another time be better?

      And what book or books do you want to see us read?

  3. […] club is forming and I am THEE inaugural member! If you are in the Philadelphia area, check out Judy’s blog for details. I enjoy discussing books online, but there is something about purposefully getting […]

  4. Please note, everyone — we’re not completely decided on a Sunday meeting day. If you’re interested but would prefer a weeknight, let us know!

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