Local clubs keep readers turning pages, sharing ideas

All eyes are on Linda Cutler-Smith.

She’s talking about how the book “Consequences of Sin” piqued her interest in the British suffragist movement.

“I love when a book inspires me to go someplace else,” she says of the novel, a mystery with romantic overtones that her listeners read for their monthly meeting of the Desert Hearts Romance Readers Book Club.

The women, seven in all, met at the Sahara West Library on a recent Thursday night to talk about this book and then eat some cake. They give their opinions about female protagonists and how they tend to be atypical women, unless they’re in the TSTL category. Those are characters that are “too stupid to live,” Cutler-Smith explains.

All the while, a chocolate cake sits on a table surrounded by books the women have brought to give away. The women are all voracious readers; it’s the books that get them through the doors. But that chocolate cake, well, that serves as a little extra incentive.

“I have dessert and free books,” Cutler-Smith says. “We always talk about the book, but I always have dessert, whether I make it or buy it.”

So, if rule No. 1 of running a book club is to read books, rule No. 2 is “always have something to eat,” Cutler-Smith says.

Books can unite a group, but food seems to ensure continuing participation, say local book club organizers.

The Las Vegas Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club started in a bookstore about 14 months ago, but recently moved its monthly meetings to Create, a hamburger restaurant.

Organizer Elizabeth Scott lives nearby, she says, and the owner was willing to accommodate the club’s meetings on the first Wednesday of each month.

The group attracts anywhere from 10 to 15 people each meeting, Scott says.

“We have great burgers and some custard,” Scott says. “We have kind of a dinner and discussion about what we’re reading, movies we’ve seen, everything.”

Some members drive as far as 40 miles to attend, which says something about the group, Scott says. Or, maybe they’re coming for the burgers. Either way, attendance is steady, she says.

Contact reporter Sonya Padgett at spadgett@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4564.

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