This winter will mark the first full year of the UC Davis Book Club, a group that offers a setting in which to enjoy both new and classic literature — The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and The Unbearable Lightness of Being have been among their diverse choices — in a relaxed and pressure-less environment.
The club, founded in early 2012 by third-year environmental science and management major Alyssa Obester and third-year biological sciences major Annelise Olivero, aims to provide an enjoyable alternative. Once every month, members gather for a short meeting to casually discuss the book they’ve read and vote to determine what the next one will be.
All members, even newcomers, may bring book suggestions, and all the possible choices are written on a board. After weighing the options and looking over synopses as a group, the final choice is selected through a vote.
This past month’s winner was the The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, a best-selling novel that has been compared favorably to the works of Neil Gaiman and J.K Rowling.
“I think this book was chosen over the others because the summary sounded intriguing and one of our members highly recommended it,” said co-founder Olivero.
In the past, when a book with a film adaptation is chosen, members of the club organize an informal movie night to socialize, enjoy snacks, and discuss the differences between the book and film.
Although the regular meetings are relatively brief (a plus for those with a busy schedule), the club also serves as an ongoing resource for connecting people who love reading and discussing books from all genres, without the stress of making a grade or being tested.
“The atmosphere is very low key, and even if members don’t have the time to finish the book, they are still welcome to come and partake in discussions,” Obester said.
Those who have already joined the club find this laid-back, undemanding atmosphere to be a great part of its appeal.
“I joined because I enjoy reading a book a month, then talking about it — not analyzing, but just reflecting,” said fourth-year biochemistry and molecular biology major Raina Patel. “Honestly, it would be a good way for me to be motivated to read a book and keep to it.”
This month’s meeting will be held a week from Thursday, on Nov. 29, at 6:30 p.m. in 207 Olson. More information about the club can be found on their Facebook page, or by reaching them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ANDREW RUSSELL can be reached at email@example.com.