Libby Hughes wanted to join a book club that meets on weeknights. Not knowing where to look, she turned to the Edina Moms Group on Facebook. Within a day, there were 139 comments from other women interested in joining a local book club.
“We noticed the enthusiasm and met with Libby to see how we could help,” says Alison Briggs, Edina Community Foundation’s (ECF) executive director. “We saw the book clubs as a great way to connect residents through literature. It’s a natural fit with our goal to produce programs that help folks feel invited and included in our community.”
Within a week, ECF created Edina Neighborhood Reads, posting a signup form for registrants and sorting them into neighborhood-based groups. Each book club operates autonomously, but the foundation plans two annual events to unite participants throughout the city.
The northeast group, with 12 residents from Browndale, Country Club, Morningside, White Oaks and Arden, has met monthly since March. “The book club has helped foster a sense of community,” says Amie Bergersen, a book club member.
Ellen Hunter Gans cites the connection to other women in her neighborhood. “I joined to be more intentional about incorporating reading into my life, but I’ve met moms I would have never otherwise met because our kids are different ages,” Gans says, describing herself as a nerdy English major, reading 150 books a year. She enjoyed A Good Family by Max Goldman because it was set in Edina Country Club.
Bergersen also enjoyed A Good Family. “I loved the references to our street,” she says. “The hyper-local feel of the book was fun, and we held a book club that month at Tilia in Linden Hills because the characters in the book met there.”
Contributed by Tina Bohrer on behalf of the Edina Community Foundation. To learn more about Edina Neighborhood Reads and other programs, visit edinacommunityfoundation.org.