The next ‘Around Town’ Book Club will be held Thursday, June 24 at 7:00 p.m. The group will meet in front of the main entrance to the Deer Creek Lodge, where they will then go to an outside location to set up. Bring your own lawn chair in case we need them. In case of rain or inclement weather such as extreme heat, the group will meet at the Mt. Sterling Community Center Public Library instead. The June book is Chasing Fireflies, by Charles Martin. Copies are available at the library now. The book club is open to anyone from older teens and up and is a non-genre specific group, reading anything from autobiography to non fiction, science fiction, historical fiction, Christian fiction, to mysteries and thrillers. 

Currently we will no longer offer the monthly Zoom book club meeting option unless we receive feedback on requests to participate.  

The following is a record of what our ‘Around Town’ Book Club has been doing each month. It is written in reverse sequence so you will read the most recent first, starting with 2021 and making our way back. 

The May ‘Around Town’ Book Club took place at the Deer Creek State Park Lodge. The group met at the entrance and walked around to the back where they sat at a firepit. It was a beautiful spring night to sit out and enjoy the weather and the nature that surrounded us. There was a visiting groundhog and her 6 pups, a few geese, lots of birds and a tabby cat that were all nearby. The May book was The Lions of Fifth Avenue, by Viola Davis. Everyone agreed they enjoyed the story and it was written well enough to keep us all guessing until the end. 

The April ‘Around Town’ Book Club met in person for the April 2021 meeting for the first time since October 2020. There were 7 members present to discuss the book All Creatures Great and Small, by James Herriot. This book was unanimously liked by all those present. After the book discussion the group was given a seek and find puzzle from National Library Week which was earlier in the month of April. Carrie Alkire was the first to complete the puzzle and won the door prize. 

The March 2021 Zoom Book Club discussed the book titled Grandma Gatewood’s Walk, The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail, by Ben Montgomery.  The group decided we will do an outing in the future when the pandemic is better and members are vaccinated. The outing will be to somewhere in the Old Man’s Cave area as an ode to Grandma Gatewood. 

Our February Zoom Book Club was held online Thursday, February 25 at 7:00 p.m. For the first time in many years, we skipped our “Blind Date With A Book” tradition and read a book specifically at the request of a member in conjunction with Black History Month. Our story of discussion was Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward. We welcomed back a member who joined us for the first time on Zoom. 

The first book club meeting of the year went off without a hitch. Our January 2021 Zoom Book Club attendees had an in depth discussion over the story and topic as well as the controversy the book  had become known for. Everyone gave this story two thumbs up and it is recommended for others who enjoy fiction that reads like a true story. 

2020 Book Club Meetings

Our plans for our annual Christmas Book Club party were changed to being completely remote. We  held a Zoom meeting with an Ugly Christmas Sweater contest and a Secret Santa book exchange.  It was a lot of fun despite the pandemic!

Our October meeting was the last in-person meeting until further notice. It was moved to the Mt. Sterling Community Center due to weather. Our Zoom meeting went on as planned. The discussion covered Radium Girls, a true account written by Kate Moore. Copies were made available at the library for those attending either of our book club meeting formats in October.  

The ‘Around Town’ Book Club is in it’s 10th year! The name was given to it by the current facilitator when the club was conceived through a joint collaborative effort of the current facilitator and previous library director, Heidi Fletcher. We do not have membership fees and are open to men, women, and older teens. For the most recent updates on what the book club is doing, follow the library social media pages of Instagram and/ or Facebook. Currently, to allow the opportunity for all our members (around 19 active) to attend we offer the Zoom option. We highly encourage everyone to join us in the Zoom meetings so that we can avoid having to turn others away after meeting the maximum of 10 at the in-person meetings. Please contact the group facilitator to learn more by messaging the library Facebook page, sending a direct message to the library Instagram page, or text or call 614-315-7939. 

Our ‘Around Town’ Book Club held our August in-person meeting in the open-air horse barn of newest member Carolyn Prior. We had a great time and gave out a door prize. We had skipped June and met in person Thursday, July 30th at 7:00 p.m. to discuss Ordinary Grace, by William Kent Kreuger. We are currently limited to a maximum of 10 people attending the meetings until further notice from the state.  Due to the rain, we met in the large room at the community center. Everyone sat in chairs that allowed for social distancing of 6 feet apart in a large circle. Chairs were disinfected both before and after the meeting, and everyone wore facemasks. be available digitally to download for free in the Ohio Digital Library or Hoopla through our library website or your hoopla or Libby apps with your library card. Unlike most libraries, Mt. Sterling Public Library does not require anyone to “sign-up”.

Due to the covid-19 pandemic, our facilitator hosted a virtual book club meeting by way of Zoom for the May meeting. The meeting was held on the regularly scheduled date with a 15 minute delay to allow everyone to join. Our discussion was over the book Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens. This was our scheduled book to originally discuss in March. There were 6 participants, with 4 utilizing the Zoom video and two utilizing just the audio through the phone in option. Lots of great discussion occurred with laughter sprinkled throughout. Everyone was happy to see (or hear) each other again and it was an over all success. Special thanks to Carrie Alkire for her help in facilitating the virtual meeting. 

