May 25, 2011

Who Doesn't Love a Book Club?

Woot! Woot! The amazing Cindy Hudson is in the house!

Cindy is a book club expert and she's agreed to share her 6-1/2 list about mother/daughter book clubs and give away a copy of her book, BOOK BY BOOK: THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO CREATING MOTHER/DAUGHTER BOOK CLUBS to one lucky blog reader. (Scroll down to enter.)

Cindy's advice works for all sorts of book clubs, I think. Father/son, Mother/son, Cranky old ladies who like to get together and have reasonably intelligent conversation while sipping (or gulping) wine. Whatever kind of book club floats your boat, Cindy is way cool and knows book clubs!

Here is Cindy, flanked by her two gorgeous girls . . .

Cindy is the founder of two long-running mother-daughter book clubs and lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and two daughters. She's created some amazing Meeting Planner Guides on her site. These guides are chock-full of activities, info about the author, discussion questions, recipes, etc. There is a FREE sample guide for a book you may have heard of. (Yes, you're going to have to visit Cindy's site to learn which book the free sample is about.) All this and more is available at


(Note: Comments in parenthesis are mine, mine, all mine!)

1. Books. Different styles, different genres, different authors than the ones you usually pick up to read. Your book club friends will introduce you to all kinds of new titles. My favorite that I never would have read on my own was House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer. (And I LOVED The Eye, the Ear and The Arm by Nancy Farmer.)

2. Food. Book-themed snacks, tasty dinners, yummy desserts. There’s usually lots of good food at book club meetings. And most of the time I’m not the one cooking it since I only host once in a club-wide rotation. (And some thoughtful authors even include recipes at the back of their novels. I'm just sayin'.)

3. Friends. Social time is so much fun you have to force yourselves to cut it off and move on to talking about the book. That’s fun too, and you learn things about your friends that you may have never otherwise discovered. (I learned that my friends like to drink wine. Lots of wine. The only time I belonged to a book club, we read the book for the first meeting and after that it was all chatting and drinking, while the book lay on a table nearby. This would NOT happen at a mother/daughter book club meeting, of course. This would only happen at an old cranky lady book club meeting. :)

4. Moms and daughters listening to each other. This is not just a spectator sport; both generations get involved. And the observations of both are equally valid and important to hear. (Any time communication happens between the generations is a good thing. I know. I have teenagers.)

5. Field trips. You can read a book then go to the movie when it comes out and compare the two. You can all go shopping at a bookstore to find your next selection. A book you read might even inspire you to volunteer for a cause. (*Raises hand.* I want to volunteer for a cause. Baking chocolate chip cookies for cranky old ladies at a book club meeting is a cause. Right?)

6. Meeting authors. How cool is it that book clubs can connect with the authors of some of the books they read? We met Zlata Filipovic of Zlata’s Diary: A Child's Life in Wartime Sarajevo and were awed to see this confident young woman talk about her experiences as a child in war-torn Sarajevo. (Zlata has been called the Anne Frank of Sarajevo. I'm reading her touching book right now. Well not right now. I'm creating this blog post right now. Ah, you know what I mean!)

6-1/2. Weekends away. Dance, play cards, get a massage, walk on the beach, bake cookies, laugh a lot, and yes, talk about a book. (Did someone mention cookies?!)

(Note: Many authors will happily Skype with book clubs. So, contact a favorite author and ask.)

Thanks, Cindy! Now, onto the swag . . .

Cindy Hudson has generously agreed to give away an autographed copy of her book BOOK BY BOOK: THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO CREATING MOTHER/DAUGHTER BOOK CLUBS (Seal Press, 2009).

To enter to win a copy, leave a comment and check back Friday, June 3rd to see if you've won.


Riley said...

What a fabulous post!!! Thank you Donna and Cindy. I've been itching to join/start a book club and now I think I might actually do it. Of course mine will have to be of the cranky, old lady variety. drinking wine variety, but still...I'm inspired! Thanks again to both of you. I'm looking forward to reading Cindy's book.

Jami said...

After 42 years of teaching, I find myself without a job. I feel this is not bad luck but rather an opportunity to spend time on my first love, writing. I would love to read this book and, of course, pass on the wisdom to inspire more book clubs. Thank you Donna for the opportunity.

Ima said...

I started a book club with homeschooled kids that fizzled. Maybe this would be the book to inspire me to try again. :)

Cindy Hudson said...

Donna I love your comments after each of my reasons in the article. And yes, us old-lady moms were usually known to have a glass of wine with dinner before we talked about the book. The girls kept us on track, though, so we really got into great discussions. Thank goodness for youthful energy.

April @ PolkaDots n' PinkySwears said...

I would love to win a copy!

Not just another "Soccer Mom" said...

Thanks for the post. My daughter is 11 and entering middle school. I am hopefull that this can be a tradition for many summers yet to come!