I had an ambitious “Summer Reading List” put together this year, plenty of fiction, some romance and a couple of biographies.
But the book that sat on the top of my reading pile was the new release CENTER OF GRAVITY by Laura McNeill, a suspense thriller that people had been calling “creepy” “intense” and “powerful”. I dived in and loved every minute of Laura’s fantastic read. It didn’t disappoint and I found myself up reading late at night flipping through the pages as fast as I could.
Laura was kind enough to share a guest post on one of her favorite topics: Reading! And how to have fun exploring new books with new friends. Thank you to Laura for stopping by!
How Start a Book Club in 5 Easy Steps
If you’re looking for a way to get together with friends and neighbors, a book club allows you to meet up, have interesting discussions, and share your favorite beach reads.
Whether you’re looking for mystery lovers, fans of the classics or just an excuse to share a glass of wine and chat about the latest romantic comedy, it’s easy to get a reading group together.
Here are five easy suggestions for starting a new book club in your area. Worried about doing it all yourself? Team up with a friend and do it together!
1. Decide on the book club’s focus
Are you a suspense lover? Adore only YA? Or do you have eclectic tastes that span all genres? Determine if you want to focus on one genre or mix it up every month. Will it be formal or relaxed? Dress up or down?
2. Invite friends
The perfect number for a book club group is between 5 and 12 people. That way, everyone can participate and have a chance to share their thoughts on the month’s book. Compile a list of e-mail addresses, start a group on Meet-Up, or post a flyer at your local indie bookstore or library.
3. Decide on a time, day, and place
For our book club, we determined that the first Tuesday of each month from 7:30 pm 9:30 pm was best for everyone to meet. For your group, send out an email asking the following:
• Time & Day – Poll everyone and ask them to choose among 3 days and times.
• Location – My book club takes turns hosting at each member’s home, with that person providing light refreshments and leading the discussion.
• A quiet coffee shop or restaurant works just as well.
4. Choose your books
For the first time the group meets, it’s okay for you to suggest the book title and prepare discussion questions. At the end of the first meeting, have everyone vote on the next 4-6 books to be read. You can always look to best-sellers list or recommendations from your local books store.
5. Email out the details
Before the first meeting, email or text members the following details:
• The name of the book
• When, where, and what time you will meet
• Let the group know of any special accommodations needed (kids’ bedtimes, pets in case anyone is allergic, etc.)
At the first meeting, assign someone (that month’s hostess?) to communicate with the group a few days before every meeting,
Though it’s not necessary, it’s been helpful for our group to have a private Facebook page. We post reminders about meetings, questions, and information for all of the members to check, and then post photos of the group after the meeting wraps up. We’ve also held-holiday themed parties, coordinating the snacks and drinks to the occasion.
Do you belong to a book club? Any other suggestions you can add?
After six years behind the anchor desk at two CBS affiliates, Laura McNeill moved to the Alabama Gulf Coast to write full-time. Her novels, known for their endearingly flawed characters, illuminate the real life struggles that touch us all. A native of Upstate New York, she now lives in Mobile, Alabama, with her two growing boys. Twitter @LaurenClark_Bks