One sweet, summer afternoon in 2011 I was sharing a glass of Sauvignon Blanc with Shannon Linden, my dear friend, muse and mentor in all matters of the pen. We were chatting as we do about everything under the Okanagan sun, when our conversation turned to books and then to book clubs. And that is how LOL, Ladies on Literature, came to be!

Both lovers of sumptuous spirits, we considered calling our fledgling club WOW, Women on Wine, but concluded, no...books had to be the focus. Together we made a list of girl friends, an eclectic cast of soul-swelling women - and the rest is history!

We are fifteen women who gather the first Wednesday of every month, except in July and August when each of us dip into our own beach reads. For the record, mysteries/thrillers are my pool-side page turner of choice.

The hostess selects in advance the book for the meeting at her home – preferably the choice is made at the windup meeting before summer break so keeners can use the summer months off to read ahead. She is responsible for beverages (…can you say, wine?), the plat du jour and the sweet, usually cake. Wasn’t it Julia Child who said, “A party without cake is just a meeting”? The rest of us bring supporting dishes so hosting doesn’t become onerous. The food is always delectable, the wine divine!

LOL’ers love to talk about, well...pretty much anything and everything, from latest finds at Winner’s, to travel, work, husbands, kids and even sex...the more scintillating, the better. To keep us on track, the hostess does research into the book and author, which ideally provides fodder to facilitate meaningful discussion about the book. In reality some books generate more animated discussion than others.

We love the literature (or at least, almost all of it). We love the company and conversation. We love the food...OMG, Ruth’s stuffed mushrooms and Gail’s Gewürztraminer! We love the support and enrichment that come from sharing our lives with a tribe of such wonderful women.

We are blessed to have each other and particularly Shannon, a master of the written word, who organizes us and pens a bi-monthly column in Okanagan Woman Magazine about Ladies on Literature and the books we are reading.

Since a story is always better if you have someone with which to share, please join Shannon and me for regular reviews from our LOL book selections. Interested in what the LOL’ers are sipping and savoring? We’ll share that too...

Read along with us! We will be a great time. Our passion for literature is matched only by our love of Laughing Out Loud!

Photo Credit: Paul Linden

Photo Credit: Paul Linden