Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Gotta Love a Book Club

by Donna MacMeans

One of the best things about publishing is the opportunity to address bookclubs. What's not to love? A gathering of women (sometimes one or two men) who not only appreciate a good read, but also enjoy a good meal as well. My kind of people.

I LOVE speaking to bookclubs. I thought I'd share some of the experiences and modus operandi of some of clubs I've visited this summer.

My neighbor invited me to speak to her book club, a group that has been meeting
monthly for ten years. In that club, the hostess selects the book to be read and purchases copies for everyone. The members then pay the hostess for their copy of the book. I spoke to them in advance of their reading of The Education of Mrs. Brimley. I asked "how many read romance?" Only two people in a group of twenty raised their hands. So we discussed the genre, the expectations, and specifics surrounding my book.

Now in this club, the rule is that the members are expected to start the book, but they don't have to finish it. The book they discussed at this particular meeting was Obama's book, so you can see - this wasn't specifically a romance reading group.

The following month, I checked back with the hostess to see the reactions. She said everyone liked it and more importantly, for the first time in the history of the club, everyone actually finished the book! Hopefully, if I'm invited to speak again, a few more hands will acknowledge romance.

In August I visited the Heron Bay Bookclub. The weather was beautiful so we sat and ate outside and talked while the husbands toured Buckeye Lake in a boat.(Darn, can't get the photo to upload - trust me - it was beautiful and a perfect setting for romance).

My next bookclub visit was a writer's dream. I was invited to speak to a group of ladies who read The Trouble with Moonlight. I arrived at the hostess's house in shorts and was greeted by a man in a tuxedo with a rose in his lapel next to a name tag bearing the name of my hero: James Locke. Inside, all the ladies were wearing long dresses. One had a string around her neck with
a cowbell attached to signify the little brooch with a bell that my hero gave to my heroine. The menu included tea and crumpets (iced tea and english muffins) along with finger sandwiches, brownies and salad. This photo is a bit dark, but I hope you can see the dresses. At one point, the back door opened and a bunch of people trooped in with filled wineglasses. They posed for a photo (not this one) then left.

Last week, I spoke at Novel Tea. They meet at a local library and read The Trouble with Moonlight. If you look carefully, you can see the teapots and munchies on the table. Once again I had readers come up afterwards to say they hadn't read a romance in years and now planned to start again. Makes me feel warm and fuzzy all over.

So my question to you: Do you belong to a book club? If so, tell us about them. Have you spoken to a bookclub? Tell us about the experience. What's the best book you've read in a bookclub? I'll send a bookclub tote bag to one commentor.

77 comments:

Minna said...

Since we don't have bookclubs here in the middle of nowhere, I don't belong to a bookclub.

Helen said...

Congrats on the GR Minna have fun with him

I have just recently joined an on line bookclub but silly me haven't got the jist of how to get onto chat with everyone yet (Iwill work it out) they have an online chat once a month and every week you can write about the book or books that you have read.

I would love to be a member of one of the groups that you visited Donna they sound like heaps of fun how lovely that they dressed up for you and remember the bell broach .

Have Fun
Helen

Caren Crane said...

Minna, the GR is back in your loving arms--enjoy!!

Donna, I don't know if you saw, but I blogged about the book club I joined last month. The first book was good, but our second was Michael Ruhlman's "The Soul Of a Chef: The Journey Toward Perfection." This is a book for serious foodies. It was good and, in parts, quite compelling; however, there was such intricate detail about butchering meats and preparing the perfect consomme that it got a bit eye-glazey in parts.

I am willing to give almost any book a shot. It really has to have something, though, to keep me reading for 300 pages. Snaps to you for getting the ENTIRE book club to finish your book. That certainly wasn't the case at our book club meeting this Monday!

PJ said...

I belong to a book club comprised of women from my neighborhood. We meet monthly and alternate between fiction and non-fiction books. The club members discuss and select upcoming book selections at each meeting. We read a wide variety of books but the majority of the members either don't read romance or refuse to admit that they read romance because it's practically impossible to get them to agree on one as our monthly selection. It's frustrating but I won't stop trying.

