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Book clubs are a powerful way to laugh, enjoy a good book, and make lasting friends. Meet kindred book lovers on our site and be invigorated by finding out how other book clubs in the world operate.

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The Lost in Translation Book Club

Lost in Translation

The Lost in Translation book club was started in 2004 – so we’re already 5 years old! A group of colleagues started it, each having to invite a friend. We’ve gone through quite a few changes and only four of the ten members have been there since its start!

Each person contributes R50 per month to the hostess of the following month, who then buys books (which she keeps in the end) and makes dinner for everyone. We BYOB and we’ve had everything from schwarmas to pizza to “Granny Audrey’s apricot chicken”. We each take a turn to chat about what books we’ve read during the past month (whether it’s 1 or 10!) and we love everything from historical fiction to the odd thriller, travel writing and humourous modern fiction.

Books that have stood out are Shantaram (of course), the whole A Year in The Merde and Merde Actually series, The Kite Runner (there’s a wind, there’s a kite – stuff happens). And of course there’s Janet Evanovich – our favourite pulp fiction writer – essential for holiday reading.

LISA VAN ASWEGEN, Editor Time Out Cape Town, Assistant Editor Eat Out & Eat In

DIARY: Wednesday 13th May 2009.
Consuelo visited with the LIT bookclub. Impressed with how copious amounts of reading are squeezed into busy productive lives. Loved the members' willingness to give a multitude of genres a try. Introduced to Janet Evanovich and Stephanie Plum, bounty hunter! Proof that reading can be fun in a frenetic world. Thank you to Nikki Barker of 6 in the circle B&B Writers Retreat for inviting me!

LIT Stand-outs

"After book 3,
all of the titles have been
chosen from fan submissions."


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Write away  Send a review of your 'best read' to The Sunday Times

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The Chuckle and Chat Book Club

Chuckle & Chat

Our book club was founded 22 years ago and is still going strong. Of the nine current members four have been there since the beginning. Over the years we have met very interesting and different women.

Basically the rules are as follows: we meet on the first Monday of every month and the hostess offers wine, cooldrinks and snacks. We have a first and second choice of books so that everyone has a fair chance to read the new books and after that it is “free for all”. At the end of the evening, the next hostess packs up all the books and takes them home. We each pay R 80.00 of which R 10.00 goes towards the Christmas lunch we have every year, spouses included. There is no pressure on anyone as to how many books to read, nor which type of book to buy. Once everyone has read the books, they go back to the person who bought them. We have everything on offer: thrillers, romance novels, non-fiction, cookery books, science fiction as well as local South African novels. We do not analyse the books too much – a simple rating of “this was fantastic “ or “I couldn’t get into this “ suffices .

As a group we have gone through many things together: weddings, divorces, deaths, separations, empty-nest syndrome, PMS, menopause and good old gossip! Book club has, and always will, enrich my life!

Margit Marent, a founding member

Book Club Favourites

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The Heron Book Club

Heron Book Club

Our club has been going since 1995. We are 12 ladies who live in Tableview. We each pay R60 pm and one person gets money to buy books of her choice. Each member hosts the club once a year.

All books are numbered and we stick a rating and comments page into each book so one can see what others thought about the book. We have a database list with all books bought by our club so one can look on the list when it's your turn to buy books and make sure it's not in the club already. After about a year one takes the books bought by oneself home.

At the meeting each person has a turn and talks about the books she has read. A bit of personal happenings is thrown in with a bit of wine. The newly bought books are briefly introduced. Then all books are layed out on a table and each member gets 2 turns to choose a book therafter everyone can take as many books as they like. We have a book where we write down the book numbers that are taken home as we found that people always forget books and then they don't know which one is missing. After business there is food, tea and talking.
DIARY: Wednesday 15th October.
Consuelo visited with Heron Book Club. Impressed with huge variety and number of books read. Proof that Bookclubs are instrumental in keeping the thrill of reading alive. Thank you to Inga Hitzeroth for inviting me!

