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!