W3 Book Club; The Back Story
by Teri E. Popp, Tastemaker in Residence
When this spirited group of ladies first started meeting eight years ago, they sought to create a group that enjoyed good food, great wine, fabulous literature, and wonderful company. But, being the social creatures they were (and still are), they did not require any of the book club members to actually read the books. In fact, several of the members that chose to join, were not readers.
However, with time, most of the ladies do read the monthly book choice--if not before the meeting, they get so excited during the lively discussion at each meeting, that they tend to go back and read the book later!
The true trick to involving non-readers in a fun book club is to discuss basic themes of a book, rather than to focus on specific details. Many of the themes in great books are universal in nature and can freely be discussed by the entire group. W3 Book Club has found a strong membership and commitment to fun, fashion, food and reading through this method.
W3, which stands for Wine, Women and Words, aptly describes the passions of those involved. These women enjoy fine wine, as well as other themed libations, while sharing stories, learning about different cultures, ideas, and concepts.
Each hostess chooses a book and decides upon a theme. She then plans a menu in accordance with her theme. This concept came about not by careful planning on the part of W3, but by happenstance.
When the first hostess chose the book "Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons" by Minneapolis author Lorna Landvik, the hostess asked that all guests come in attire matched to the cover of the book. This meant that all of the ladies wore floral one piece bathing suits with big, floppy hats. If you have seen the cover for "Angry Housewives," you know that the ladies are floating in a pool while sipping colorful martinis and playing poker in hats and swimsuits. And that is exactly what the first book club did! In addition, the hostess chose foods mentioned in the book to serve for dinner. A tradition was born!
From that day forward, each hostess chooses their book and theme, and all the ladies dress accordingly. We still have no requirement that you dress up or read the book, but, amazingly, most of us do.
In the process of sharing our lives through W3 Book Club, many changes have occurred. Members have joined and left, children and grandchildren have been born, a member sadly passed away, members have divorced and married; but we have learned to appreciate and support each other, along with celebrating a love of the written word.