Your bookclub visits sound wonderful, Donna. I love the group that dressed up. How much fun that must have been! :)

Donna MacMeans said...

Hey Minna -

Congratulations on catching the Golden Rooster!

I'm guessing you mean that people are so far apart that you don't form clubs just to share opinions about a book. That's quite a bit different from my neighborhood where an opinion window allows you to share opinions with the neighbors even when not intended (grin).

I would think there are online clubs. Maybe we need to start our own Bandita bookclub (grin).

Congrats to you Minna!

Donna MacMeans said...

Helen - Yes, see - I thought there would be such a thing as online bookclbs - everything is online these days. So, someone in the group picks a book, everyone in the group reads it and then they schedule discussion in a chat room? Is that how it works? Or is there a blog on the book and everyone can post comments? I'm intrigued.

No matter the format - it's fun to share the love of reading and reveling in characters and settings with lovers of the genre.

The "fancy" party was fun, though I wish the hostess would have let me know ahead of time of the dress code. You can see me in that photograph if you really strain your eyes at the far left of the line of women in the shadows.

Donna MacMeans said...

Caren - I apologize, I must have missed that post. However, I was in such a fog after meeting that deadline on August 31st, that I missed alot in September (grin). I'll have to go back and find your post. My daughter is a serious foodie - she might like the epicurian choice.

So this is obviously a club of differing tastes. Does a member choose a book each month for the others to read? Can't wait for your turn. I assume you intend to spring romance on them. They won't know what hit them (he-he-he).

Donna MacMeans said...

PJ - You will prevail! At the Noveltea, one woman said she left romance when it seemed the characters were intimate (don't want to attract the attention of the web spiders with vocabulary) for no apparent reason. I suggested she might have picked up an erotic novel - or maybe just a less than stellular romance. As my husband says, "there's always someone who with a degree who graduated at the bottom of the class." Though you won't find any of those among the banditas!

I like the fiction/nonfiction variation, though. I read a lot of nonfiction in the name of research. However, my to be read pile is near teetering. It's hard to imagine increasing it with someone else's pick.

Louisa Cornell said...

Congrats on the GR, Minna! Make him behave!

Of course they finished the book, Donna. It is a fabulous story and so sexy too!

There is a local mystery book club here in town and they read a wide variety of mysteries. The best part is the annual Murder on the Menu luncheon where mystery authors come from all over the country to eat and talk with readers. I don't always get to go to the meetings because of my work schedule, but I do try to read all of the books.

The best book club book I have read hands down is Red Leaves by Thomas Cook. A powerful book about family, trust and assumptions. It blew me away and it isn't something I would have picked to read on my own as it wasn't a romance. I think that is one of the best aspects of joining a book club. It forces you to read outside of your comfort zone. You will get some duds, but every now and then you get a real treasure like Red Leaves.

Another great book club selection I read for the mystery book club was Dirty South by Ace Atkins. It takes place in New Orleans, one of my favorite places on Earth, and the food descriptions alone made it amazing. I think I gained ten pounds reading that book!

I have a number of friends on Library Thing and while it isn't a book club per se we do read a lot of the same books and discuss them and all of those we discuss are romance novels!

Christie Kelley said...

Donna, I'm glad you're enjoying all your bookclub time. I'm supposed to be a member of our neighborhood bookclub only they keep forgetting to add me to their email distribution list.

I did speak with them back in April after my first book came out. They're also a group that doesn't read much romance, in fact one woman said it was the first romance she'd ever read. And she loved it.

Wendy said...

Hi, Donna!

I'm not in a Book Club but I'd love to be! Sounds fun. I talked to my friends about the books we all read but it's not the same as having a club.

Wendy said...

And oh! that would give me a chance to have a supersecret bookclub handshake, yeah!!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Donna! Wow, Minna, great snag on the Rooster. Make sure he wears his scarf out there in the cold weather.

