When my daughter was in 9th grade, she and I were invited to join a long-standing mother-daughter book group that began in elementary school. I’ve heard that when the girls were young, they loved reading the selected books, preparing questions, answering questions, socializing, and eating dinner together in a big group.
By the time we had joined the group, the girls’ homework load prohibited us from reading books except during school vacations and summers. Instead, we read a thought-provoking article or two about every six weeks. The girls typically race through the articles an hour or so before we meet, which is usually on a Friday evening. We eat dinner separated in two groups: Moms in one room, girls in the other. The conversation flows as long as we moms don’t dominate or say anything too embarrassing.
Every time we meet, the girls laugh and tell us how it's the moms who love this group. They are perfectly content to dissolve the group and simply hang together as they do at least one night of most weekends. They are also perfectly content to humor us and continue the group.
The mothers are holding on tight, knowing the group offers a rare chance to hang with our daughters, their friends, and each other. Next school year these girls will be in far-flung locations all over the country reading books in college dorms, libraries, and classrooms -- without us. And us moms plan to continue meeting, ostensibly to discuss books, but truthfully to keep in touch with each other’s daughters’ lives.
If you have any interest in starting a mother-daughter book, or shall I say, article group, here are a few recommendations:
Articles we read:
Books we read:
Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
Yes, Chef: a Memoir by Marcus Samuelsson
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Other book Ideas:
Goodreads 2013 Choice Awards
National Book Foundation’s National Book Award Winners
New York Times list of Young Adult Best Sellers
The 10 Best Books of 2013, selected by the editors of The New York Times Book Review