After relocating from California to Naperville, Jill Baer joined the Naperville Junior Women’s Club to meet new people, however she missed being a part of book club.
So she pitched the idea of starting one to her new group of friends. Opening it to her fellow junior women.
“It was neat to get to know people one on one instead of a large group of 40 to 50 women,” said Baer, who founded the club. “It was much easier to learn about them.”
“I thought it was a great way to meet women and also to force me to read more than I normally do,” Annette Koch, a member of the club.
Reading a new book every month, the woman hosting the next meeting selects the book.
“It forces you to read books you wouldn’t normally pick up,” said Kim Viehmann, a club member and the host of the event. “Everyone in the group has a certain genre that they like so you might get stuck reading the same thing or the same type of books so it challenges you to read something outside your regular scope of interest.”
Which is exactly what happened when Viehmann chose The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow by local author Rita Laganski for the August meeting.
“This is one of the books that I probably wouldn’t have picked up on my own, but because it was requested for the book club, I did,” said member Laura Rapsys. “As I was reading the first few pages I thought, ‘this is kind of interesting,’ and there was a nice little twist at the end. So I’m happy that I read it.”
While the club was reading, Laganski herself found out about the meeting from the Junior Women’s Club website, so she decided to pay the group a visit to see their thoughts on her magical realism book.
Club members then got the chance to ask her questions about characters and what inspired her to write the book.
“It’s kind of a surprise what makes people really anxious [and] what keeps them turning the page,” said Laganski,
What keeps the women coming back are the personal ties they have to one another.
“Sometimes the stories we read brings out stories from our own personal lives so you even build a deeper connection with them and you really enjoy hanging out with them,” added Rapsys.
Learning from the books and each other, one page at a time.
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