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Library News

By: Ann Meiggs, President-Elect of the Board
For: Red Rock News
Date: January 29, 2010

The Joy of Book Clubs

What do you do when you finish a great book?  Ask others if they have read it, too?  Or, when you finish a good read, do you tell your friends, neighbors, or colleagues “You’ve got to read this book!”?  And, sometimes, wouldn’t you like to discuss the book with others who have also read it? If that’s you, then a book club may be for you!

Finding a book club may seem like a daunting task, but here are several options of organized book groups in the Sedona area which you might like to try.

Sedona Public Library (SPL) is offering Community Book Discussions through the Arizona Humanities Council (AHC) that are free and open to the public. The discussions are held every other month at Sedona Winds Retirement Center at 1:30 PM.  The Friends of the Library pay the fees to the Humanities Council for the book discussion facilitator. AHC loans the books to the interested readers. The books are available at SPL in the Village on the dates listed below in parentheses.

2010 AHC Book Discussions



Available at Library

Wednesday, March 24

The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx

Feb. 23

Wednesday, May 26

The Tie that Binds by Kent Haruf

April 27

Wednesday, July 28

Lost in Translation by Eva Hoffman

June 10

Wednesday, September 29

Rabbit is Rich by John Updike

August 24

Monday, November 22

Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi

October 19

For additional information on the AHC Community Book Discussions and Speakers’ Programs, contact Ann Meiggs at or 284-9100.

Mystery Book Club

Like detective stories or whodunits?  Every other month the Mystery Book Club meets at Sedona Public Library on the second Tuesday from 2:00-4:00 PM.  Pick up a bibliography of mystery reads of all kinds at the SPL Reference Desk.  This book club reads and discusses two mysteries every other month. Currently the book club is reading books from the Sleuth of the Southwest mysteries.



Tuesday, March 9

Masked Dancers by Jean Hager
Dead Man’s Island by Carolyn Hart

Selections for May 11, July 13, September 14, and November 9 are to be determined.
For additional information, call Annette Lustgarten at 282-3845.

Well Red Coyote Book Discussions

The Well Red Coyote bookstore also has monthly book discussions.  They offer participants a 20% discount on the selected titles.  The book discussions are held at 6:00 PM in the bookstore located at 3190 West Highway 89A #400.  Pizza and wine are served and attendees are asked for a $5 donation.



Monday, February 8

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson

Monday, March 8

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski

For additional information go to or call 928-282-2284.

Sedona Welcomers Book Clubs

Another option is to join Sedona Welcomers, a  women’s social club which meets monthly. There is an annual fee of $20 for membership. There are four book clubs available to Welcomers members. For more information on Welcomers, call Pat Foster at 928-284-2333.

Maybe you will decide that starting your own book club with just a few friends or neighbors is the way to get your feet wet. Many books are available today complete with a book discussion guide if you are uncertain about what questions or issues to discuss.  And, if not already in the book, the guides frequently can be found on the internet. Our Library has access to multiple copies of the same book through the Yavapai Library Network.  The Library can also help you in book selection, no matter the genre you are interested in.

Some tips on starting your own book club

Usually a number between 8-12 members works best since not every member will attend every discussion. You are more likely to have good attendance if you collectively decide on the same day/week of the month, e.g. the 2nd Tuesday and the same time of day. You need to decide where you will hold your book discussion sessions and, if you choose members’ homes, you will need to have a rotation system and decide whether you will serve refreshments of any kind.  You will need a process for book selection, including the genre and title, and determine who will lead the discussion. These decisions fall in the category of ground rules to ensure the success and longevity of your book club. 

Of course, the internet, which we all know and love, has many resources with information about book clubs. It’s no surprise that there are even on-line book clubs. If you don’t have access to a computer come to SPL on White Bear Road or to SPL in the Village on Cortez Drive for free computer access.

One of my favorite sites is: (the online community for reading groups). This site provides information on starting a book club, running a book club and choosing a book. You can also find readers’ discussion guides for most books. Another informative site I came across is

Book clubs are a rewarding way to experience a diversity of views and perspectives and enjoy good reads you might never have chosen. And the opportunity to socialize with other book lovers is a bonus.

Start a book club or join one—you will be glad you did!

Ann Meiggs
Ann Meiggs, author of this week's article,
is President-Elect of the Board of Trustees of the Sedona Public Library.

Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News
and is also presented on: Gateway to Sedona and Sedona Biz.