Readers & Eaters

Manitoba Book Clubs

We started off with one person putting up a poster at the local grocery store asking people to come to a meeting if they were a person interested in starting a book club. Seven people showed up for that first meeting in March 2004 where we discussed how we thought our new book club should run.

The rules/guidelines we came up with were:

  • Everyone picks a book of their own choice - no one is allowed to say they can't pick a certain book
  • We put all the choices into a hat a draw to see who's book will be read
  • The person whose book is chosen hosts the next book club and we discuss their book at that time
  • Once your book has been picked you don't get to put another one in the hat until everyone from the group has had a turn
  • Meetings will be held on the third Thursday of the month all year - no summers off!
  • Everyone is to bring at least one question they have on the book to help keep the discussion going
  • As for the food - we all bring something to share

Our first official book club meeting was April 15th, 2004 and the book we discussed was Revolution From Within by Gloria Steinem. A few of us wondered at that time what we had gotten ourselves into but it turned out it was well worth the challenge.

Our group has changed a little over the years and we now have a group of eleven with five of the original seven still here. We range in age of our youngest having just turned thirty to our oldest, who is not willing to share her age being into retirement. Our group is currently as it has been since its inception, all women, but if ever there was a male that was interested we would welcome him.

We have become an amazing group of friends over the years and as such at times have a little trouble staying on topic. As this friendship has grown we have added another rule of "What happens at book club stays at book club!" - kind of like Vegas. It gives us a space where we can feel free to express opinions or feelings that often get left bottled up. Book club is our little bit of therapy.

We came up with our name a couple of years into our adventure because online book guide sites kept asking for a name. We discussed a few options but as soon as one member said Reader's & Eaters we knew that was us. Our love of books is followed closely by our love of wonderful food. Just like with our books we don't discriminate with our culinary choices. Potluck items range from store bought to homemade, very healthy to very unhealthy - anything goes and calories don't count on book club night.

We have found that sometimes the books we love the most don't always get the most discussion but when a book brings out some conflict the discussion really gets interesting. Our biggest discussion was on Why the Sky is Blue by Susan Meissner but the one that gets brought up at almost every book club is Mercy by Alissa York and not because we loved it.

We all live in or around Erickson, Manitoba - just 15 minutes south of Riding Mountain National Park. It is a small town of around 450 people surrounded by farm land but in the summer months the population in the surrounding area swells to about 50 000. We live in a beautiful area and despite all the other opportunities that surround us, we all still manage to do a little reading every month. We hope to keep Readers & Eaters going forever!

Here is our list of books:

