What I learn from book clubs

I love book clubs. Just being around people who like to read is energizing.

As a member, book clubs help me explore books that I might not choose to read otherwise. Most readers have genres that they prefer or even unconsciously select. But book clubs encourage exploration, both of authors and of genres.

As an author, book clubs help me to “think deeper” about the book I’ve written through the questions the members ask.

At a recent book club meeting, I was asked who my favorite character was in Proving Her Claim. My immediate response was Anna Olson, the heroine of the novel. Then I thought more about the characters, and realized that my favorite character might just be Yellow Bird, Two Hawks MacKenzie’s mother. That surprised me a bit.

Book club meetings also give me a chance to ask the readers what they liked — or disliked — about the book. Here are some of their responses:
“I liked that Anna saved herself.”
“I appreciated that Anna came from a family of strong women.”
“Anna had a plan and she knew what she had to do.”
“I was surprised by the ending.”

Book club invitations come from several directions. A college friend invited me to talk to her book club. Another invitation came after a book signing and author talk. Yet another invitation came via social media.

In person or via a virtual meeting, I’m always ready to talk about my book. But I what I really like about book clubs is the opportunity to hear from readers. If you’re reading this post and would like me to attend your book club meeting, send me an invitation at [email protected]