I'm not a book clubber, though I've spoken to a couple of book clubs about romance. :> They smiled and nodded, but I'm not sure I changed any opinions. The one time I went to a book club as a guest, they were reading The Lovely Bones (very depressing to me) and were loving it. They had just finished Faulkner's The Sound and Fury, which I hate because it's also depressing. This group liked to do a current book and an older (olde!) book. So. Not. Fun.

That said, I know a lot of book clubs really have a great time and read really good books, including romance. My sister belongs to two and they're a lot of fun.

Glad you had such wonderful experiences with all the groups!

Anna Sugden said...

Great post, Donna - I'm glad you had such great experiences with your book club talks.

I don't belong to a book club, though that may change now that we're back in England.

Oh and major apologies to everyone about the late comments on yesterday's post - we were travelling all day and at a hockey game in the evening. In between, there was very limited internet access. Never fear - I've been online this morning to put that right! What a creative lot you all are! And thank you for taking part in my little bit of fun!

terrio said...

That Noveltea (great name!) sounds like such fun. They truly got into the spirit of the book. I was waiting to see if they manage to enact the invisibile part. :)

I've never joined a book club because I don't like being told what to read. I guess I don't play well with others in that regard. These days, I could never meet a reading deadline. Life is too crazy!

Jeanne - I read The Lovely Bones and loved it. Which is odd since I don't typically like the sad stories. But for a book about death (and brutal death at that), it was actually a nice read.

Keira Soleore said...

I don't belong to bookclubs. I tried them for a while, but found them to be a frustrating experience. Perhaps, it's not finding the right group of people.

Having said that, the literature classes in school and college were kind of like bookclubs and I loved them. So many different ways of looking at the same material. Even though, we all read the same books, our personal history and personality color how we perceive things, so the story written by the author is not really the same story digested by the reader.

How much do the authors in the group here wonder/worry about this?

Jane said...

I've never been in a book club and haven't searched for any in my area. The closest thing I've come to being in a book club is listening to Oprah's recommendations.

Gail said...

We don't have book clubs around here either. So I have never belong to a book club.

Cassondra said...

Minna, good going on the rooster girl!

Hey Donna. I don't belong to a bookclub--mostly because I don't have the patience to read what somebody else wants me to read. I have a TBR pile up to the ceiling and can't get to it. No WAY do I want to get stuck reading something boring or something depressing when I can escape for a few hours with an incredible story.

I find it VERY telling that yours was the first book that EVERYONE finished. Kind of a well, DUH of COURSE moment. I bet you'll convert a bunch of people and there will be a lot of men out there hiding their romance novels behind their Sports Illustrated pages. ;0)

Nancy said...

Hi, Donna--You know I love that book, so I'm not surprised the Noveltea group did.

I've never been in a book club. Like Terrio, I don't play well with others when it comes to my reading. I've also never found a book club that focused on (or was even particularly accepting of) genre fiction. I don't enjoy most literary and a lot of mainstream books.

Keira, I do think it's partly a question of finding the right group of people, and I never have.

Anna, I congratulate you on making it to the blog at all when you're traveling so much!

Louisa, our public library has a mystery club, but I haven't ever actually tried it. I prefer a group that's small and has constant membership.

Minna said...

I'm guessing you mean that people are so far apart that you don't form clubs just to share opinions about a book. That's quite a bit different from my neighborhood where an opinion window allows you to share opinions with the neighbors even when not intended (grin).

Well, for one thing, I live in countryside, village is about 15 kilometers and the nearest town about 30 kilometers away, I don't have a car and although the closest neighbours are within walking distance I can't really imagine talking about my favorite books with an 80 years old neighbour who might get a heart attack just from seeing some of the covers. And I'm not really into talking about books in a group, anyway. I've had enough of that in the university to last me a lifetime.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Minna, I know what you mean about Uni being the "Discuss the book" - usally under pain of death or failing the class. Urg. Like Nancy, Cassondra and Terrio, I don't play well with others on the book discussion front either. Too opinionated for one thing and too odd in my reading tastes in the other. :>

That said, my neighbors (both those in their 80's and the younger ones too) are all discussing the fact that I'm WRITING books, but I'm not sure they're discussing books. Of course they may be doing it behind my back, which is fine. Hey, if they're talking about it, hopefully they're buying it! Ha!

Minna said...

Minna, I know what you mean about Uni being the "Discuss the book" - usally under pain of death or failing the class.

Well, it wasn't quite that bad for me -it could have been if I would have had to take our American teacher's American literature course (I avoided it by doing the course in the NDSU). It would have been like taking a literature course taught by Dick Solomon, only worse.

Donna MacMeans said...

Louisa - Yes, this is what I'd enjoy about a bookclub - reading books that I normally wouldn't select and then being impressed. I'll have to look for Red Leaves. I have a partial that is set in New Orleans, but I'm always looking for books that help lock in the setting. Dirty South sounds like the ticket. I've put them both on my "check the library first" list.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I am not in a book club, the clubs you mentioned sounds like a lot of fun though. I am way, way, too selfish with my book reading time. I just don't want to give up what time I carve out to read for a book I might not like. The closest to a club I have ever gotten is suggesting to someone at work they might like a particular book I have read. They do the same for me but I am almost strictly are romance reader. I have ventured out to other genre from time to time but I always come back to my first love.... gee, just like in books huh??

Donna MacMeans said...

Yay Christie! EVERY NIGHT I'M YOURS would do the trick. Doesn't it surprise you when people say they don't read romance? It shouldn't surprise me as I was one of them about fifteen years ago. Then I read a romance and was hooked.

Kudos to you for getting the word out and converting a reader. We'll conquer the world one reader at a time!

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Uh, is it just me or have they changed the blog format when I wasn't looking??? Did I accidentally hit a button I shouldn't have??

Donna MacMeans said...

Wendy - I wouldn't think it would be difficult to start one. Maybe someone here could offer some tips (hint, hint). I'd say invite some friends over for munchies and discuss the idea and see what they think. Suggest they invite friends and see who shows and who doesn't. Then tell us so we can see if we have a bandita in the area who can stop by and talk (grin).

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Nope, Dianna, you're right. They changed the format. I hate it. I miss the icons!

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Alrighty then, I have a tendency to blank out from time to time and thought maybe I missed something. I am not so sure I like it either but as long as we can still blog we will make do.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I was really proud of my little icon and I liked the book cover icons you authors were using too. Oh well, maybe they will change it back again at a future date. Until then, we will just keep talking.

Donna MacMeans said...

LOL Jeanne - you went to Oprah's book club (grin). Now I've read some very good but very depressing books. I can find value in that. But given a choice, give me a happily-ever-after every time. I'd rather laugh than cry, smile than feel depressed.

So did you tell them you've had a few close encounters with the lovely bones yourself? Maybe if you couldn't swing them over to romance you could wow them with your incredible knowledge of a more "boney" nature (grin).

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Anna! Never fear, dear. Soon you will be the topic of bookclubs - not just a member. Okay then - what's a good group name for a gathering of bookclubs... a library?

Donna MacMeans said...

Terrio - Like you, I'd have difficulty reading a book on schedule. Maybe if the group met once a quarter I might make it. There's just so many other things I need to read.

I suppose the invisible part occurred when we went out on the deck to talk and it got dark -- very dark. Hopefully, I blended into the darkness as I felt rather underdressed. They were a fun lot though. If you've read Moonlight, there's a bit about belly dancing in there. The hostess told me she had a "how to" video on belly-dancing to play if we had time. Fortunately, we ran long (grin).

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Keira -

That's so true that the author and reader experience the work differently. I suppose that's one reason why it's sometimes hard to sell the book. It takes a while to find an editor that experiences the book the way you want them to.

I don't really worry about this when talking to bookclubs (and I've got another one in two weeks - can you tell I like to talk?) I figure different strokes for different folks. Sometimes I'm surprised by what one person takes away from a book, but if I can't win them over - C'est sera sera.

Donna MacMeans said...

Ouch Jane - Now Oprah does recommend some good books, she really does - but they can tend to be beautifully written and incredibly bleak and depressing. I think sometimes one's choice of reading material reflects their life experience - they're able to identify or bond with the characters on some level. I admit it - I bond with romantic heroines lusting for hunky heroes (very big grin). I bond with characters that achieve the happy ending they long for. This is a good thing....I think.

Donna MacMeans said...

Gail - Do you live close to Wendy? (grin) I bet something could be arranged online with yahoogroups. I wonder if that's how some of the big reader groups (romance junkies, bookjunkies, etc.) started? Maybe we should start a bandita book club - any interest?

Donna MacMeans said...

LOL Cassondra - I do have a few male readers. They don't own up to it (except my ex-boss) but their wives tell me. The wife of my ex-boss says he reads it in bed and keeps muttering "Donna wrote this? Donna???"

I like the rule of the one club that says you have to start the book but you don't have to finish it. That way if it doesn't suit you, you aren't compelled to stick with it.

Sometimes, though, I'd like to expand my literary horizons through the recommendations of someone else (like the suggestions Louisa offered). If someone else wants to recommend a good read - bring it on!

Donna MacMeans said...

Nancy - You do play well with others, but I can see you standing your ground with respect to reading preferences.

I wonder why so many bookclubs are geared to literary fiction when the romance genre represents the biggest slice of market share? There are romance oriented bookclubs though, many connected to area bookstores. If anyone is interested in finding one, a bookstore or library is a good place to start.

Helen said...

The bookclub I am in is called Aussie Romance Book Swap Club and everyone discusses the books they have read they don't pick one for everyone to read as I said I am still learning my way about the site LOL. I haven't joined in the online chat yet and it is on a yahoo group.

Jennifers Random Musings has just started one as well where we nominate books then we vote on the book for the month that is to be read unfortunatley I couldn't get a hold of the first book and we should know what this months book will be this week and I will order that one and join in the discussion, I am looking forward to it.

I am going to chime in and say I miss the old format as well.

Have Fun
Helen

Donna MacMeans said...

Minna - LOL about the 80 year old having a heart attack over a cover.

I apologize for the typo in my answer. That is supposed to be an "open" window, not "opinion" window. I'm not my best on a couple hours of sleep.(grin)

True story. My mother was in an assisted-living arrangement before her death last year. She died before my book was released, but she did get to see my beautiful sexy cover. Apparently, she showed it to all the residents which ranged in age from 70 to 90. They loved it. Absolutely loved it. These strange older women would stop me in the hallway (I look like my mother so they recognized me, even if I didn't know them) and tell me that my book would be a success based on that cover. Surprised me! I thought they'd keel over from shock, yet I receive fan mail from great-grandmothers who relive the emotion of their youth through our books. Who knew?

terrio said...

If you want the comments to go back to the way they were, you just have to go into your settings in the comments section. If gives you three options (I'm guessing this option is new so they made everyone default to it). Just click the option that says "full page" and you'll be back to the old Lair in no time.

Terrio - who had to do this on her own blog this morning. Grrrrrrr......

Donna MacMeans said...

Dianna - I think when you have kids that book reading time is especially valuable. Now that you mention it, I would guess most of the women I've addressed in bookclubs are mid-forties and older. There's not often someone younger. I think any younger and the bookclub would have to meet on the soccer sidelines (Hey - that's not a bad idea - The soccer mom bookclub).

Donna MacMeans said...

Dianna - I noticed the same thing this morning. I miss my icons. Really helped me keep the comments straight, if nothing else.
It's a shame blogger didn't solicit comments before they decided to "improve" the blog. Fingers crossed that they'll get enough complaints to bring the old format back.

Donna MacMeans said...

Helen - I think you would be a valuable edition to any bookclub. Just don't forget us when you get the hang of the yahoogroup thing (grin).

