My Girls – The Succulent Bookworms…

One of my Internet friends was having a bad day yesterday…since she lives on the opposite coast, all I could do was reach out to her with a supportive e-mail…it made me realize how important “touchable” friends are…

My “touchable” friends are the girls in the book club I’ve belonged to for the last seven(?) years.  “The Succulent Bookworms” was formed by some customers who met in the tea bar at The Feel Good Store in Saint John (Anne, owner of the Feel Good Store, was instrumental in organizing the group, and the first meetings were held in the tea bar).  Our members are all female – aged from early 30’s to late 40’s.  Coming from various backgrounds, all are strong, capable, educated women who love to read GOOD books (I’m not talking about Danielle Steel here!).  Membership in the club is at the disgression of the existing members…if we like you, you’re in…if we don’t, we’ll “wish you well.”  Funny thing – everyone we’ve “wished well” in the past has had circumstances arise which have prevented her from attending another meeting (one particularly obnoxious woman’s husband was transferred to Halifax, another decided that California would be a great place to live!).  One of our member’s husbands has wondered aloud if we could be witches…

The Feel Good Store window...

We meet every 6-8 weeks, usually at somebody’s house.  We eat our faces off (potluck – often themed from whatever we’re reading), drink a lot of red wine, and occasionally, we talk about the book!  One of the girls suggested we have T-shirts made which say: “The Succulent Bookworms: The Drinking Club With A Reading Problem.”  Discussions are, for the most part, spirited but civil.  A lot of times, members agree about whether they liked the book or not, but not always.  We usually talk about a lot of other things too.  Most of the girls share similar values – liberal politics and a respect for nature and the environment.  No one is particularly religious, and four-letter words are commonly heard at our gatherings – sometimes they are necessary to make one’s point!  It was no surprise when we discovered that our menstrual cycles had synchronized… 

Red, Red Wine...

One of the best things about our book club for me is that I get exposure to modern fiction, which as an antiquarian bookstore owner, I know almost nothing about.  It is because of book club that I discovered some of my favourite books ever: Rohinton Mistry: A Fine Balance; Audrey Niffenegger: The Time Traveller’s Wife; and Lawrence Hill: The Book of Negroes.

When we read “Alice in Wonderland”, members came in costume to a “Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.”  In a bar later that night, someone tried unsuccessfully to buy one of the girls’ costumes, a life-size playing card she had made!  We went to a sushi restaurant the night we discussed “Memoirs of a Geisha” – not being a big fan of sushi, I opted for the delicious tempura!

Memoirs of a Geisha...

A few years ago, a member complained that it seemed that everything we were reading at the time involved dismemberment of some kind.  She was right, but that didn’t really influence our book choices.  Shortly after that, a local publication had a contest to come up with the best opening line for a novel…our Succulent Bookworms group entry won Honourable Mention: “Oddly, the subject of dismemberment never came up.” 

We support each other outside the book club as well: birthdays, marriages, births, illnesses, breakups, and death are all instances where we’ve stood by our fellow Bookworms.

Our next meeting is tomorrow night – I’m really looking forward to it!  I haven’t been to one for quite a while, and I’m missing my girls!  Sometimes we need that sisterhood…

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “My Girls – The Succulent Bookworms…

  1. Jess Witkins

    Your book club sounds amazing! I love the t-shirt idea. Memoirs of a Geisha is one of my favorite books, I really enjoyed that one. Would I be allowed in your awesome bookclub? It’s ok if you “wish me well,” I’ll understand. *buries body under pile of books, tries to blend in* 🙂

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