I joined a book group about six years ago. There are about a dozen women in it at any one time, and we each host every month (except august, when the group go to the Theatre in the Forest to wach the Red Rose Chain do some Shakespeare, and December, our Xmas meal.
We have tried various ways to choose a book:
Each host chooses their own
All picked from one Mann Booker list
Pick a genre out of a hat and choose from that
All picked from shortlisted prizewinners of literary prizes
All picked from a selection of lists, winners only
Generally we found it just better to let our Book Club Leader (a very organised lady called Sarah) make up a huge list from a mixture of the above and we pick from a hat – throwing back immediately any that we veto.
Whoever is hosting provides nibbles (cold cuts, cheese, breads etc) and drinks, and we spend about an hour discussing the book, led by questions from our host. We are not exclusively female, just no man has yet asked to join.
It is a great group, meeting every month and always open to having authors visit us (Ruth dugdall has already done so)
We were even featured in our local press: