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Friday, February 5, 2021

Book Club Report: Year Four

The delay in this annual post - published mid-January the past three years - is tied to recent disruptions in my life. Many routines have been tossed aside over these past several weeks, a shift that has taken this goal-oriented blogger some time to get his arms around.  

But thanks to a reminder from a faithful reader - greatly appreciated - 2020's book club report, though late, will not be a casualty of the whirlwind whipping through Bartonstan. I welcome hearing how any of you benefitted from your involvement in any book club you belong to. Meanwhile, in the fourth full year of the No Wine or Whiners book club .. 

Top prize for fiction: Although I make most of the selections - which means most of what we read are books that have moved me - I was surprised The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott was the most well received novel this past year. Second place: Ann Patchett's Commonwealth. 

Top prize for non-fiction: No competition. Though Barbara Demick's harrowing description of life in North Korea - Nothing To Envy - made for disturbing reading, everyone found it worthwhile and boldly realized. 

I was relieved of my moderating duties twice in 2020 - for The End of the Affair (Graham Greene) and Women Talking (Miriam Toews) - a nice change of pace for me and others. Courtesy of Covid-19, of our twelve meetings we met virtually except January through March and August and September when the weather cooperated and we got to sit on the library lawn, six feet apart. I'm hopeful we will be able to do the same in the spring and summer this year. Who knows? By fall, maybe book club life will be back to normal.


  1. Hey! I just rediscovered your blog and wanted to say hello. I like the idea of "prizes" for your book club -- my friends and I recently started our own virtual book club for some quarantine stimulation and I think I'll bring that idea to them next time. Also my new-ish blog is linked here if you're interested. I need to get on your level in terms of writing frequency!

    1. Hey Briana; To say I'm pleased you've re-discovered my blog would be such an understatement. And, as soon as I sign off on this reply I'm going to check out your "newish" blog. I was impressed by your first attempt so I'm excited to return to Brianastan. As far as "getting on my level" in terms of frequency, always remember - be the best you can be and avoid wasting time comparing what you do to what others do. Please give my best to your Dad when you next speak to him. And, someday I really hope I can introduce you to my daughter who very close to your age; I believe you two would get along famously. You're both smart and independent.