Monday, May 7, 2012

Secrets of a Successful Book Group - The Page Turner Book Club

Facilitator Lou Ann Homan

The Page Turners is a neighborhood book club in Angola, Indiana and is celebrating their 10th anniversary this year. The club is limited to ten members and two are charter members - Barb Simper of Hamilton and club facilitator Lou Ann Homan.  Lou Ann is a storyteller, theater coach, actress and writer and was so gracious to share the "secrets" of her very successful book club.

The group began with reading Oprah's book club list and then members started reading reviews and finding their own selections that they felt were exceptional.  Today members lobby for a book they deem worthy of reading.  The group has read every Lisa See book (author of Snow Flower and The Secret Fan).  Also, they Skipe authors including Katherine Howe, author of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane and the just released The House of Velvet and Glass.  Charter member Lou Ann Homan's current personal favorite book is Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland.

All members are responsible for obtaining copies of the monthly selection.  Charter member Barb Simper purchases all of her books and keeps them on a shelf in her home.  She includes her notes from the discussions and the club's rating of each book. In essence, she has a growing library of wonderful book club selections.

This club is definitely a member driven group and all participate. Meetings are held at members' homes and include dinner. Many times the dinner will reflect the book. The first 20 minutes are devoted to visiting with each other.  Then there is discussion of the selection for about 45 minutes.  

Questions and study guides are generally not used but members bring their own notes. One person does an author study and one question is asked at every gathering -  "how does the book apply to our lives right now?".  That question always provokes lots of discussion. 

Books are given a rating of 1 to 5 with 5 being fabulous. The dinner conversation stays on a high academic level. 

After dinner the talk centers around the next several selections and a decision is made on who will host the next meeting.  A classic selection is picked several times a year. This May the selection is  House of Mirth by Edith Wharton.  Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende was the very first book the club read 10 years ago and it is being reintroduced because there are so many new members.

Daughter of Fortune:
The First Selection
Thank you to Lou Ann Homan for sharing her "secrets" of a very successful book club!

A Favorite


  1. Thank you so much! I love the article. I will print and take to book club this month!!

    1. Thanks Lou Ann! I'm going to recommend "Daughter of Fortune" to our clubs and also "Clara and Mr. Tiffany". We've had lots of positive comments about that book.