The Bookies

The Friends of the Grosse Pointe Library is excited to profile its sixth Grosse Pointe book club, the Bookies. BOOKIES began in the Fall of 2002 with a conversation between Diana Langlois and Cathie Baldwin about starting a neighborhood book club to read and discuss books. Then one day during a walk on Lakeshore, Diana saw Sandy Tenkel and shared this with her and it was decided to invite some women who might be interested. The first time they met they used post-it notes and each woman wrote down three books she would like to read. The post-its were gathered and decisions were made: Stone Diaries and Dressing for the Carnival by Carol Shields, Daughter of Persia by Sattareh Farman Farmaian, Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt (a book that they still reference in many discussions!) and First Light and Feast of Love by Charles Baxter. Five of the ten original members are still active readers and currently BOOKIES has thirteen members.

They don’t use the post-it method anymore, they simply talk to the group about what they would like to read and make the book sound so good that everyone wants to read it! They try to have an eclectic approach to their readings by choosing books that have substance or a topic that we can learn from, one classic each year, an autobiography and perhaps a best seller. They discuss the book with questions from a guide or questions found online and often times talk about the authors. The Bookies meet monthly (but not in December, July or August) in member’s homes and serve light snacks and yummy desserts! Books read this year include:

My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomeyer, And the Mountain Echoed by Khaled Hosseini, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, The Alienist by Caleb Carr, The Generational Imperative by Chuck Underwood, Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver, The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid, and Beekeepers Apprentice by Laura R. King. One of their newer members, Jan, sent this email which sums up why they still look forward to the readings and to getting together: “I really feel the best part of book club (besides the great ladies) is that I read books I would normally pass right by. So many new authors have been introduced to me through this club and our discussions are always very delightful even when we can’t agree on anything about the book”.

Back row: L to R: Diana Langlois, Barb Skelly, Jan Drewek, Susan Madro, Jill Davenport, Alexis Linder
Front: L to R: Marti Thomalla, Pam Prisbe, Sandy Tenkel, Mary Ellen Anglewicz
Missing: Sheila Behler, Cathie Baldwin, Mary Bryk


On a cold evening, December 6, 2002, we gathered at Diana’s home with books,                                      and post-its, to select books for our newly formed book club. In attendance were Diana Langlois, Cathie Baldwin, Linda Rumon, Glory Schappe, Pam Prisbe, Sandy Tenkel, Pat Milne, Donna Toll, Louise Taylor, and Mary Ellen Anglewicz. We discussed many books and our final choices (using a very democratic method) were:

2003  Selections

  • Stone Diaries &  Dressing for the Carnival  by  Carol Shields
  • Daughter of Persia   by    Sattareh Farman Farmaian
  • Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt
  • First Light  &  Feast of Love   by   Charles Baxter
  • Summer Reading Selection :  Finding My Voice & Towards Commitment  by   Diane Rehm

On September 21, 2003 we met to select our books for the coming season.

  • Dropouts:  Linda Rumon, Glory Schappe, and Pat Milne
  • New members:  Alexis Linder, Sheila Behler, and Martie Thomalla

2003/2004 Selections

  • Beach Music   by Pat Conroy
  • Fall On Your Knees   by Anne Mc Donald
  • DaVinci Code   by   Dan Brown
  • American Tragedy    by Theodore Dreiser
  • East of Eden   by John Steinbeck
  • Summer Reading Selection:  Secret Life of Bees   by   Sue Monk Kidd

We had a delightful time at Diana’s cottage, around a camp fire discussing this book.

2004/2005  Selections

  • Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values by   Robert Pirsig
  • The Red Tent   by  Anita Diamont
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude   by   Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Devil in the White City   by    Eric Larson
  • So Big  by  Edna Ferber
  • Walden by Henry David Thoreau
  • Traveling Mercies  by Ann Lamont
  • New Members:  Mary Byrk and Sue Madro
  • 2005/2006   Selections*

Life of Pi    by  Yann Martell

Memoirs of a Geisha   by  Arthur Golden

Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight   by   Alexandra Fuller

A Civil Action  by   Jonathon Harr

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan  by   Lisa See

Hidden Messages in the Water  by   Emoto

Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time  by    Mark Haddon

*The Kite Runner   by   Khaled Hosseini    On a winter evening, January 31st,we met at        Vienna Café to have dinner and discuss this book. 

2006/2007  Selections / Events*

Bel Canto   by     Ann Patchett

The Coffee Trader    by    David Liss

Arc of Justice    by     Kevin Boyle

Shadow of the Wind   by    Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The Secret Supper   by     Javier Sierra  &  Alberto Manguel

The No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency    by    Alexander Mccall Smith

I Feel Bad about My Neck    by    Nora Ephron

Man & Superman     by     George Bernard Shaw

*On Sunday September 17th Diana invited us to her new lake house

for an overnight. It was a delightful time.

