Maxine Cox, Betty Money and Mildred McClinney helped found the Lake Highlands book club 50 years ago . PHoto By RoBeRt BunCH Women of their Word B ook review clubs are rather trendy these days, but one of Dallas’ oldest and most popular is the Lake Highlands book review club, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. At a year-end luncheon, three of the club’s founding members, Maxine cox, betty Money and Mildred Mcclinney, shared the secret behind why they launched the group. “I was pregnant and sick as a dog and needed something to get my mind off my body!” Mcclinney says. “Yeah, we needed to get away from babies,” cox chimes in, and the women burst into a hearty round of laughter. they all had small children at the time, and traded off baby-watching responsi- bilities. Mcclinney, who was the organ- ist at Lake Highlands United Methodist church in the ’60s, knew a slew of women and “called on every one of them [she] could think of to join the club.” Since then, book reviewers have been breathing life into literature, to the delight of ladies in the club. these book reviewers aren’t highbrow critics, however, whose big words might make or break book sales. No, these reviewers are usually a cross between 44 literary lecturers and stand-up com- ics, and sometimes they even perform music. they don’t expect their audi- ences to discuss or even read the books they review, and are primarily there to entertain (and perhaps partially for the tea and finger sandwiches). the charter members count Lillian tate, Helen Poe and evelyn Oppenheimer among their favorite early speakers. “I think they are all dead now,” Money says. they all agree that rose-Mary rumbley is their most-liked modern day, living-and-active speaker. Some reviewers such as Dave tanner and Judy Moore, tack music associated with a book onto their acts. “they might play Hollywood tunes or music we liked when we were young,” cox says. the club today, as it was 50 years ago, is as much about camaraderie as it is about literature. Members say they enjoy getting acquainted with the books with- out necessarily having to read them. “We didn’t have time to read, so we’d listen to the book reviewers,” cox says. the current book club president, Janelle Krumbholz, who has a fondness for non-fiction, says she usually waits OctOber 2009 advocatemag.com/lake-highlands Lake Highlands Book Review Club members, some for 50 years and counting, are bound by more than their tomes alone until after listening to the book club reviewers before deciding whether or not she wishes to dedicate time to reading a particular book. As the president of a club that cur- rently has more than 100 members, Krumbholz says her job is fairly simple. It is the vice president who has to book the speakers. that job has fallen on carol Filpot for the past year “I came in and I really enjoyed the reviewers, and the ladies are nice and wonderful and we like getting together,” Filpot says. At the summer lunch, Filpot took up her new role as president, and cox, Money and Mcclinney were honored in front of the group for founding the club that has introduced so many women to so many interesting characters, both real and imagined. —Christina hughes BaBB Club dues are $20 per year and poten- tial members must have two sponsors who are already in the club. Club president Janelle Krumbholz warns that the club has grown in popularity, and that the limit is 150 members. september through May, the club meets the third Wednesday of each month at the ridgewood Belcher recreation Center, 214.670.7115.