WHAT WE'RE READING / BOOK CLUBS IN METRO ATLANTA

Broads, Books and Booze

How often they meet: Monthly

About this club: Four years ago, friends and neighbors in a small subdivision founded this club. They meet in members' homes and enjoy light hors d'oeuvres while catching up on each other's lives. The host leads the discussion. "Each member makes notes while reading the book, so we have very diverse and lively opinions of what we have read," Cox says. Members take turns choosing the book. The club reads fiction, nonfiction, Pulitzer winners, memoirs and historical works.

Recently read: "The Glass Castle," by Jeannette Walls

What it's about: Walls' memoir of growing up in what Cox describes as a dysfunctional yet "uniquely vibrant family." Her upbringing was "laced with love and imagination, but not one ounce of self-pity," Cox says. Walls' father was a brilliant alcoholic, and her mother was an artist who suffered from mental illness. The family lived a nomadic life before settling in West Virginia where the three children were expected to fend for themselves amid hunger, poverty and neglect. Walls went on to get a college education and become a professional writer.

What members thought: "We were very impressed with the intelligence of these children in spite of the challenge of their lives," Cox says. "They try to understand, forgive and love their very irresponsible parents. Their father was brilliant and charismatic, always capturing the imagination of the children. We found it difficult to believe no one noticed the plight of this family. The fact that they were virtually homeless all their lives seemed to bring them closer together. After the author made a life for herself, her mother remained homeless. All of us loved the book and felt it made us more aware of living conditions in homeless areas."

Next assignment: "A Thousand Splendid Suns," by Khaled Hosseini.

Tell us what your club is reading. Contact Patti Ghezzi at pattighezzi@hotmail.com.

pattighezzi@hotmail.com

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