Book Club Love

Clara, Tina, Diane, Liz and Cheryl

A few members from a wonderful local book club that read FRIDAY MORNINGS AT NINE and who, as a group, get together weekly on Friday mornings at…eight-thirty ;).

I love book clubs.

As a reader, it’s just tremendously fun to have an excuse to get together with friends, chat about stories, drink wine and eat tasty food all night.

As an author, it’s nothing short of a huge honor to have your story be the one that a group of smart, creative, thoughtful people are discussing. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to be a part of book clubs — both in person and online — ever since I released my debut novel, According to Jane. It quickly became one of my favorite perks of being a writer.


A real-life reenactment of the “Halloweiner Party” from FRIDAY MORNINGS AT NINE — note the cute costumes and the wrapped candy stuck on the wall!

One of the most memorable book-club experiences I’ve ever had was when another Chicago-area book club read Friday Mornings at Nine and, because they’re such clever and hilarious women, they decided to surprise me by replicating the fairytale-esque, grownups-only Halloween party from the middle of the novel. I walked into their meeting, idly wondering why there was a big orange jack-o-lantern poster on the front door — in mid-May, LOL — only to find several of the members actually dressed in Halloween costumes, having made some of the wacky dishes I’d created for the story (i.e., “Jack & the Bean Dip,” “Three Bloody Pigs in a Blanket,” “Headless Gingerbread Man Cookies”) and even taping miniature candy bars to the walls, like my characters had done. It was so amazingly cool — I was floored and still laugh when I think about it!!


My coming-of-age romantic mystery, THE ROAD TO YOU.

But I’ve also enjoyed being a part of some fantastically fun book clubs online and via conference call. No real candy or costumes were involved (although we’ve never been short on virtual treats!), but we’ve had some great discussions, too. I just finished a month-long book club for The Road to You at The Reading Frenzy (here are the links to the Opening Interview and to Week One of our chat, if you’re curious about how it worked ;). And I’m about to start another month-long book club, this time on Goodreads as part of the Women’s Fiction Writing Association. We’ll be reading and discussing A Summer in Europe throughout March. It’s open to the public, by the way, so anyone who’d like to join in the group read/chat is welcome!

A Summer in Europe--small

A SUMMER IN EUROPE, my romantic women’s fiction travel adventure…

How about you? Have you ever been part of a book club — either as a reader or as an author? Did you get together in person or through some sort of virtual means, i.e., Internet, telephone, Skype? What was a novel you enjoyed discussing with the group? I’d love to hear about your experiences!!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone. :razz:

About Marilyn Brant

Marilyn Brant is a chocolate addict, a music junkie and the USA TODAY bestselling author of ACCORDING TO JANE (2009), FRIDAY MORNINGS AT NINE (2010) and A SUMMER IN EUROPE (2011), all from Kensington Books, as well as a number of light romantic comedies, including THE SWEET TEMPTATIONS COLLECTION (2013) and PRIDE, PREJUDICE AND THE PERFECT MATCH (2013). Her latest novel -- a coming-of-age romantic mystery called THE ROAD TO YOU -- was just released in October 2013!
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8 Responses to Book Club Love

  1. Amy R. says:

    Happy Friday, Marilyn! Being part of a book club is one thing I have not done before – in person or online. The closest I guess I get is I do Bible Study with other ladies – we all read the same book and talk about it, and I love that. I just haven’t done it with fiction yet. Many of my in person friends don’t read the same books as I do, but who knows what the future will bring! I’ll have to check out some of the ones on Goodreads, too – the problem is finding time to read the same book at the same time. 🙂
    Amy R.`s last blog was …Reader Survey – Part 1

    • marilynbrant says:

      Amy, I have a few friends who are part of weekly Bible study groups, and they’ve told me that — at least with their gatherings — it feels a bit like a book club (minus the wine drinking, perhaps 😉 ).

      And I know exactly what you mean about finding the time to read the same book at the same time! I fell in love with the ladies of both of the in-person groups above (just met up with the women in the first group this morning for their Friday coffee), and I’ll be seeing the ladies in the second group in a couple of weeks because I actually *joined* their book club! We’re reading Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, which I have but haven’t started yet because I’m still judging RITA books… I know with all the novels you review that it has to be hard to sneak in extra ones!!
      marilynbrant`s last blog was …Short Stories and Sweet Treats

  2. Edie Ramer says:

    Marilyn, that is so awesome! I love the pictures. And I have to admit that I’m hungry right now for headless gingerbread men cookies. lol

    No, I’ve never been part of a book club. Someday, I hope a book club will want to read one of mine. It would be fun.

    • marilynbrant says:

      Edie, I’d love some of those cookies, too!! I remember that Claudia, who was hosting the party, had baked a batch of gingerbread men…and then she snapped the heads off of all of them before putting them on the serving plate, LOL. No idea who ended up getting to eat the heads later… 😀 And I think the books in your Rescued Hearts series would be perfect for a book club!!
      marilynbrant`s last blog was …Short Stories and Sweet Treats

  3. Happy Friday, Marilyn! Those book club ladies are pretty awesome to surprise you like that! I’ve always wanted to be part of a book club, but never have. I tried to start one once with some friends. We had our book, our day and time to meet, but then several of the girls couldn’t make it and well, we let if fall by the wayside after that. I do so love hearing about all the fun you have with them.
    Robin Bielman`s last blog was …Free Bliss Sampler!

    • marilynbrant says:

      Robin, I couldn’t have been more shocked! The really funny thing was that when I got to the house and saw the Halloween poster on the door in May, I thought, “Whew. I’m so glad I’m not the ONLY one who forgets to take down her decorations…” 😛

      I hope you’ll give the book club with friends another try sometime — I think you’d love it! And with so many people reading on Kindles/Nooks/iPads now, a lot of the book-club members I know actually prefer to get ebooks, even if a book is widely available in print, which opens up a MUCH wider range of story options (i.e., your Secret Wishes stories!!) for a romance-loving book club :).
      marilynbrant`s last blog was …Short Stories and Sweet Treats

  4. Dale Mayer says:

    Hi Marilyn,

    I’m another one who has had nothing to do with book clubs. But your pictures make me realize what I’ve been missing!!!

  5. marilynbrant says:

    Thanks, Dale!
    They’re really fun gatherings…and it’s an added perk that so many of the people I’ve met at book clubs are *also* good cooks, LOL! We spend as much time raving about the food as we do chatting about the novels 😉 .
    marilynbrant`s last blog was …A Summer in Europe ~ Book Club Pick!

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