*Bookclub went to hear Howard Zinn at Cranbrook Peace Award at Cobo

on November 5th.  Previously we viewed the movie about Howard Zinn’s

peace activities and his life on October 30th at Mel’s. 

Summer Reading Selection: The World is Flat  by  Thomas Friedman

New Member: Jill Davenport

2007/ 2008   Selections / Events

  • Lemon Tree   by    Sandy Tolan
  • Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf    by   Edward Albee *
  • *At North H. S.  Author lecture and read from his plays and answered questions.
  • Water for Elephants   by    Sarah Gruen
  • Ten Thousand Splendid Suns   by   Khaled Hosseini
  • Heart of Darkness    by    Joseph Conrad *
  • *  U of M Professor… Classic Book Lecture at  GP Central Library
  • The Three Junes         by     Julia Glass
  • 84 Charing Cross Road       by     Helene Hanff
  • Summer Reading Selection:  A Tree Grows in Brooklyn   by    Betty Smith

New Member :  Jan Drewek

2008/ 2009 Selections

  • Their Eyes Were Watching God    by    Zora Neale Hurston
  • And Keep Your Powder Dry      by      Margaret Mead
  • A long Way Gone (Sierra Leone)   by    Ishmael Beah
  • Left to Tell (Rwanda)     by     Immaculee Ilibagiza
  • Rebecca       by    Daphne Du Maurier
  • A Prisoner of Birth      by      Jeffery Archer
  • Interpreter  of Maladies    by   Jhumpa Lahiri
  • Summer Reading Selection:  Team of Rivals   by   Doris Kearns Goodwin

New Member :  Barbara Skelly

2009 / 2010 Selections

  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society    by    Mary Ann Shaffer
  • Loving Frank      by          Nancy Horan
  • The Book Thief      by     Markus Zusak
  • Olive Kitteridge       by         Elizabeth Strout
  • The Help        by        Kathryn Stockett
  • Wuthering Heights   by       Emily Bronte
  • The Repatriate: Love, Basketball and KGB     by     Thomas Mooradian

2010/ 2011  Selections / Events*

  • Fair and Tender Ladies       by     Lee Smith
  • Little Bee          by      Chris Cleave
  • Women, Food & God     by   Geneen Roth
  • Mountain Beyond Mountain (Paul Farmer)   by   Tracy Kidder
  • Sidetracked  (Kurt Wallander Mystery)      by     Henning  Mankell
  • Room with a View   by    E.M. Forster
  • Annie’s Ghosts: Journey into a Family Secret     by   Steve Luxemburg
  • To Kill a Mockingbird        by    Harper Lee
  • Blue Latitudes: Captain Cook’s Adventures   by    Tony Horwitz*

*What a perfect setting to discuss Captain Cook’s book… We went sailing on BRAVO, Sandy and Frank’s sailboat. On Wed. June 29, 2011 many of us had the pleasure of a perfect evening on Lake Huron.

New Member : Mary Jane Failla

2011/ 2012  Selections / Events *

  • The Paris Wife     by    Paula McLain
  • Last Call         by     Daniel Okrent
  • Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks       by      Rebecca Skloot
  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin     by   Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • My Own Country       by      Abraham Verghese
  • The Warmth of Other Suns       by     Isabel Wilkerson
  • Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet    by    Jamie Ford
  • Cleopatra       by     Stacy Schiff
  • In The Garden of the Beasts       by    Erik Larson
  • *On Thursday Sept 1, 2011 a group went to see the movie THE  HELP

*Our sail with Sandy and Frank was on Monday June 18, 2012. It was a lovely evening  to be on the water. Everyone had a delightful time on a this beautiful evening..

2012/2013  Selections /  Events*

  • Citizen of London         by      Lynne Olson
  • Unbroken          by    Laura Hillenbrand
  • March           by          Geraldine Brooks
  • Tolstoy & the Purple Chair        by        Nina Sankovitch
  • Dearie           by         Bob Spitz
  • Still Alice      by    Lisa Genova
  • Train Dreams        by        Denis Johnson
  • Proof of Heaven         by      Dr. Eben Alexander *
  • Summer reading Selection:     I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
  • Mom& Me & Mom    by Maya Angelou

*June 20, 2013, we had a delightful sail on Sandy’s and Frank’s boat. It was a perfect evening for sailing and discussing Proof of Heaven.  We enjoyed dessert in the park before the arrival of fish flies!

2013/2014 Selections

  • Flight Behavior   by   Barbara Kingsolver
  • The Generational Imperative   by    Chuck Underwood
  • The Alienist    by    Caleb Carr
  • Beekeepers Apprentice   by   Laurie R. King
  • The Reluctant Fundamentalist   by   Mohsin Hamid
  • My Beloved Country   by  Sonia Sotomeyer
  • The Handmaid’s Tale   by   Margaret Atwood
  • And the Mountain Echoed   by   Khaled Hosseini