Page Turners Book Club launched its 20th season on October 26, 2018 at the home of Kate Tracy, where Simone Jacobs led a discussion of Kristin Hannah’s The Great Alone. The meeting was attended by ten of the club’s 13 members, all of whom have belonged to the club for at least 15 years, and six of whom have been members for all 20 seasons: Lisa Ingraham, Mary Jo Bobeczko, Nancy Brown, Jeanne Chasko, Jan Feather, and Cheryl Mandala. Kit Brown, Simone Jacobs and Di Week joined during the third season (2001/2002), while the last four members joined during the fifth season (2003/2004): Marsha McVey, Pat Taylor, Kate Tracy and Donna Welsh.
Our first book review of Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières was held at the home of Jytte Terns, our founder, on February 18, 2000. Only three additional meetings were held before the summer break. Membership fluctuated quite a bit the first five seasons but then it stabilized, and the same 17 women continued to meet for ten seasons. Then two members (Myrna Eaton and Virginia Thompson) moved out of state and last year two beloved members passed away (Joanne Halladay and Jytte Terns), bringing us to our current membership of 13.
During the past 19 seasons, through 2017/2018, we have discussed 132 books. At the end of each book review, we rank the book from a low of one to a high of five in each of four categories: writing style, content, enjoyment and educational value. Our highest rated books, with an average score of 4.8 overall, were The Grapes of Wrath and To Kill a Mockingbird, followed closely by The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Society and John Adams, which each scored 4.7 overall. Among our favorite authors are Isabel Allende, Barbara Kingsolver and Jodi Picoult; we have read three each of their books.
After just a few seasons of discussing books together, our members decided they wanted to enjoy each other’s company in a more relaxed and social atmosphere as well, so we began to get together in the evening, after the meeting, for social gatherings that included spouses. Many of the husbands really look forward to these get-togethers; one even asked if he could attend even though his wife was out of town (of course, the answer was yes!).
We also had a spin-off club, Page Turners Classic Book Club. Founded by Nancy Brown, the Classics group met three times a year from 2013 to 2018 to discuss classic books, often with lunch included.
We sorely miss our beloved leader, Jytte Terns, but we hope she would be glad to know that the club she founded continues to thrive.