BY STARRLA CRAY
LESTER PRAIRIE, MN Read any thought-provoking books lately?
The members of Lester Prairie’s two book clubs have, and they’re looking forward to more literary entertainment in the months ahead.
“It’s a good feeling to know you’re going to get at least one solid, good book read each month,” said Jill Duncan of Lester Prairie, who is a member of the club that’s organized by Bethel Lutheran Church in Lester Prairie.
The group began about two years ago, and typically meets one Wednesday evening a month, either at the church or at a member’s home.
“It’s very laid back and informal,” Duncan said.
About a dozen people are currently members, which Duncan said is a nice size for discussion. She said she’s not worried about the club getting too large if others are interested, because they could always split into two groups if needed.
So far, most of the club’s books have been non-fiction.
“We read our first work of fiction a couple months ago; it was called ‘The Wednesday Letters,’” Duncan said. “It was wonderful. It was an easier read, and it was easy to discuss.”
For November, the group is reading a book called “The liturgical Year.”
“It goes through the different seasons of the church calendar, starting with Advent, which is coming up,” Duncan said.
For 2016, Bethel’s interim pastor, Bill Nelsen, helped choose a book list for the group that includes more fiction, and titles that are likely to be of interest to both men and women.
“[Pastor Nelson] personally knows some of the authors,” Duncan said.
Arts council club
The other book club in Lester Prairie that coincidentally also meets at Bethel Lutheran Church in Lester Prairie is organized through the Prairie Arts Council.
“It’s open to the community,” member Tasha Schiedel said.
The Prairie Arts Council book club began more than a year ago, and met in other locations before being offered a space at Bethel.
“They have comfy couches, and it’s a good spot for us to have tea,” Schiedel said.
Club members read one book each month, and books are selected three months in advance. Each member emails the titles of three books they’ve been wanting to read, then Schiedel compiles a master list. From there, members vote for their favorites.
“We just read ‘Little Women,’” Schiedel said. “We’ve read a lot of classics and historical fiction about the Civil War and World War II.”
Currently, they are reading “The Language of Flowers,” a New York Times bestseller by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.
Where to get books
For both of Lester Prairie’s book clubs, copies of books can usually be checked out at the library, purchased at a book store, or ordered online. Some book club members have been reading their books in a digital format, either as audiobooks, or on their Kindles/tablet devices.
How to join
• Prairie Arts Council book club: The group’s latest book, “The Language of Flowers,” will be discussed at the Monday, Nov. 16 meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. at Bethel Lutheran Church. To join, contact Tasha Schiedel at (320) 296-1579 or email@example.com.
• Bethel book club: The club is currently reading “The Liturgical Year.” Meetings take place one Wednesday per month, either at Bethel Lutheran Church or at a member’s home. To join the discussion, contact Bethel Lutheran Church at (320) 395-2125. Office hours are Mondays and Wednesdays from 2 to 5 p.m.