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Pat McDer­mott dis­cov­ers what re­ally goes on at Book Club meet­ings.

The Australian Women's Weekly - - Family Matters - To con­nect with Pat on Face­book, visit www.face­book.com/PatMcDer­mot­tau.

Dear Pat,

Wel­come to the Tues­day Book Club! I’ve told the other mem­bers you’d like to join – just in case any­one hates you! Only jok­ing!

See club rules below. Hope you’re a good cook ’cause we’re bored to sobs with carob slice and gluten-free bis­cuits.

Tues­day Book Club rules:

1 We meet once a month on Tues­days. This should be ob­vi­ous but some peo­ple still get con­fused.

2 The host­ess of the month pro­vides tea, cof­fee and a sum­mary of gos­sip since our pre­vi­ous meet­ing.

3 Ev­ery­body brings home­made treats.

(NB: Feed what­ever Mered­ith brings di­rectly to the dog. Mered­ith doesn’t mind. She knows she’s an aw­ful cook.)

4 Too busy to bake? Choco­late and a good ex­cuse will get you through the door for a cou­ple of months.

5 Haven’t fin­ished (or started) the book? If you nod thought­fully from time to time, the oth­ers might think you’re deep.

I do this all the time. But then, I am deep. 6 You are al­lowed to can­cel your host­ing du­ties if: l Your house/apart­ment is on fire l There’s been a death in your fam­ily. Yes, this in­cludes dogs and cats. We don’t ac­cept Nor­we­gian sec­ond cousins you’ve never met. l A fam­ily mem­ber has lost their job, a lover or a lot of money. It’s im­pos­si­ble to dis­cuss a racy best-seller around the din­ing ta­ble with some­one in py­ja­mas sob­bing on the sofa. Cheers! Ce­cily Corn­forth (Book Club Pres­i­dent 2017).

Dear Ce­cily,

The club sounds fab­u­lous. Are Book Club dis­cus­sions as heated as I’ve heard? I’ll bring a choco­late slice. I’m semi-fa­mous for it in the im­me­di­ate fam­ily. Pat.

Dear Pat,

The whole point of Book Club is heated dis­cus­sions! Take last month. We were dis­cussing War and Peace. In the mid­dle of the dis­cus­sion, Margie tells Jenny her hus­band, Glen (a lawyer), is su­ing Jenny’s hus­band,

Peter (a den­tist), for “pro­fes­sional neg­li­gence”. That put the cat amongst the pi­geons!

Then Suzanne, who never fin­ishes a book any­way, in­sists that we ab­so­lutely must not tell her how War and Peace ends!

“I have 800 pages to go. I don’t want any­body spoil­ing it!” Can you be­lieve it?

Lynne, who’s very ex­citable, shouts “Napoleon in­vades Rus­sia and EV­ERY­BODY DIES!” Well, of course, that to­tally ru­ined the book for Suzanne. The af­ter­noon was a de­ba­cle. See you soon, Ce­cily.

PS: If that’s the choco­late slice you used to bring to school cake stalls we’d rather you brought wine. Xx Ce­cily.

De­spite the MOTH (the Man of the House) telling me I must be crack­ers, I joined the Tues­day Book Club any­way. But now we meet on Thurs­days. Sadly, I don’t think any­one told Ce­cily.

“It’s tough in Book Club world,” says Jenny. “Some­times you leave the club. Some­times the club leaves you.”

The Thurs­day Book Club has new rules:

1 The club meets Thurs­days at 7pm un­less we can’t be both­ered, and then we don’t.

2 There is talk­ing from start to fin­ish. We love to com­plain.

3 No­body brings food. We or­der pizza in­stead.

4 There is “book talk­ing” be­tween “pizza or­der­ing” and “pizza ar­riv­ing”.

5 If you haven’t read the book of the month you get to take the empty pizza boxes home as pun­ish­ment.

The Book Club is go­ing amaz­ingly well. Margie and Jenny are talk­ing to each other. Lynne is much calmer. Suzanne says what­ever’s in the flask in Lynne’s hand­bag is cer­tainly help­ing. Ce­cily? She stepped down as pres­i­dent. Who knew Thurs­day was the ONLY night she couldn’t do? We gave her a signed copy of Gone Girl. It seemed, you know, to­tally ap­pro­pri­ate.

If you nod from time to time, the oth­ers might think you’re deep.

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