After reaching out to all 19 current book club members, it is apparent that the majority do not wish to use the virtual means of meeting, but would prefer to meet together in person.  Many have experience and are happy to meet virtually, but many more have never and do not wish to participate in the virtual experience. Under current state guidelines, libraries are not an exception and therefore we cannot have more than 10 people gather together.  Meeting via Zoom would allow all to meet, but meeting in person will be limited to 10 people gathering for the time being. Weather permitting, we are looking to perhaps meet in an outside venue with low noise levels to allow us all to hear eachother from our facemasks and social distances. We are looking for input from our bookclub members.  Please send a message with your ideas and opinions via the library Facebook page. For those without Facebook, you may email or contact the bookclub facilitator by text or calling 614-315-7939 or reece.melissa.b@gmail.com

We are a non-genre specific book club, meaning we read more than just one type of story. We mostly read fiction, but that could include mysteries, historical fiction, Christian, romance, science fiction, etc. We also read some memoirs, biographies, and other versions of non fiction.

The next meeting was scheduled for  Thursday, March 26 at the Mad Hatter café. Unfortunately, it will have to be rescheduled to a date yet to be determined due to the COVID19 pandemic. Look for updates on our webpage and social media outlets. Our next book discussion will still be on the book Where the Crawdads Sing.

Our February’s meeting was held at the historical home of assistant librarian Angela McFarland at 231 Yankeetown St., Mt. Sterling, OH. We welcomed a  newcomer once again to the group!  February is our traditional “Blind Date with a Book” theme due to the National Love Your Library Month, Love Your Library Day, and the Valentines Day holidays in the month. Angela made beverages to go with some of the locations that the stories took us and a great discussion was had with refreshments on the side.
Our scheduled meetings for the first half of the year will be as follows:
January – Mt. Sterling Community Center
February – The historical home of Angela McFarland, Assistant Librarian
March – The Mad Hatter
April – Mt. Sterling Eyecare office
May – Hammertime Pub
June – TBD
July – TBD
August – TBD
September – Lohstroh Family Farm
October – Vincent campsite at Deer Creek Campgrounds
November – No meeting
December – Deer Creek Lodge (First Thursday, not last Thursday as rest of year)

Our Christmas meeting/party was great fun. We have recently added a new member each of the past 3 months, and they have continued to attend. Welcome and thank you all for joining us! Our current active membership is 18, but we never have everyone at a meeting at the same time!

Some recent notables about previous meetings include:

In 2019 the book club met at Deb’s Country Diner, the library, the United Church, Pleasant Township Hall, the historical home of library staff member Angela McFarland, Mt. Sterling Community Center, Two Hands Café, and Lohstroh Family Farms, and Deer Creek Lodge. Our meeting locations are booked through a good majority of the 2020 year so far.

If you or your business would like to offer a space for the book club to meet, please contact Melissa at the Mt. Sterling Public Library on Tuesdays or Wednesdays.

The ‘Around Town’ Book Club had their annual December meeting on the first Thursday of December at 7:00 p.m. The meeting/party was held at the Deercreek Lodge in front of the roaring fireplace. Members enjoyed a discussion over the chosen book. Each member brought a wrapped favorite, pre-read book for the book exchange which was made into a game. This is a fun part of the night we added 2 years ago. Refreshments were served, and some members took advantage of dining at the restaurant prior to the beginning of the meeting. We played a couple other Christmas themed games and the winners were awarded a prize. A drawing resulted in many other gift winners as well. This is a co-ed book club open from older teens and up. If you have never attended a meeting, please join us.  This is a fun group of people with a love of reading and socializing. There are never any fees, and you do not have to come every single month. Come out and make new friends or just partake in the monthly shenanigans of a fun reading group.

Some of the places we have met “around town” in recent years also include the Mad Hatter, Colburn Wealth Management, Two Hands Coffee, Dairy Freeze, Thirsty Goat, Ben & Joy’s, Larry’s Pizza, Mt. Sterling Community Museum, Mt. Sterling Public Library, Mt. Sterling Community Center, The United Church, Sweet Bessie’s, Pleasant Township Hall, Brickhouse Cafe, Der Dutchman in Plain City, the home of Grif & Peggy Vincent, and the historical home of Steve Chambers (Museum director) and Angela McFarland, assistant librarian.  We have also traveled to the AMC Movie Theater in Grove City together on our book club night. If you would like to host a book club meeting at your venue or home, please contact Melissa Reece at the library, or leave a message for her with your contact information. The library’s number is 740-869-2430.

The “Around Town” Book Club has been meeting for over eight years now, on the last Thursday of each month at 7:00 PM. With the exception of combining our November and December meetings held on the first Thursday in December, and occasionally the October meeting is held a week early because we plan it around the Deer Creek Halloween time campout. Every meeting is otherwise the LAST Thursday of each month. Our club meets at a different location each month “around town”, hence the name.  We are a diverse group of varying ages and backgrounds, though we have several educators in our group. We are a non-genre specific and co-ed group of adult readers, yet we tend to have mostly women in attendance, and generally read more adult fiction than any other genre.  We would love to have more men and women, even teens, join us. Meetings that are held at restaurants allow members to order from the menus on their own.  Meetings held at non-food locations will have a variety of refreshments served.  Every month a prize is won, usually from a “reading related challenge” of sorts, or by a type of name or number drawing.  There are no membership dues or fees.  Readers are encouraged to volunteer to host, or contribute their own reviews of different books if they so desire.  We encourage our members to read “outside the box” and explore other styles of reading and authors than they may otherwise on their own, but it is never a requirement.  Our group enjoys fun times with laughter sprinkled throughout the book discussions.  We have played many reading games, and even taken literature related quizzes for fun.  Prizes are won from these challenges every month. We encourage you to join us!