Nora St. Laurent runs two book clubs near the Atlanta area and is the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Book Club Coordinator. She currently writes a Book Club Column for Christian Fiction Online Magazine. You can read author interviews on her Finding Hope Through Fiction blog, located at http://www.psalm516.blogspot.com, and reviews around the web at The Christian Pulse Mag, Title Trakk, Novel Reviews, and Suspense Zone. Nora and her husband run The Book Club Network www.bookfun.org
A Kansas Book Club
I have the pleasure of introducing co-leaders of a Kansas book club that are members of The Book Club Network.
Lori Schultz lives in a small town in central Kansas. She is a stay-at-home mom to six children. In addition to her co-leading her local Christian book club, Lori is a member of a classic Christian book club. She is involved in her church and community through various volunteer positions. She enjoy lattes, books, and talking with friends about books. Lori’s greatest loves are her Father, God, husband, family, and friends.
Joyce Peterson loves sharing books with others. As a Christian Ed Director and School Counselor, she shares many books with children. As the co-leader of a book club, she enjoys hearing about books from friends. A mother of three sons, Anders, twenty, Lars, seventeen, and Nils, fourteen, and wife to Mark, Joyce enjoys living in Lindsborg, Kansas, otherwise known as Little Sweden, USA. She relishes sharing her Swedish culture with family and friends. She is thankful for the blessings of her family, church, and, of course, books.
Lori, you’ve been a member of TBCN for a little while; how has this site enhanced or helped you with your book club?
I have enjoyed the interviews and looking at the book recommendations.
What have you learned from other clubs at TBCN that have helped you with your book club meetings?
The book recommendations have been fun. It’s definitely given me ideas for future book club picks.
What does your typical book club meeting look like?
We start with a prayer. Most of us have visited the local coffeeshop prior to book club meeting, so we are sipping our lattes. Then I ask the group to summarize the book we have read. This is especially helpful for those who missed key parts, didn’t finish the book, or didn’t read the book. After the summary, we discuss key passages, what we liked and disliked, and the faith thread of the book. We end by discussing our calendar and usually trading books.
What is your book selection process? Do you vote with a secret ballet, or some other method?
Twice a year I work on the calendar. I make recommendations and ask for suggestions from others. Between the two lists, I create the calendar. I like to include one nonfiction and one classic each year. We also like to choose books that are going to create good discussion.
How does it work with having co-leaders? How do you split up the responsibilities?
The book club was Joyce’ s idea. I was already a member of a classic Christian book club, so I knew how to start a book club. We share the responsibilities and e-mail each other about details. Joyce keeps us organized and I run the meetings with her help. We didn’t really discuss how we would share the work; we just fell into a natural pattern. I contact the authors and arrange the field trips.
Does your book club socialize outside of your regular meetings? If so, what have you done as a group that you all enjoyed?
We have had some excellent field trips. We traveled to a small town cafe to meet Deborah Vogts. We visited a Harvey House museum after we read a story about one. We also met at a Chrisitian bookstore and then visited a quaint bookstore in the home of a friend. Our next trip will include reading an orphan train story and visiting the Orphan Train Museum.
Does your book club meet in different locations every month, or do you meet at the same place?
We try to meet in different places. We meet in members’ homes and use the church library when we don’t have a host. We also meet in coffeehouses, Christian bookstores, and our newest location is the new tea and chocolate store in town.
To read the conclusion to this interview with both co-leaders, go to Finding Hope Through Fiction Website, www.psalm516.blogspot.com. These leaders also provided some fun pictures of their group and the authors they’ve met.
If you’d like to have your book club featured in this monthly magazine, please contact me through this Finding Hope Website. Thanks to Lori and Joyce for sharing their book club experience with us. I learn so much from these interviews. I hope you do too!!
Until next time.
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