By Victoria Necessary

More than the usual Sumatras were brewing recently at a coffee shop in Brookhaven as members of the Brookhaven Book Club held their April meeting in a cozy corner of the cafe.

Armed with copies of “Life of Pi,” their book choice of the month, the five regular club members cheerfully introduced themselves. Enthusiasm for the monthly book discussion and the unusual visit by a reporter set the relaxed yet electric tone of the one-hour exchange of ideas.

Choosing the 2002 Man Booker Prize winner, “Life of Pi,” proved to be a winner as the multilayered work of fiction provoked an interesting flow of thoughts on many levels. As lively conversation made its way around the small circle of neighbors, it became evident that the diverse group of women enjoy the monthly time for reflection and the opportunity for social and intellectual exploration.

Asked what motivated them to join the book club, Rene Montaigne, Zann Palmer and Candice Tarr cited the Brookhaven locations where they meet and the lure of gathering with neighbors to share their love of reading. Bessie Walwyn joined for those reasons and one more: She was eager to “compare her thoughts with others.”

While the club members shared their experiences and their insights into the adventures and misadventures of the book’s protagonist, club convener Shira Flax sat relaxed after a long day at work, grinning and feasting on spoonfuls of yogurt parfait.

Told how interesting and thought-provoking the book choice had been, Flax said, “The type of books chosen by a club defines the group.”

The club’s next book for discussion will be Maya Angelou’s “Gather Together in My Name.”

In preparation for the National Endowment for the Arts’ Big Read event in June, the group also will read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby.” (For more information about the Big Read, visit Other upcoming book choices for the club include “The Man” by Irving Wallace, “Fugees” by Warren St. John and “People of the Book” by Geraldine Brooks.

The Brookhaven Book Club’s membership fluctuates each month. The club is ready to add members in an effort to encourage reading and the exchange of ideas.

The next club meeting is scheduled for May 19 at Starbucks at 3901 Peachtree Road. All are welcome. For information about joining, e-mail Flax at