Three years ago I had the honor of being asked to speak at The Maplettes Book Club about my first book, The Hitman’s Mistake. (line up your free talk from me on http://www.sallybrandle.com/events.html) After the book discussion, the lovely women invited me to join and then toasted my acceptance. We enjoy wonderful comradery, a variety of opinions, tasty food, and best of all – friendship.
Flash forward to last weekend when we gathered on my deck and a few of us went for a swim afterward. The group conducted meetings by Zoom in the lock-down interim, and my fingers are crossed we’ll be able to safely continue seeing each other at future gatherings.
The Maplettes Book Club formed after the founder didn’t ‘make the cut’ to join a local book group. Gahh. I gladly left cliques behind in high school. Wisely, she invited close friends and spread the word. Below you’ll find suggestions to get started in creating a casual, fun group-ours is about half social and half dedicated to discussing the book. Some people prefer a specific genre and/or a business-like setting. The books are waiting…
- Spread the word and do a survey on the best day and time to meet.
- Are you meeting online or in person? If online, you can mention it on social media. If in person, it can be at a library (book in advance), a home, and many restaurants will provide a private room if the participants are all purchasing lunch or dinner.
- Is there a theme? Apparently this group began by reviewing cook books. The potlucks are amazing! These days to choose the next book, a designated person collects submissions of book titles via email, verifies the book is in wide circulation, prints out the titles and puts them in a bag so that a random drawing can be held during the meeting.
- Choose a leader to keep the discussion rolling, create an atmosphere of acceptance, set time limits on socializing and comments on the book, and encourage people to answer study questions.
- Embrace reading a book out of your comfort zone!
At the meeting I served Danish topped by fresh blueberries and gado-gado with warm peanut sauce, an Indonesian recipe from a WWII memoir/romance. Other members brought the smoked salmon, cheeses, salads, fruit skewers, and key lime pie. Yum! And please contact me if your group would like me to speak on writing, publishing, helping craft a memoir, or any of my romantic suspense books!