I go to the group feeling like my work sucks, and leave feeling like a real author. No, they don't sugar coat their critiques, but no one's as bad as my inner voice. In the end, I know that I must be good to belong in the company of such wonderfully brilliant people.
Two of my writer's group friends have books that you may purchase (and I encourage you to do so).
Linda Cassidy's poetry book Inland Waterways can be purchased here (just scroll down a bit on their page).