  • Revolution From Within by Gloria Steinem (April 2004)
  • The Green Labyrinth by Sylvia Fraser (May 2004)
  • Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult (June 2004)
  • The Elegant Gathering of White Snows by Kris Radish (July 2004)
  • The Red Tent by Anita Diamant (August 2004)
  • Happiness is a Choice by Barry Neil Kaufman (September 2004)
  • The Pagan Christ by Tom Harpur (October 2004)
  • The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (November 2004)
  • The Gazebo by Emily Grayson (December 2004)
  • Rosie by Tina Isaak (January 2005)
  • Griffin and Sabine by Nick Bantock (February 2005)
  • Wifey by Judy Blume (March 2005)
  • How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn (April 2005)
  • My Sweet Audrina by V.C. Andrews (May 2005)
  • Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon (June 2005)
  • Angels & Demons by Dan Brown (July 2005)
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (August 2005)
  • Mercy by Alissa York (September 2005)
  • The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd (October 2005)
  • The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler (November 2005)
  • Zobmondo!! The Outrageous Book of Bizarre Choices by Randy Horn (December 2005)
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (January 2006)
  • Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg (February 2006)
  • Honeymoon in Purdah: An Iranian Journey by Alison Wearing (March 2006)
  • The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (April 2006)
  • A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews (May 2006)
  • Blessed Are the Cheesemakers by Sarah-Kate Lynch (June 2006)
  • Anybody Out There? by Marian Keys (July 2006)
  • Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik (August 2006)
  • The Craggy Hole in My Heart and the Cat Who Fixed It: Over the Edge and Back With My Dad, My Cat and Me by Geneen Roth (September 2006)
  • Why the Sky Is Blue by Susan Meissner (October 2006)
  • The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler (November 2006)
  • Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear (December 2006)
  • Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes (January 2007)
  • Dude, Where's My Country by Michael Moore (February 2007)
  • Continuity Girl by Leah McLaren (March 2007)
  • The Pursuit of Happyness by Chris Gardner (April 2007)
  • Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures by Vincent Lam (May 2007)
  • discussion on what you find comedic (June 2007) (we will never not pick a book again!!!!)
  • I Never Promised You A Rose Garden by Joanne Greenberg (July 2007)
  • The Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett (August 2007)
  • Diana The Last Word by Simone Simmons (September 2007)
  • Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See (October 2007)
  • Charms for the Easy Life by Kaye Gibbons (November 2007)
  • Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier (December 2007)
  • Marley & Me by John Grogan (January 2008)
  • In Search of April Raintree by Beatrice Culleton Mosionier (February 2008)
  • Whatever Makes You Happy by Lisa Grunwald (March 2008)
  • Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (April 2008)
  • Eleanor Rigby by Douglas Coupland (May 2008)
  • Dancing Naked at the Edge of Dawn by Kris Radish (June 2008)
  • My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult (July 2008)
  • Postcards by Annie Proulx (August 2008)
  • Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire (September 2008)
  • The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coelho (October 2008)
  • The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (November 2008)
  • The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (December 2008)
  • The Diviners by Margaret Laurence (January 2009)
  • She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb (February 2009)
  • The Matchmaker of Perigord by Julia Stuart (March 2009)
  • Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding (April 2009)
  • Blackfly Season by Giles Blunt May 2009
  • Key Lime Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke June 2009
  • Running with the Demon by Terry Brooks July 2009
  • To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee August 2009
  • Hearts in Atlantis by Stephen King September 2009
  • The Memory Keepers Daughter by Kim Edwards October 2009
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie
  • Barrows November 2009
  • When You Are Engulfed In Flames by David Sedaris December 2009
  • Wild Blue by Dan Bortolotti (January 2010)
  • The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill (February 2010)
  • Slumdog Millionaire by Vikas Swarup (March 2010)
  • Loves Melody Lost by Radclyffe (April 2010)
  • The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman (May 2010)
  • The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson (June 2010)
  • No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy (July 2010)
  • Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden (August 2010)
  • Throw Out Fifty Things by Gail Blanke (September 2010)
  • Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay (October 2010)
  • Rockbound by Frank Parker Day (November 2010)
  • The Dead of Midnight by Catherine Hunter (December 2010)
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck January 2011
  • An Audience of Chairs by Joan Clark February 2011
  • The World's Greatest Treasure Hunt : Quest for the Golden Eagle by Ron Shore March 2011
  • Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin April 2011
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith May 2011
  • Nikolski by Nicolas Dickner June 2011
  • Still Alice by Lisa Genova July 2011
  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas August 2011
  • The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory September 2011
  • Never Shoot A Stampede Queen by Mark Leiren-Young October 2011
  • The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery November 2011
  • Kicker's Journey by Lois Cloarec Hart December 2011
  • Between Men by Katherine Grovier January 2012
  • The Ice Lovers by Jean McNeil February 2012
  • Extreme Vinyl Café by Stuart McLean March 2012
  • The Sacrament by Peter Gzowski April 2012
  • The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen May 2012
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak June 2012
  • The Hare With Amber Eyes by Edmund DeWaal July 2012
  • Falling Backwards: A Memoir by Jann Arden August 2012
  • Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda September 2012
  • The Next Thing on My List by Jill Smolinski October 2012
  • The Prairie Bridesmaid by Daria Salamon November 2012
  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen December 2012
  • The Time of my Life by Cecelia Ahern January 2013
  • Paper Towns by John Green February 2013
  • Fall On Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald March 2013
  • Outlander by Diana Gabaldon April 2013
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen May 2013
  • The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz June 2013
  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho July 2013
  • The Distant Hours by Kate Morton August 2013

We had our first male member join the group in June 2009. He has been a welcome addition to our book club and adds a new point of view to the discussions. He claims that there is no book we can pick to ever scare him off, which is great as we don't ever want him to leave.

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