My Writing Inspiration: A Boozin’ Book Club

One of the best ways for a writer to get inspiration is to read. One of the best ways to get to reading is to join a book club. One of the best ways to get members motivated to participate and come to book club is to have food and drinks.

I am in a book club for the same reason that any writer might be in a book club—good food and beer (or wine, since both are available at this book club).

Book Binders is the name of the book club I’m in and we meet once a month. At January’s meeting, we discuss over food and spirits—not a book, but who wants to host. Book club usually meets at the host’s home, but it is the host’s choice where book club will be held and we’ve had book club at various places besides homes. Whoever hosts also picks the book and provides copies to share that get passed around to read.

Our book club is comprised a wide spectrum of women with very different careers, interests, talents, and personalities; all of which provides writing inspiration in itself for me.

This isn’t a book club for pansies. It gets loud and sometimes obnoxious. We joke that we’ve managed to scare off several timid potential newbies. Only the calloused ones come back. To describe our book club as a hen session would be putting it very mildly.

Everyone generally brings some sort of dish—usually appetizers, and wine or beer to share. If any food is referenced in the book, the host may suggest it or a related food theme.

Several years ago we read the Italian-based book, Lucia, Lucia, by Adriana Trigiani. The host had a sit down dinner with all the courses of an Italian meal that was drawn out over several hours and went late into the night. There were 26 place settings and I can’t tell you exactly how much wine we went through, but a group picture was taken after the discussion of the book and everyone held up an empty wine bottle.

Upon arriving at book club, everyone fills a plate and gets a beer or glass of wine. Like the women that we are, we spend at least an hour or longer eating, drinking and chattering about everything but the book. (This is a very important part of a good book club; the food nourishes the body and drinks loosen the tongue for the book discussion.)

Typically, the host starts the discussion once everyone’s had a chance to eat. Some hosts will start by sharing whether they liked it or not and their overall feelings about the book. If the book provides discussion questions, the host may read them aloud or ask her own questions or she may just start talking about the characters, plot, or author’s writing. Sometimes we go around the room and everyone shares their opinion of the book, other times it’s a free-for-all with women interjecting their thoughts as different parts of the book come up.

I feel like we have an excellent book club because a lot of the books we’ve read are listed as good book club suggestions from bookstores etc., and many of the books we’ve read have been made into movies. One of the core members has tried to keep track of all the books our club has read, as well as lists of recommended reads for hosts looking for suggested reading.

One of our recent book reads was The Tender Bar, by J. R. Moehringer (which I recommend, by the way). Since the book was about a boy who grew up with the presence of a bar in his life, the host thought it would be appropriate to meet at a bar.

Everyone pitched in to order appetizers with their drinks instead of bringing food. This is the book, The Tender Bar, along with my “tender beer.”


One of the best ways to get inspiration for new writing material is to surround one’s self with completely different topics, environments, and people. Doing so shakes things up and a book club provides these on a number of different levels but they also provide a highly anticipated break every month, fellowship with other women, motivation to read more, good food, and adequate wine and beer tasting. Attending book club has been an ideal place for me to sample and learn about wine.

Whether you do any writing or not, I highly recommend joining a book club or starting one. Getting loud and obnoxious is optional. We push our kids to read, but more adults could stand to do more reading too.

2 responses to “My Writing Inspiration: A Boozin’ Book Club”

  1. Kari Sanders Avatar
    Kari Sanders


    You’re in a book club, my sister is in a supper club, and I think it would be fun to do something like that. Thanks for sharing with all of us.


  2. wanda Dahlstrom Avatar
    wanda Dahlstrom

    Very well put Amy!! I concur!!! Is there anyway that you can get a hard copy of what you have written here, the photos would be a bonus but it would be nice to put this in the Binder.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *