The Pittsburgh Mary Roberts Rinehart chapter of Sisters in Crime had a Christmas lunch yesterday at the Church Brew Works in the Lawrenceville section of Pittsburgh. As usual, I forgot to take my camera.
But I assure you, everyone had a good time. I mean, really. What could be better than the combination of getting together with other writers, food, books, and a former Catholic church turned into a brewery?
While we were waiting for our lunches to arrive, we did our version of a book grab bag. Everyone brings a new or gently used book that they read--wrapped, of course. Our exchange is a bit different than the usual. The first person up chooses one of the pretty packages and opens it. Whoever brought that book then tells the group a little of what the book is about and why they liked it. Then that person picks the next book. It's a fun way get a book you might not have picked otherwise. And if you get one you read already, you can always trade with someone. I have to say, though, the only trade I saw yesterday was for a latecomer who would have received her own book, so we all must have liked our gifts.
The book I got was DECIDER by Dick Francis. I've never read any of his books, so now I can broaden my literary horizons. Or something like that. The book I gave was SWORN TO SILENCE by Linda Castillo. Hubby and I go to the Walnut Creek/Berlin area in Ohio about once a year, so when I saw the setting was Amish country in Ohio, I had to buy it. The protagonist is a former Amish woman who is now the police chief of a small town. She has to track down a serial killer, who may be the same person who raped her years earlier. Good book!
Have you ever participated in a grab bag? What's the weirdest or best grab bag gift you received? Have you been in a book exchange? What was the best book you received?