The First Church Book Club

The Friends of the Grosse Pointe Library is excited to profile its third Grosse Pointe book club, the First Church Book Club. The picture below was taken at their year-end party in December 2010, when they celebrated the literature and food of the American South. They are all wearing hats that are decorated in a Southern style.

The First Church Book Club has been meeting monthly since February 2006 at members’ homes. Most of the members attend First Christian Reformed Church of Detroit in Grosse Pointe Park, and they all share a love of books, read a lot, and enjoy discussions over dessert and wine. They choose their books in a democratic fashion, and usually end up selecting historical and literary fiction with a few classics, memoirs, and non-fiction books. The group has emeritus members who still follow their doings from as far away as Colorado and Arizona.

At the end of each year, one of the members plans a themed night with a potluck dinner, lots of books, a test, and sometimes even costumes. Their themes have included favorite children’s books, cooking, the American South, the Titanic, and mysteries. It’s one of the highlights of their year, every year!

You can see a list of all their selections at, but the book club’s top five favorites are:

  1. Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland
  2. Moloka’i by Alan Brennert
  3. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
  4. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Shaffer and Barrows
  5. The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman


Top Row (L to R): Mary M., Melody V., Gayla Batts, Elissa Malefyt, Norma Bain, Marcia Van’t Hof

Middle Row (L to R): Kris VandeVusse, Jane Stewart, Mary Hulswit, Wilma Dykstra (1926-2013), Marian Lambers, Helene Davis

Bottom Row (L to R): Gayle Conway, Mimi McMillan, Jennifer Dykstra