Heron Book Club Favourites

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The Bergvliet Writers' Circle

Bergvliet Writers' Circle

The Bergvliet Writers' Circle was established in March 1973 and is still welcoming new members. Our members are all warm, friendly people with a common love of creative writing. Every meeting is exciting. There is always an air of happy anticipation.

A balanced programme of fiction, articles, fillers, children's stories, poetry and occasionally one act plays is set at the beginning of each year by the committee. At each monthly meeting, new writing competitions are made known and hearty congratulations are offered to any members who have had material published in the previous month. There have been many literary successes over the years.

Generally, two members comment on the work which has been submitted anonymously based on a structured marking system. At least three times a year guest critics are invited to comment on the assignments. Awards are presented at the end-of-year party, a prize-giving to which the guest critics and a guest speaker are invited. Guest speakers have included Lynette Barling, John Scott, Theo Aronson, Jane Raphaely, Willem Steenkamp, Monica Cromhout, Pam Edgar, David Biggs, Fiona Chisholm, Margie Orford and Maire Fisher. And recently, Consuelo Roland!

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The world of books allows us to share kinship without regard to political, social or economic persuasion.

We hope to allow readers and writers to network more easily and to share finds of extraordinary books that let the invigorating breezes of new knowledge and possibility blow in. The unforgettable life-changing books that provoke thought and emotion beyond everyday experience are, almost without exception, books that dwell on the interplay of life, love and death. Mortality is an intriguing subject and what is more moving than love and loss?

Win the top books selected by THE GOOD CEMETERY GUIDE Book Club network in our annual Top Reads Competition.

Book clubs vary from the very informal to the more formal. We use the term 'book club' to include clubs which require members to read books, namely book clubs, reading circles and writing groups, as well as the occasional more casual community gathering of book affecionados.

Send in a photo of your book club withThe Good Cemetery Guide and you stand to win a must-read book in a Lucky Draw Competition.
See must-reads on Features BOOKS page

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The Dinner Book Club

Dinner Book Club

The Dinner Book Club has been going for about 18 months. We meet once a month, usually the 1st Monday of the month, but that’s not set in stone. As there are 12 girls, each has been given a month to host… Each member contributes R30 to the host for the book (of her choice) and dinner. The book then goes into the “box” and stays until everyone has had a chance to read it. Once a year, the box is cleared and started again. There is no set structure to the evening… We generally sit to eat first, and conversation usually starts flowing from there!

Some of the books the girls enjoyed were Love Eat Pray – Elizabeth Gilbert, East of Eden – John Steinbeck, Tuesdays with Morrie – Mitch ALborn, Life of Pi – Yann Martel, Under the Ombu Tree - Santa Montefiore, The Road Less Travelled - Dr Scott Peck.

Loreen Winton

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St Luke's Hospice

Dear Book Club Member, When all of you have read your book club books and you are looking for a home for them, please think of St Luke's Hospice.

Visit St Lukes website

††† death is the backing on the mirror †††

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Literary Award

Writers' Competitions

3 books

A good traveller is one who does not know where he is going to

Lin Yutang, travel writer


The Harvard Club of San Antonio Book Club is a very informal book club (no costs, membership requirements, etc.) which selects dates and books approximately six months in advance. On the date of the meeting, club members meet very informally at a book club members' home and discuss the book. In general, the monthly meeting typically has between 7 to 12 members present.
Club Banner: Honour to the brave!
Harvard Club of San Antonio

world book clubs

The Big Book Club Incorporated is a not for profit arts organization. Our mission is to promote reading, the discussion of books and the promotion of Australian authors.

Firstly, the 'club' is open to everyone! There are no joining fees and it's up to you as to whether your register or not. You can participate when and how you wish.

Secondly, the author of each month's selected book visits South Australia and Queensland and travels to various regional areas to meet their readers. The 'club' brings people together.

The Big Book Club has now coordinated over 300 author events, including high school and tertiary visits, and travelled over 21,000kms around South Australia.
Club Banner: Australia Reads Together
The Big Book Club


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