|Pam, Toby, and Oscar at a Finer Things Club meeting on The Office.|
Book clubs are great ways to share a common love of reading Jane Austen and great excuses to sit around and eat delicious finger foods. And if The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler can be believed, an Austen book club can reveal your own “private Austen.” But personally, I dig the concept of the Finer Things Club from The Office. Forget the stuffy meeting where the chairs are arranged in a circle and everyone feels like they’re in British Lit class again.
Here are some tips for starting and hosting your own Finer Things Club: Jane Austen Edition.
- Send invitations to a group of Austen loving friends.
- Choose a book. I recommend Charlotte Collins, of course!
- Read the book.
- Download the Group Discussion Questions or write some of your own.
- Now get creative!
- Set out your china cups and saucers and resurrect your teapot.
- Bring theme food and drinks, perhaps those mentioned in the book.
- Create the ambiance. Use music and consider lighting the room with candles.
- If you are really devoted, dress the part and encourage your group to do the same. Long white gloves would be a nice Charlotte Collins touch.
- As you eat, discuss the questions and enjoy the company and the opportunity to escape from your reality for a few hours.
- Enlist the kids to do the clean up; call them your servants.
Call it historical accuracy.