From fiction to friendships: Book clubs thrive on Daniel Island, Clements Ferry

Book clubs: It’s a phrase that might conjure up the image of middle-aged women sipping on sauvignon blanc and giggling over “Fifty Shades of Grey.”
But times are changing.
The literary scene is undergoing a revival. 
#BookTok has racked up more than 220 billion views on TikTok, and celebrities like Kaia Gerber and Dua Lipa have jumped on the train and formed book clubs of their own.
Book clubs have joined the list of trending hobbies (move over, pickleball), and 29492 residents are sharing the how’s and why’s of starting their clubs.
From historical sagas to modern thrillers, Daniel Island and Clements Ferry residents have found a way to combine their love for reading with a social hour.
The Fuzzy Slippers Book Group
When Maura O’Connor moved to Daniel Island in 2017, she left behind an endearing book club of 25 years that carried her from early parenting to her children’s college admissions.
Determined to recreate the magic, she approached 10 women, also new to the island, who were just as excited about the idea of forming a book club.
“To my surprise, they all said yes!” O’Connor recounted. “Today, we have a dedicated group of terrific women who have grown close and supportive, who care about the process of sharing and discussing good literature.”
The close-knit group calls themselves the Fuzzy Slippers and meets once a month, minus the summers, rotating between homes. Each member chooses a book during their annual fall meeting and prepares a book presentation when their book is selected.
O’Connor said her favorite book of all time is “Crossing to Safety” by Wallace Stegner. “I read and presented it in a group as a young mom and then read and presented it again 25 years later – as a grandma!”
O’Connor encourages anyone interested in a book club to find a group that is interested, and just go for it.
“Being in a group has absolutely helped me grow in so many ways. I find that it is beneficial to hear the many perspectives and recommendations of my fellow readers.,” she said. “We don’t always agree, but we certainly enjoy and learn so much from each other.”
In addition to the Fuzzy Slipper Book Group, O’Connor started Book Group 2020 with her neighbors during quarantine, finding sanity in backyard porches and books. The group still meets to this day. She is currently working with a friend to start another club, Couples Book Group.
Historical Fiction Book Club
When the Daniel Island Historical Society went looking for new ways to engage with the community, they landed on the idea of a book club.
Spearheaded by Point Hope resident and Daniel Island News writer Elizabeth Bush, the Historical Fiction Book Club has read everything from the courtrooms of a young Abraham Lincoln to the stories of combat nurses who served in Vietnam.
“I think for all of us in the club, we are always fascinated to learn there is usually much more to the story than what we know from history,” she said.
The group meets monthly at the Daniel Island Village Apartments, taking breaks during the summer. Discussions are led by one member, and most questions come from discussion questions in the books themselves.
“Many of the books we read are based on actual people and events, so we also try to share real photos of the people we are discussing to help with visualizing the story,” Bush said. “Our leaders will try to share a little bit of historical perspective about the time period in which the book is set, too.”
Bush tells people to “just do it” if interested in forming a book club, saying they won’t be disappointed.
“All you need is a few people to start one, and then it just grows from there. Four months after starting our group, we still have people joining. It’s never too late to jump in.”
Ladies of the OB Book Club
In an attempt to get to know their neighbors better, Oak Bluff residents Megan Flowers and Sharon Lancaster started the Ladies of the OB Book Club.
“We wanted to do something fun, like a hobby,” Lancaster said.
Starting with “The Housemaid” by Freida McFadden, the group of Oak Bluff or OB neighbors gathered at Flowers’ home and began discussing themes, characters, and opinions of the book. Lancaster said the suspenseful book captivated the group and brought them closer together as neighbors.
“It was one of the quickest books I’ve ever read, which is saying something for me,” Lancaster said. “Some women read the sequel on their own, which wasn’t even part of the book club that month.”
The Ladies of the OB now swap houses each month, and are in the process of choosing their next book.
Flowers said the book club has brought the neighborhood together. “It’s a perfect excuse to get the ladies together every month for socializing and always having something in common to discuss.”
The Lowcountry Book Club
The Lowcountry Book Club may have started on Daniel Island, but its founders met back in St. Joseph, Missouri, several years ago. In separate moves to Charleston, Kris Matthews and Nancy Kirby crossed paths in 2020 and reconnected.
The old colleagues came to the realization they both needed a social outlet to make some friends in a new town; thus, their book club was born.
Meeting each month, the club nominates books through an annual vote before the top 10 are selected. Club meetings switch between homes and Daniel Island restaurants, though some members choose to read along at home and discuss via the Lowcountry Book Club Facebook group with 90 members and counting.
Matthews said the most notorious book selections have been “The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires” by Grady Hendrix and “Demon Copperhead” by Barbara Kingsolver.
“We definitely divided into two camps when discussing these two books,” Matthews said. “It got pretty heated and will still come up from time to time!”
The group searches online for book club questions and hits the ground running with discussions about the book. Afterward, they rate the book on a scale of one to five.
“We all agree that we are reading books that we never would have selected on our own,” Matthews said.
Michelle Lindsay, a Daniel Island resident and member of the Lowcountry Book Club, said the group has formed an inspiring group of readers.
“As a writer, I love seeing the enlightening, insightful, in-depth conversations that evolve in book club meetings,” she said. “Everyone experiences a novel in a different way based on their own outlook and life experiences, and seeing those divergent paths unify through books is profoundly meaningful and uplifting.”
Other book clubs around the area include: 
Daniel Island Reads Book Club 
Dirty Dozen Book Club 
Lunch & Learn Book Club 
Original Daniel Island Book Club 
Words and Wine Book Club 
Ralston Grove Book Club 
Tuesday 11:15 Book Club 
Book Lovers Club
Daniel Island Lit Ladies Library Book Club
Island Connect Book Club
Thursday Afternoon Thirteen Book Club
Overture Book Club
The Book Chicks
Daniel Island Pointe Book Club
The B & W Book Club
Talison Row Book Club
Books and Brunch
Although many book clubs may be full, members recommend reaching out on social media to discover or create new book clubs in the area.
The above book club list was compiled by Suanne Trimmer, co-chair of the Daniel Island Friends of the Library.

Daniel Island Publishing

225 Seven Farms Drive
Unit 108
Daniel Island, SC 29492 

Office Number: 843-856-1999
Fax Number: 843-856-8555


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