The Edmond Sun

Local News

April 18, 2014

Literally, books come to life for club

EDMOND — When some of the women at Touchmark at Coffee Creek got together to form a book club, they didn’t know it would be so much fun and become such an important part of their lives.

The group of about a dozen residents gets together monthly to not only discuss the assigned novel, memoir or classic, but also to immerse themselves in the setting and culture of the book. There is no limit to their creativity.

When they read Khaled Hosseini’s “The Kite Runner,” set mostly in Afghanistan, the book club gathering featured Middle Eastern food and they learned about the Quran and Muslim customs.

For “The Great Gatsby,” martinis and vintage clothing, such as flapper dresses, were part of the program. For The Orphan Train, one of the residents set up her late husband’s model train set.

Joan Crooks, who moved to Touchmark four years ago, is the charter member and organizer of the group that began two years ago.

She says the group is not fussy about the books they choose, which has enabled the club to sample a wide array of genres. She said there is a vibrant discussion about each book that everyone in the club reads. “Really, we do,” laughs Joan.

“I enjoy that when we see each other around, we ask each other what page we are on in the book and talk about what is going on in the book. Joan calls this book club her favorite out of the many she has participated in over the years.

While the book club didn’t actually participate in a mock fight-to-the-death-style party when they read the popular young adult novel, “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins, they did enjoy the story, and they understand why today’s kids like it so much.

“My favorite book was ‘The Kite Runner,’ a story about friendship and redemption,” shares Joan, who obviously enjoys getting together for the book club with her dear Touchmark friends to eat, discuss, and enjoy good conversation and laughter. “It’s a highlight of my month, for sure,” she says smiling.

Crooks works with a local Edmond bookstore to get small discounts on paperbacks, but many members also use e-readers, because they like the ability to change font sizes and lighting.

The group’s March book was “The Invisible Thread” by Valerie Salembier, a story about a homeless boy and an executive who strike up a friendship.

“The Touchmark Food Services group is very helpful and accommodating when it comes to planning book club menus,” Joan said. “And we’re looking forward to the spring and early summer months, when we can have our meetings on the beautiful outside commons area after a long cold winter.”

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