Joan said...

Ok, having a brain f*rt here. I read Donna's comments in the NEW design and then when I clicked comments it went to the OLD design...

I have a headache.

Now onto business.

Minna, maybe you and the GR could form your own club. He IS well read having spent time with Jennifer Y.

Donna, I think that the club who dressed like your characters was so cool. I am not a book club person. While I do, on occasion read other genres, I can't make myself read something chosen by others if it doesn't draw me.

Oprah's bookclub started out kind of interesting but I think it has seriously degenrated into a very depressing entity....same as for the dear woman herself.

Plus, I really don't want to get into in depth analysis of a story. My time is limited between work and writing as it is.

I have participated on three seperate panels on romance fiction at local libraries. That is fun and a great place to spread the news about our genre.

Helen said...

Donna there is no way I would forget any of you wonderful Ladies

I have all of your published books except for Tawny's latest and Trish's and they are on my must get list I recieved Cindy's The Wild Sight yesterday and will be starting it this weekend can't wait.

Have Fun
Helen

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Oh yeah, the old style is back, I didn't change anything from here though so "they" must have done it.

limecello said...

O_O how did I miss this post? Hm, no I'm not part of a book club - don't know of any here :\. And my odd schedule likely wouldn't work anyway - but I am part of a number of reader groups :)
That's really fun and nice

Minna said...

Good reads? Well, here are some:
David Attenborough: Life on Air
Roger Fouts: Next of Kin
Waheenee, an Indian Girl's Story by Gilbert L. Wilson

Minna said...

Max Allan Collins: Bones: Buried Deep

Cassondra said...

I'm so confused. The old view of the comments is back.

I like this much better.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Yeah! It's back! Thank you to whoever did it - even if that's Blogger! :> SO much easier to read.

Minna said...

Books by Jules Verne
Philip Norman: Shout!

Terry Odell said...

Well, I swear I commented this morning, but apparently something got lost in cyberspace. I'm sure I had a most brilliant response, too.

Pat Cochran said...

I've never belonged to a bookclub.
I prefer solo reading at my own pace!

Pat Cochran

flchen1 said...

Donna, I've never belonged to a book club but it sounds as if it could be fun :) After all, books, reading, chatting about books and reading... what's not to like? ;)

Congrats on the GR, Minna!

Tawny said...

I love the idea of book clubs but have never been involved with one or even spoke. I've been invited to speak if a couple of local ones get their logistics worked out, and think it'd be so fun.

I think the dress up party club is the most fun sounding bookclub I've ever heard about, Donna. What a great group that must have been.

Minna, congrats!!!

Donna MacMeans said...

Yay - the avatars are back!

Now I'm crossing my fingers that I can post. I couldn't earlier. Here goes...

Donna MacMeans said...

SUCCESS!!!

Minna - Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll be keeping the librarian busy for a while finding all these.

Donna MacMeans said...

Joan - Isn't it interesting that so many of the banditas have never participated in a bookclub and are pretty determined it wouldn't work for them? I'm thinking this might be a mark of a writer maybe - a desire to write books rather than read one that might not suit. Maybe?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

I have a friend I ran into today and I asked her about her bookclub, thinking about today's blog topic. (*waving at Beth if she actually dropped over to read*)

She said she loved hers because they got together, ate great food, drank great wine and occasionally read the book. :> Now THAT sounds fun. However, I would have felt like it was my duty to read the book...hyperresponsible. I'd'a enjoyed the food though..

Donna MacMeans said...

limecello - Reader groups are like bookclubs without all the calories of the munchies served (grin). I like the social aspect of the book club - but fitting the time into a busy schedule is tough. They've got to have really good munchies!

Donna MacMeans said...

Terry - you probably did - blogger is really screwy today. Besides - all your posts are brilliant, aren't they?

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Pat!

I must admit I'm a deadline driven soul. I like the freedom of choosing my own reads, but perhaps having a deadline to finish the book would encourage me to read more. You never know...

