Thursday, July 29, 2010

Book Club Exchange: Shari Maurer & Giveaway

I am very excited to welcome Shari Maurer to Book Club Exchange. Yesterday, I reviewed her novel CHANGE OF HEART. I found this book to be an enjoyable read and it definitely touched my heart.

I always appreciate it when I meet someone who shares my love for book clubs! I think Ms. Maurer's guest post shows exactly how important book clubs can be in our lives!

Whenever I’m asked to list my hobbies and interests, I always list one: my Book Club. For the past 8+ years, this has been my steady thing. The second Thursday of every month, it’s the one thing I do for myself—not for my writing, my kids, my husband… it’s solely for me.

As my book club and I approach our 100th book (e-mail me and I’m happy to send you our list), I asked them to reflect on why this has been so important. Here’s what we came up with…

· Knowing I am going to talk about a book with my book club makes me read it more closely and analytically.

· I LOVE LOVE LOVE hearing others' thoughts and interpretations of books and sharing my own.

· Experiencing a book together is like reading it all over again. It helps keep the story and characters alive for longer.

· I love the rhythm of my book club's monthly meetings....they give me a night to look forward to every month.

· The personalities within my book club are so varied and interesting. Understanding them on their own and in the context of books is fun and strangely comforting.

· I learn other people's point of view. Some of the books we’ve hated have made for the best conversation.

· It helps to understand certain issues that I am not well versed in.

· It forces me to make my reading a priority—it’s easy to say I have so many other things to do, but we really push to finish those books in time for the meetings.

· Book Club forces us to read genres and books I might not normally choose. My favorite example of that is One Thousand White Women. I read the description, it didn’t interest me in the least but I politely agreed to read it. Turns out it’s probably in the Top 5 of the 100 we’ve read.

· It gives us a night out once/month (never underestimate the value of a good night out!)

· Makes for good conversation with people I don't know well (both being in a club and the actual titles). I’ve had wonderful chats with people in airports who are reading books we’ve read. Book that’s been the biggest source of connection with people: Three Cups of Tea.

There is no doubt in my mind that Book Club has made my life much richer. I was even lucky enough to participate in a Mother/Daughter Book Club with my daughter for several years at our local library. How great to have something to talk about with my daughter besides the usual “Did you do your homework?” and “How was your day?”

All of my Book Club friends have influenced this post, but I wanted to give a special shoutout to Allison Jaynes and Linda Temco who really brainstormed with me. And thanks to Julie for allowing me to participate in this beautiful website.

Shari is a YA writer who grew up in New City, NY and came back to raise her family there. She went to undergrad at Duke University and grad school at NYU, studying English and Dramatic Writing and yelling loud at basketball games. After school, she spent six years at the Children’s Television Workshop (now Sesame Workshop), working on international versions of Sesame Street and other kids’ programs. She met her husband, Mat, at sleepaway camp when they were 17 and there are times they still wish they were back at camp. Her three kids, Lissie, Josh and Eric make her laugh and have been her biggest fans.

I am so grateful to Ms. Maurer for writing this fabulous guest post. I think many of us share her thoughts about the benefits of book clubs. Remember, she will send you their 100+ list of books if you email her!

If you are interested in participating in a future Book Club Exchange, please contact me at bookingmama(at)gmail(dot)com.

Giveaway alert: The author has graciously offered to giveaway a copy of CHANGE OF HEART. To enter, just leave a comment (with a way to contact you) telling me why you want to read this book. The contest will be open until Wednesday, August 11th at 11:59 p.m. ET, and I will notify the winner the following day. This contest is open to all of you -- no restrictions! Good luck!


Anonymous said...

I like characters that struggle with their mortality, so I would like to read this book. Please enter me!

headlessfowl at jteers dot net

Anonymous said...

I am a follower. I really want to read this book because it sounds really good. The story line sounds excellent. Please enter me in contest.

Karlie said...

I would like to start reading more YA. Please enter me!

bermudaonion said...

I agree that one of the best things about a book club is being forced to read outside of your comfort zone.

I'd like to read this book because the storyline reminds me of a classmate of Vance. milou2ster(at)

Linda said...

This sounds very interesting, and very emotional. I remember the tense situation of a friend several years ago who was awaiting a heart transplant for her husband.

karenk said...

i love the 'realness' of this book...thanks for sharing it...

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

PoCoKat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PoCoKat said...

Would love to read this as one of my sons was born with a serious heart condition.

littleone AT shaw DOT ca

traveler said...

Thanks for this great giveaway. It sounds intriguing. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

BookHounds said...

No need to enter me, I posted this on win a book.

Unknown said...

This sounds like an amazing book, I'd like to read it because I love reading and love to read a wide variety of books. Thanks for entering me into this giveaway.


Anonymous said...

It's tough when kids have face the possibility of dying when they are teens or even younger. It reminds me of a 16 year old who found out that she had bone cancer. She was so sweet and beautiful but she didn't make it. I would really love to read this book.


Simply Stacie said...

I love YA and am interested in trying out a new author.

simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

Meredith said...

I'd love to read this book to find out more about how a young person copes with the diagnosis of CHF. My hubby was just diagnosed with it this month, and it's changed things with everyone in our family!

meredithfl at gmail dot com

Ruth said...

Let's put it this way. If you recommend it, it is almost a guarantee that I will like it. So please enter me. I know it will be good!

Pink Panther said...

I've just checked out the book on Amazon and it sounds amazing. Really really amazing. Waiting for a heart.. that hopeless hope... I am hooked. I really wanna get my hands on the book! :) Count me in please!
You can reach me at

Laura said...

I would love to read "Change of Heart" because Shari Maurer seems like such an intersting and fun person. I think her book might be equally interesting.

Lynsey Newton said...

I've been meaning to read this book for a while now. I'm interested in reading about what the transplant process is like from a patient's point of view. Humanising the experience. I think it will probably be a tearjerker but so worth it!


Mystica said...

Sounds very intriguing. Would love to be counted in for this.


ChristyJan said...

I would love to read this book!
I was diagnosed with aortic stenosis at the age of 11. I had my first open heart surgery that year and my parents were told I'd probably have to have more surgery when I turned 16. I actually made it until I was 34 and had 4 children! My second open heart surgery was performed with a transfer and transplant.
I think this book would really touch my heart!


avalonne83 said...

The book sounds beautiful and I've heard great things of it!

Great giveaway! I'd love to be entered.

Please count me in. Thanks.

avalonne83 [at] yahoo [dot] it

Dawn M. said...

I'd like to read this book just because it sounds like a really good story.

librarygrinch at gmail dot com

clschaan said...

I would like to read this because it is a real life issue and I like books like that!

Ruthie said...

I agree with everything that was said about book clubs & I think my book club would enjoy this one. Please enter me, thanks.

Anita Yancey said...

I want to read this book, because I think it would be a good read. Please enter me. Thanks!