What a Novel Idea! The Book Clubs of JKV

Intro by Shannon Finley, Book Club Spotlights by Pat Collins, Photographs by Bob Dunham

Bibiliophiles do not need to go far to satisfy their love of books. JKV has at least four active book clubs. While three of the clubs featured do not restrict their reading list to any one topic or author, The Mystery Lover’s Book Club focuses solely on whodunits.

The history of book clubs goes back as far as Socrates. In approximately 400 BC, Socrates met with Aristophanes, Xenophon and Plato to discuss questions of politics and human nature.

Ben Franklin gathered with his literature-loving friends in Philadelphia for more than 40 years. The discussions from his Junto Club resulted in the plans for the first lending library and for the University of Pennsylvania. The Junto Club evolved into the American Philosophical Society which is still in existence.

Other famous members of book clubs included Virginia Woolf, E. M. Forster, and economist John Maynard Keynes who all belonged to the Bloomsbury Group which met for more than 20 years. Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Gertrude Stein all met as part of the Stratford-on-Odeon group.

The Book of the Month Club, a mail order company, founded in 1926, has grown from 60,000 subscribers to over one million subscribers today. One of the most influential book clubs, Oprah’s Book Club, with selections ranging from classics to contemporary, has helped sell 22 million copies of her chosen works of literature during a 10-year span.

Are you a member of a JKV Book Club that is open to new members? Contact Village Life and let us know more about your group and what you are reading.

The Bookers Book Club

Bookers is the informal name of a book club led by Mary Lee Sharp and Jerri Altenhof. This group of eight friends meets once a month, with the location cycling from one member’s home to another.

These avid readers have eclectic tastes, so each month everyone suggests a book to read for the following month and the decision is made by voting. The preferred reading medium is as eclectic as the selections. Some members choose to buy the books, some seek them out in the JKV library, others prefer to download and read them on their tablets via Amazon’s Kindle application, and others borrow the books from the Volusia County Public Library.

The Bookers just finished reading Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens, a New York Times best seller. This month they are reading Jeffrey Archer’s international best seller, Heads You Win. As part of the group’s discussion, they rate each book on a scale of one to five where one means they don’t recommend it and five indicates their highest praise. Mary Lee said she enjoys the discussions because everyone shares their opinions on the stories and writing styles.

“The Chosen” Book Club

Tucked away on Florabunda Circle is a small but enthusiastic book club called The Chosen. The club was given its name by its founder, Rebecca Bullock. The club consists of nine members who meet on the third Thursday of every month. There are no restrictions on topics and often the selected book is not available from the JKV library. Their most recent read was A Sudden Country, which is based on actual events of the 1847 Oregon migration.

The meeting location circulates among the members, and the person hosting the club chooses the book and leads the discussion. Rebecca said, “The joy of having a different person choose the book each month is that you often read a book that you would never have thought of reading, only to discover that you love it and want to recommend it to others.”

These avid readers want nothing to distract them so their meetings are held without food or drinks, but every Christmas and Spring they meet for lunch.

The JKV Book Club

The JKV Book Club is an unofficial name for this determined group of approximately 10 readers. The club meets at 10:00 A.M. on the last Friday of the month in an office on the second floor of the Bay building.

For the past several months, the group has chosen an author rather than a specific book. This makes it easier for everyone because they can choose and obtain any book by that author. The group recently chose to read author Carl Hiaasen, who is noted for suspense and mysteries.

Member Nancy Haigh prefers to read electronic books on her Apple tablet. She recommends electronic books especially for readers requiring large print because the tablet’s print size is adjustable. When asked what gave her the most joy from belonging to a book club, she replied, “Meeting other people, making friends and discovering other opinions, and being introduced to authors I would likely never have chosen on my own.”

The club is open to new members.

Mystery Lover’s Book Club

The Mystery Lover’s Book Club has 10 members led by Kelly Hood, they meet monthly in an office on the second floor of the Bay building. Each month they read two books. The first is usually selected by Kelly and is typically a
hard-nosed mystery. The group selects the second book, typically a cozy mystery. Members must obtain their own books either by buying them, obtaining them from a library, or downloading electronic versions.

The group is currently reading Anne George’s book Murder on a Girls’ Night Out (A Southern Sisters Mystery.) When asked what brings her joy in belonging to a book club, Connie Hood replied, “People are so much fun! I enjoy being with different people at JKV because they all have different backgrounds and are fun to be with. The book club gives me a way to meet people who share a common interest and we go from there.”

For information on membership, please contact Kelly Hood.

Mystery Lover’s Book Club and the JKV Book Club are open to new members.
For more information on joining the Mystery Lover’s Club,
contact Kelly Hood.
For more information on the JKV Book Club,
contact Nancy Haigh.