When I moved back to the Philadelphia area, I was lucky enough to be invited to join a book group. In a freaky coincidence two of the members of the group were friends of mine from completely different parts of my life, but they were both willing to vouch for me. (Pam, I have known since I was 12. Alice and I worked together at a school in Maryland.) I don't mean to make our group sound like some stuck up sorority, but it there are a few qualifications - you need to be smart, willing to read and discuss the books, and able to not take yourself or the idea of a book group too seriously. I am sort of kidding about "qualifications" but I do feel lucky to be part of such a great group of women.
My favorite thing about our group is that in addition to great conversations about marriage, motherhood, movies, music, politics, we actually talk about the books. A lot. I love to read, but I don't often have the chance to really discuss and analyze the books that I spend so much time with. Over the years we have read some amazing books (Atonement, Zeitoun and The Known World stand out in my memory.) We have also read some stinkers. (Why is Sarah's Key a best seller?) On average, our choices tend to be pretty good.
This is a great choice for a book group. It is a skillfully composed narrative of a truly compelling story. There is much to discuss -- from the family struggles to the moral implications of medical research. It is out in paperback this month, too. Give it a look.