I’ve started appearing at book clubs here in Central Florida, a first for me, and it’s been fun to get some direct feedback and support. Several weeks ago, at the invitation of a neighbor, I met with her group at a nearby Japanese restaurant. The half dozen women were in their 30s and 40s, most with children at home, and had read — or at least started — the book, and had some stimulating questions.
Last night, my wife’s book club met at our house. I’d seen them there before over the years, but had never sat in on a session. Sallie had chosen my book the month before and, to accommodate several members, moved the meeting from their regular week night to Saturday evening. She invited the husbands, and made it a pot luck dinner. After a few hours around the table (marinated lamb chops, salad, corn bread, flavored rice, with mountain music on the CD). we moved to the living room. The group, which has been meeting for 11 years, is composed of politically sophisticated, suburban women in their 40s, 50s and 60s, most with graduate degrees. All five of the members who attended seemed to have read the book, some in earlier manuscript from, and came prepared with probing questions, some in writing. I was able to share with them some insight into the research and writing process, and explain some of the editing choices, including material that didn’t make the final cut.
I have one more more area book club appearance next month, with a group that includes another of Sallie’s friends. Members of this group, along with most of Sallie’s group attended our launch party at the Congregation of Reform Judaism in early October. I’m hoping to coordinate visits to the Durham area with appearances at friends’ book clubs.