Book Club Notes

October begins Book Club Month! For the next several weeks, Kellie is scheduled to speak with readers of A GUILTY MIND, appearing at meetings and answering questions about the book. She is also scheduled to appear in Northern Virginia after the first of the year. If you are interested in scheduling an author appearance at your next book club, you can contact Kellie at kellielarsenmurphy@gmail.com.

Book Clubs are many things to many people. By definition, they are a gathering of friends or associates to discuss and analyze a book they have all read. However, they are often more than that. Many book clubs are built around friendships that last decades. Others are virtual and meet only online. Some are faithful to a genre such as romance or science fiction. All are good as long as they work for the member. Kellie’s book club is fairly traditional. They meet once a month at a member’s home. The “meeting” itself is a great excuse for a social get-together with neighbors and friends. There is plenty of chatting, laughing, eating, and drinking. Eventually they do get around to talking about the book. In all honesty, the length of that discussion is often a reflection of the book. A well-loved or controversial book is going to get lots of comments and a lengthier discussion. On the flip side, mediocre or uninteresting books get fifteen minutes – tops! Those times are disappointing, of course, but the company (and a cold beverage) always helps. Then it’s on to choosing the next book, next host, and next meeting date.

A Few Tips for Making a Book Club Work:

  • Define the club. Are you reading only mysteries? Are you open to all genres? Non-fiction only? What kind of book club are you? Ditto for finding a club that works for you. If the group is very serious and you’re less so, find another group. If the group is not serious enough, switch clubs. Also, if you have the time, there is no limit to how many clubs you can join!
  • Be flexible. If it’s summer and it will be hard to get together each month, just plan one summer meeting. Same during the holidays. Don’t allow it to become a stressful event.
  • Mix it up. Occasionally change up the meeting’s purpose. See the movie of a book you’ve already read. Instead of a “meeting”, host a summer cookout and invite the spouses. Use your holiday meeting to collect toys or food for a local charity.
  • Share the duties. Rotate hosting and organizational duties. Everyone gets busy and needs a break now and then.
  • Most importantly, have fun!

Kellie’s book club reads a variety of books. They will read anything from non-fiction to young adult to spiritual to genre fiction. Although there are many, many more, below is a brief sampling of some of the books that have been read by Kellie’s club over the years:

  • Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons
  • The Dive from Clausen’s Pier
  • The Kite Runner
  • Three Cups of Tea
  • The Giver
  • Heaven is for Real
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain
  • A Reliable Wife
  • The Complete Stieg Larson series
  • Tender at the Bone
  • My Cousin Rachel
  • The Middle Place
  • The Help
  • Zorro
  • The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society
  • Laura Rider’s Masterpiece
  • Olive Kitterage
  • The Book Thief
  • Broken for You
  • Water for Elephants
  • The White Mary
  • The Lovely Bones
  • One Thousand White Women:  The Journals of May Dodd
  • Zeitoun
  • The Big Short
  • Have a Little Faith
  • Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight, An African Childhood
  • Plain Truth
  • The Fountainhead
  • The Twentieth Wife
  • The Glass Castle
  • The Last Van Gogh

Note:  The founding members of Kellie’s club read an early draft of A GUILTY MIND as their selection for one month. She will forever be grateful for their support and constructive criticism. Many of their comments helped to shape the finished manuscript!

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