Back to the Blog

The July Spotlight Group Is…

July 2024 Spotlight: Savannah’s Friends

Our July 2024 Spotlight has been meeting monthly for 24 years!

Our book group, “ Savannah’s Friends”, was named for one of the original members of our group who passed away from cancer. Even to her final days, she was an avid reader and attended meetings. After her death, her grown daughter came to our meeting to tell us how important our group had been to her mother. The group has met monthly for 24 years, in person for 22 and on Zoom for 2.

The picture is of a celebratory luncheon, but most meetings are less formal with just a drink and snack usually to follow the theme or setting of the book. One member serves as a facilitator in which she finds background information about the author and prepares questions to promote lively and insightful discussion. When we are all present, we have 9 members, all from different areas of San Diego. We hail from 7 different states and South Africa and have learned much from different viewpoints and experiences. Our selections are chosen for six months at a time with members sending possible choices to a secretary who researches each book and prepares  brief summaries, number of pages, dates of publication and awards. After a group member is familiar with the choices, she votes for the one of most interest to her.

We have had an author visit us in person, another on Zoom, dined at a restaurant while an author spoke, had a speech pathologist speak at our meeting after we read Still Alice, and for this coming September we have invited a male Vietnam Army veteran to join us in the discussion of The Women by Kristen Hannah.

It is difficult to choose a favorite book because we have found there is always something to discuss and learn, no matter the selection. Sometimes, minds have changed after hearing others’ opinions. Two books that really stand out this year are Welcome to Lagos by Chibundu Onozu and Absolution by Alice McDermott.

Savannah’s Friends is important to all of us. We consider each other family.

~ Sharon Gruby

Books Savannah’s Friends have read and enjoyed:

Still Alice by Lisa Genova
The Women by Kristen Hannah
Welcome to Lagos by Chibundu Onozu
Absolution by Alice McDermott