Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Let's hear it for Book Clubs!

Ottawa is a city that's blessed with, what it seems, book clubs in every neighbourhood. They meet in homes, in libraries, in bookstores, at community centres, even in pubs. Most meet monthly, with summer's off.

There are book clubs focused on mainstream novels, on books in general, and of course, on mysteries.

There are several mystery book clubs actively reading, dissecting, and enjoying all types of mysteries, many inviting local authors to speak to them when it's one of their books being read. And, it's becoming easier to slip the odd mystery title into the year's reading list for the others.

The format in each club is as different as the people involved. Some share ideas and opinions after reading the selection, at the meeting, often resulting in lively discussions. Some clubs have a member doing a presentation on the chosen book but of course, all must have read it in order to contribute to the talk. Some meet in the mornings, afternoons or evenings. My book club even includes a "spa weekend" in the mix...and the talk and laughter never ends.

Of course, a major part of most book clubs is the food (and wine). As much thought goes into this as into choosing each title. And so it should be, because a good read and good food go so well together.

So, raise you glass in toast of our wonderful array of book clubs, be they mystery readers or not. (We'll convince them all at some point to come over to the dark side.) Authors thrive because of them...and of course, we're all readers.

Do you know of any unusual book clubs?

Linda Wiken/Erika Chase


  1. I love book clubs and I think each one is unusual, having a club personality.

    Perhaps the most unusual to my mind was the giant 'Ottawa Book Clubs' festive dinner with ten or twelve clubs in attendance and guest author (once it was Ladies Killing Circle)


  2. I love my book club and I think it's somewhat unusual in that we meet in the afternoon and have tea and a cookie. The group had already decided before I joined that it wouldn't focus on food. We do cheat a couple of times a year with dinner out at a great restaurant in Hull.

  3. I haven't found a book club in Toronto and although I belong to one in the country don't get there very often. I don't enjoy the 'lecture' book club where an author or expert speaks about the book. You do learn something but it's the exchange of ideas that I find stimulating and knowing that you'll be required to express an opinion forces you to read a book more thoughtfully.

  4. I'd like to find a book club. I need the discipline of reading to a deadline (much like writing). I would like to join a club that reads a mix of literary/genre. I feel the need to break out my (comfortable)rut and get exposed to a range of new stuff. I find it difficult to write and read within the crime fiction field at the same time. Want some cross-pollination!