Book Clubs—Find one or form one!

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!

About Sally Brandle

Author, horse lover, gardener, pastry enabler, and thankful wife and mother. Very proud of both novels, The Hitman's Mistake and Torn by Vengeance, published by Soul Mate Publishing. The Targeted Pawn releases in March of 2020. Multi-award winning author Sally Brandle weaves slow-burning romance into edgy suspense, motivating readers to trust their instincts. Growing up as a tomboy alongside brothers prepared her to work in a male-centric industry, raise sons, and create action packed stories featuring strong women. She thrives on creating unintentional heroines who conquer their vulnerabilities and partner with heroes to outwit cunning villains.
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6 Responses to Book Clubs—Find one or form one!

  1. I am a member of a book club for over ten years. We’re still meeting on zoom, boohoo. Your meeting looks lovely, and being a gourmet cook it’s right up my alley. Enjoy! No lockdowns! Hugs!

    • Sally Brandle says:

      I’ve seen your culinary masterpieces! You’d make a great addition to this group. I’d made it very clear that we are a vaccinated household-and sadly, a member who couldn’t come due to feeling ill is in the hospital with Covid…I have a scientist friend currently studying the affects of Covid on vaccinated people. He’s very concerned about the Delta variant. Stay safe and write on!

  2. viola62 says:

    I love the idea of a book club. My fellow teachers and I tried one during lockdown–via Zoom. We had so much trouble deciding when we would meet that we never met after only two book discussions. I also love speaking at book discussions. A friend asked me to talk about my books at one of her book clubs. The participants had all read my book, Love at War, and they asked me questions about it.

    • Sally Brandle says:

      Well, darn. Don’t give up and maybe throw the net a bit wider so you ‘catch’ a few more at the designated date. Busy people are hard to pin down!

  3. sueberger3 says:

    I’ve never wanted to join a book club. Mostly because I think they’re cliquey. And secondly because I mostly don’t read what people want me to read people. I’ve read almost nothing on the New York Times bestseller list. Harry Potter being the exception. But I wish you joy and happiness in your book club.

  4. Sally Brandle says:

    Apparently some book clubs are….but I’m like you, not a cliquey sort (now I know the spelling LOL) or NYT list reader….same for cinema. Generally, if it has won an award, we won’t care for it!

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