Donna MacMeans said...

Fichen - exactly! They all seem to be having a great time.

Tawny - I can imagine you're in hot demand, but you've been so prolific - it would be difficult to catch you at a good time. I think you'd be a great speaker. Hope you get a chance to work one in. I know your books would turn doubters into category romance devotees.

Donna MacMeans said...

Wine!

Thank you, Jeanne, I forgot about the wine. Yes, alcohol, chocolates, good food, and romance - hard to resist.

I, on the other hand, would have no problem not finishing the book of the month. I'd read three chapters and if it doesn't grab me by then - then it wasn't meant to be. I'd move on to the next book.

Anna Campbell said...

Sorry I'm late. Been fielding two blogs at Romance Novel TV and at Romance Round Table!

Minna, way to go on the chook! Keep him warm, now. We don't want him sneezing all over the lair!

Donna, what a lovely post. What fun! I've never talked to a book club although I'd love to. Most of the people I know who are in book clubs are VERY serious literary types and turn their noses up at the idea of something purely for entertainment value like romance. Oh, and happy endings? Just not the thing, m'dear!

Actually talking to groups is something I didn't think I'd enjoy and I enjoy immensely. I love meeting aspiring writers and talking to them about how we all work. I love meeting enthusiastic romance readers - because I am first and foremost an enthusiastic romance reader myself!

Donna, that's a lovely story about your mum! So sorry she didn't live to see your great success. My grandmother was in an assisted living place too - it was hilarious that the popular books were all the HOT ones! They always went first. The sweet stuff was definitely second choice!

Anna Campbell said...

I've never been in a book club. I think they'd be fun - as someone said in all the comments (sorry, I'm a bit brain dead!), it's a nice way to find things you wouldn't necessarily pick up off your own bat. That's one of the reasons I like it when people lend me books they like - even if I don't like the book, it expands my field of reference.

Keira, I learnt with CTC that you put a story out there and the world then takes possession of it. A reader's view of the story is as valid as the writer's. You just have to let those birds fly and land where they will!

Dina said...

I am not in any books clubs, but I cnosider my blog friends/sites as bookd clubs, since I find so much great stuff.

Anna Sugden said...

Hmmm ... the collective noun for book clubs ... a debate of book clubs? A review of book clubs? Or in your case, Donna - a delight of book clubs.

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Anna!

Oh, I have complete faith that my mother is witness to my publishing success, just from a different angle so to speak. And you're so right about those little old ladies going for the hot stuff. About this time of year, I begin to see seniors who have volunteered to wrap gifts for charity. During the slow times, they pull out a book to read - and odds are - it's a romance. I always stop to chat with them and leave a bookmark or two.

You would be a fabulous speaker for a bookclub - you would charm them to give the genre a shot.

Donna MacMeans said...

Dina - Yes - just put a plate of cookies by the keyboard and you have the complete bookclub experience (grin). THose reader groups are the best places for recommendations.

Donna MacMeans said...

Anna - you are such a sweetheart (blush, blush). In my case, it would be a hatful of bookclubs as I always take my victorian hat - just to make a complete fool of myself (grin). I figure the readers look at me with that hat and know that they're free to say anything. We're going to have fun!

robynl said...

Oh the tote bag would be lovely to carry the copies of 'Ginny Blue's Boyfriends' by Nancy Kelly to our next meeting which is tomorrow actually. Our book club is called SPARR which can stand for the members Sandra, Patty, Audrey, Rose and Robyn or Sask. People Are Romance Readers. Rose has passed away but we still keep the two R's in the name.

Donna MacMeans said...

Robynl - That is lovely that you keep Rose in the loop so to speak. Of course, that extra R saves you from being the SPAR club which might suggest you have a battling book club (grin).

Donna MacMeans said...

And the winner is.... Wendy!

You may not have a bookclub, or a super secret bookclub handshake - but, by God you'll have a bookclub tote bag (grin).

Send me your mailing info at www.DonnaMacMeans.com and I'll get this in the mail to you.