... it’s a nice, high-minded idea to join a book group, a way to make friends and read books that might otherwise sit untouched. But what happens when you wind up hating all the literary selections — or the other members? Breaking up isn’t so hard to do when it means freedom from inane critical commentary, political maneuvering, hurt feelings, bad chick lit and even worse chardonnay.Book groups are a really fun way of sharing the pleasure books with others and in the process making new friends, but yes, they can also be something of a soap opera. In the New York Times Joanne Kaufman looks at the downside.
Our book club has been going for 7 years now and we've mostly, yes, got along very well (though we have had our moments - the worst over whether to eject a new member who made us all feel uncomfortable.)
Maybe it is true that groups composed of total strangers (which ours was in the beginning) work the best because the focus is mainly on the book? Or maybe we've just been very lucky?