Intimate Conversation with Motown Review Bookclub

Intimate Conversation with Motown Review Bookclub

BPM: Give us a little history on your organization. How many members do you have?

Motown Review Bookclub was founded in the fall of 1999. The co-founders of the group were Jeanette Wallington and Sherri Stanley. We decided to form a bookclub after attending a literary event in Virginia Beach with Ruth Bridges. There we meet several bookclub and some of our favorite authors, i.e Victoria Christopher Murray, Lolita Files, Valerie Wilson Wesley to name a few. We were delighted to find other avid readers. Upon return home, we posted a notice at the DHS office we worked at and ask other if they were interested in forming a bookclub. We got a lot of responses, but the book club ended up with only 4 members for several years. 

We currently have six members. Membership is invitation only and only open in January of each year.  Yes, we were a bookclub that met monthly and did not have a name for several years. We finally decided on the name Motown Review, which is a play on Motown Revue, of the R&B era.

BPM: What type of activities do you enjoy as a group? Do you travel?
We meet on the third Sunday of each month. Each member host the meeting in their home and the other six months we go to a restaurant. Members who turn it is to host also selects the book of the month. Besides discussing the book, we love to have good food at our meetings, so the hostess usually scours the internet and cookbooks to come up with an original and succulent meal. When possible, we like to have authors come to the meetings. We have hosted such authors as Kimberla Lawson Roby, Freddie Lee Johnson III, and Suzetta Perkins.

Every December on the third Sunday, we have our annual Christmas brunch. Several of your members are really into crafts and have presented some very nice gifts that they make themselves

Our bookclub also likes to travel together. Sometimes it's all six of us or maybe one or two of us. We have attended literary retreats in New Orleans, New York,  Savannah GA, Sedona, AZ. BEA in Chicago,   NBCC is Atlanta, to name a few places. We also try to attend all the literary events that go on in Detroit and the surrounding suburbs. You can usually find at least one of us and most booksignings.

BPM: What impact has reading or being in a organized group had on your life?
We have all stated at one time or another that being in a bookclub has really helped us broaden our reading taste. Sometimes books are chosen that one would have never picked up on their own and it ended up being book that they really enjoyed.

BPM: What is your favorite genre of books? What are the key factors that makes a book remain on your mind long after you read the last page. 
We stick with AA fiction. However, street lit or urban fiction is not a genre that any of us are interested in. Books that can be related to our everyday lives, current issues or history then to have the most impact. Mostly everyone in the group have at one time or another worked in Social Services.

BPM: How do you feel about electronic books such as downloads for Kindle or IPad, etc?
So far none of us have taken to these alternative means of reading. I know people who swear by them, but personally, I like having a book in my hands and turning the pages.

BPM: Do you think the writings of today's authors are leaving the same legacy as author from other generations?
Yes, there are some such as Daniel Black whose books I think will be classics. They are thought provoking and very interesting reads that cover a wide scope of topics. Then there are others who are turning out poorly written, poorly edited books about a bunch of hogwash that when their phase is over, they will be soon forgotten.

BPM: How may we find out more about your club? 
We can be followed on Facebook at

Submitted by:
Jeanette Wallington
Melvindale, MI