BookWorms Book Club, a Johannesburg-based book club, was established over 9 years ago by three women whose love of reading connected them. The Book club is founded on three pillars:
- Love of reading and sharing.
- Promoting authors and stories
- Belief in Pay-It-Forward
The book club has grown to 16 black women only membership. The Book Club is membership based and each member is required to commit to the book club for at least a full calendar year because the book club uses its own resources to support a community-based organisation or programme for a year and this requires fundraising commitment from the members.
Over the past years the book club has supported nine initiatives and the assistance has enabled the organisations and individuals to work on processes that would enable long-term sustainability. In total, the book club has invested close to R250 000.00 and its time in 6 initiatives and 3 households.
Since May 2020 to date, all our book discussion sessions are held on Zoom and livestreamed via the CNA’s Facebook page. It is evident that the discussion sessions are not only popular but fulfil a need for a lively and relaxed discussion around books by the ever-increasing number of views from the videos archived on Facebook.
The shift introduced a significant opportunity through enabling more people to experience a non-academic, non-judgemental book discussion. We are still keeping the formula of making the discussions engaging, inspired and inclusive and after the formal book discussion, we hold our members-only meetings. For a maximum one hour, we discuss book club related issues like our next read and progress on our current community-based project.
Our most recent session was on the 17th of Jan 2021 where we discussed Critical But, Stable with the author, Angela Makholwa. There were over 40 Zoom participants and to date, the video has been viewed over one thousand times https://fb.watch/3nwQE70DXr/. Our book discussions are normally on the second Saturday of the month allowing the members plenty of time to read and engage with the book.
© Info supplied by BookWorms Book Club
Book Review: Lorraine Sithole
Critical But, Stable – Angela Makholwa
A hilarious, witty but reflective slice of life of four couples battling to have one up over each other. From their houses to cars to holiday homes to catered-for events with seriously dire consequences. Angela delivered the opulence while interrogating the social chains that bind all those whose aim was to “Keep Up with The Khumalo’s”. The toxicities in their relationships and the sacrifices each couple makes to maintain the status quo.
More than the smokescreen and mirrors of these glitzy lifestyles, Angela shines a light on contemporary issues and challenges by the black Nouveau Riche. The “Hilton Moms” syndicates. The Bryanston/Parktown Club lunchers. The shenanigans of the Tenderpreneurs and the “Came With Money” partners.
Angela stretches the narrative to position the black wife as a person battling moral ambiguity, less instructive as to “How to be” 1. A good wife 2. A good mother 3. Please your husband 4. Raise good children. In Critical But, Stable the burden is not placed on the woman to create and maintain “The Stepford Wife” trope. Yes, we do bake cookies and dress up. We support our partners and children but, we still maintain our autonomy as individuals with our own needs, wants and expectations.
Critical But, Stable is more than Women’s Fiction. Do not be fooled by the candyfloss cover and male wedding band. This is Women’s Literature written by a woman with a focus on women.
By Lorraine Sithole,
Founder: BookWorms Book Club