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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Aggie Book Club shares passion for reading, book recommendations

via Aggie Book Club Facebook

During the academic year, Texas A&M’s Aggie Book Club meets in the Evans library Annex on Thursday’s at 6:30 p.m. 

Established in 2005, the Texas A&M Aggie Book Club is eager to welcome new members this fall and have in-person meetings. 

Caitlyn Tomaselli, allied health senior and president of the Aggie Book Club, said she was first introduced to the club through its Facebook page. During in-person weekly meetings, the club had 15 to 20 members, but Tomaselli said since the pandemic there have been around 10 to 15 members that participate via Zoom during summer meetings. 

The laid-back meetings invite conversation, Tomaselli said. She also said that after a number of officers and members of the club graduated, the new officers revamped the club. The new structure enables members to suggest and vote on specific genres and books through the club’s Groupme to narrow down what the club’s next read will be, Tomaselli said. 

“Book club is first and foremost a democracy,” Tomaselli said. “It’s a very laid back casual club.” 

The club reads together through reading assignments that the next meeting will cover, but also allows members to read at their own pace, as long as spoilers are not discussed during the meeting, Tomaselli said. The social aspect of Aggie Book Club is the most enjoyable part, Tomaselli said. 

“It’s easy to make friends here,” Tomaselli said. “Yes, we meet because we like books, but it’s also fun hearing about those different perspectives.” 

Fiction fantasy books are Tomaselli’s favorite to read, she said, recommending “City of Brass” by S.A. Chakraborty and “Shutter Island” by Dennis Lehane. This is the first summer the club has kept in touch through Zoom, said Tomaselli. Right now, the club is exploring the romance genre and recently voted on “The Time Traveler’s Wife” by Audrey Niffengger, said Tomaselli. 

Bennett Carley, computer science junior and Aggie Book Club vice president, said he enjoys reading with the club but also reads on his own time. This summer, “The Lovely War” by Julia Berry was one of the club’s books, but was broken up into four sections, said Carley. Carley appreciates fantasy and science fiction novels, he said. 

“I really enjoy the creativity that they allow the author to have, they can invent a new setting and throw anything they want into it. They don’t have to pretend to try to be bound by what is accepted already,” Carley said. “You get to make up whatever you want and explore a lot of fun different worlds.” 

Dune” by Frank Herbert, the “Game of Thrones” book series and “The Lord of the Rings” series are great recommendations for those that also like these genres, Carley said. On his own time this summer, Carley said he has read “Into the Wyld” written by Nicholas Eames and “The Rage of Dragons” written by Evan Winter. 

Carley said he also likes the social aspect that the book club offers. 

“Book club is a great environment for people who enjoy reading to get together with others who also enjoy reading,” Carley said. “It’s a good place to socialize with like minded people.” 

Lauren Absher, psychology junior and social chair for the Aggie Book Club, said she also learned about the club through the Facebook page. As the social chair, she now manages the Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Additionally, Absher handles the social events the club hosts and said she is excited to plan themed meetings and events for the fall semester. 

“I am mainly looking forward to getting back in person,” Absher said. “I have a lot of fun ideas for themed snacks.” 
This summer, Absher said she has loved exploring the romance genre since it is her favorite, and recommends the “Outlander” book series written by Diana Gabaldon. After going back home for the summer, Absher said she has liked keeping up with the club and maintaining contact with those that share a love for reading.

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