The Women's Reading Group

Updated: Jul 28

by Mary-Ella Holst.

The Women's Reading Group was founded in in 1979 when a group of women got together at lunch and made a list of books written by women that they would like to read, according to an article written by Darcy Hall that appeared in the All Souls Monthly Bulletin in 1982. They decided to meet on Tuesday evenings for an hour.


Now, 39 years later, they continue to meet and discuss books by women. During all these years they have met twice monthly; however, this year they have decided to meet just once a month on a Tuesday for a longer 1 1/2 hour meeting. They meet from September through May for discussions, but during December meet to read poetry by women and celebrate the Holiday Season with a "Festive Dessert."


Books are chosen at a June meeting over a pot luck meal together. The book list appears each month in the All Souls Bulletin for two months: the current month and the upcoming month. Each discussion is led by the individual woman who nominated the book. The group quickly became a part of the Women's Alliance when it was founded. For many years the group had organized a "Book & Brownie Sale" with proceeds gong to a group that sponsored reading for children, often to the "Reach Out & Read" chapter at Bellevue Hospital. That tradition ended several years ago when there was no longer space in the church to store donated books. Now the group continues to sell Baked Goods (including homemade Brownies!) at the Holiday Gift Fair with proceeds continuing to support reading groups for children.


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