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July 28, 2006

It's All About the Book Clubs

It's All About the Book Clubs Blog_women_reading_2
I love my Book Clubs, both as a bookseller and a reader.  My oldest, now in our 11th year, is made up of women lawyers.  We read mainly mysteries, but we also read other things, if they come highly recommended.  As a reader, I've read books and discovered new authors I might never have known without my book clubs.  Great books like:
  • The Flanders Panel by Arturo Perez-Reverte and Margaret Jull Costa;
  • The Salaryman's Wife by Sujata Massey; and
  • Tell Me Lies by Jennifer Crusie.
I met the one and only Nancy Martin at our book club.  And I met our beloved Bubbles Yablonsky, then later Sarah Strohmeyer through our book club.  Before Lisa Scottoline became a big time author, we read "Everywhere that Mary Went" - her first book - for our very first book club meeting.  Lisa still comes to see our book club whenever she tours.  We've combined book club meetings with continuing education courses featuring other lady lawyers like Lisa, Amy Gutman and the wonderful Michele Martinez.  This fall, we're doing one with Twist Phelan.

For authors, it's a great way to get some real feedback from a manageably-sized group that represents serious readers, as well as a way to sell more books.  For a bookseller, it's a way to treat existing customers to the thrill of meeting an author, and to - hopefully - get new customers in the door.  For a reader, it's the best of everything - great recommendations, the chance to have fun with people of like interests, and the opportunity to talk to wonderful authors.

There are so many book clubs out there - not just for mysteries, but for readers of romance, sci fi, foodies, gardeners, dog lovers, people with purple hair - you name it, and there's a book group.  Publishing statistics indicate that there are tens of thousands of book clubs in the United States alone, including the mega ones like Oprah and Kelly Ripa.  Tons of people have attended at least one book club meeting.  That is the kind of info that makes me happy - sure we've got more crackheads than ever, but we've got more readers, too.  It's not all bad news out there.

Sometimes at book club we really discuss the book and the issues raised therein.  Sometimes, we tell jokes and talk about the movies we saw since we last met.  We have dinner together, and we talk.  Grown-up, interesting talk. It's not just the books - it's the fellowship and the friendship.  The same kind of thing I'm finding here on The Lipstick Chronicles.

So - here's the idea - let's start our own, online Book Club.  The first thing we need is a catchy name - more on that in a minute.  Each month, we'll pick a book, give everyone some time to read it, and then discuss it on the appointed Friday.  Once we get rolling, we can announce the books in advance so you'll have plenty of time to read them.

Now - the name of the Book Club - the Tarts tossed around some ideas, but couldn't come up with one that thrilled everybody - so we're having - wait for it -

                                        A CONTEST!

Name our Book Club!  The winner will get a box of goodies, including autographed copies of some of the Tarts' latest books, and other cool stuff. Margie says she has a few things to contribute which frankly, scares me.  Not to worry, one of the Tarts will supervise.

Here's how you can enter - simply submit your suggested name in the Comment section, and we'll get in touch with the winner.  If you're shy, just e-mail me directly by clicking on my e-mail address: [email protected].  Or, you can e-mail your favorite Book Tart through her web page or e-mail address.  The contest will end on August 12th, and we'll have our first 'meeting' on September 1st.  Our first book will be (drum roll please):

Blog_cinderella_pact_1 The Cinderella Pact by Sarah Strohmeyer

We picked this book because - first and foremost - it's a terrific book.  Plus, we figured most of you have it already, and if not, why?  If you have it, read it - or re-read it if you wish.  If you don't, you've got plenty of time to get it before September 1st.  You can get an autographed copy by going to:

http://www.mysterylovers.com/detail.asp?Product_ID=0525949577 or by calling (888) 800-6078.

Now - start thinking up good names for The Lipstick Chronicles Book Club, and in the mean time, please tell the rest of us about your favorite Book Club.


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Easy peasy: The Tarts' Book Club


The Tart Club :)

This is a GREAT idea - my work schedule is too irregular for me to stick with a book club. How about:

Lip Service

Two names for the contest:

Tart Talk or

TLC: Tarts Literary Club

I also like Kiss My Book Club, but it might be too racy.

I already read The Cinderella Pact, so I'm ready for the meeting!

A book club is a fantastic idea.
How does the Smart Tasrts' Book Club sound?

Excellent name ideas so far!

I'd just like to say that THE CINDERELLA PACT was chosen for our first read when the author was--uhm---powdering her nose. We're not playing favorites here (well, okay, we are just this one time!) but in the future, we're hoping to really stretch each other's comfort zones by selecting books that are new, different, exciting, trendy (hey, why not?) and really thought-provoking. We look forward to your suggestions.

Keep those name suggestions coming. We're assembling the winning gift basket now. And I can't wait to give Margie back the---er--gift she gave to me in Daytona. I haven't had the courage to take it out of its brown paper bag yet.

How about TartSweet? Or Tartlit? How many times can we enter?
I think it's a great idea...gives me an excuse to take the book on my cruise :o)

We have a fledgling mystery book club at my B&N...small enough that we meet over dinner at a different restaurant each month, but we're hoping to change that this fall...sizewise and locationwise. We've done everything from Julia Spencer-Fleming to Stephen Booth and my favorite thing is trying totally different authors :o) It's also fun to make sure we're talking about either sex or bludgeoning JUST as the server arrives to take our order :o)
Let me know if I need to choose one of those suggestions :o)

You can enter as many times as you wish -

I've also received a couple of good ones via e-mail already.

and thanks Nancy, for the clarification on book choices.

What a great idea! I've also bemoaned the fact that I'm never around long enough to join a real book club, so this will be awesome. And I've heard the first book we'll be reading is pretty good :) Now to think of names, names . . . .

When I was young I hated to read now I love it. It is like escaping and entering a new world. I just have not much time to myself this could be a great way to push the excussess asid. I myself have never been to a book club or joined one not even Oprah's.

So since reading for me is escaping how about The Great Tart Escape Club or Book Escape Club just an idea

I do already have my copy of the Cinderella Pact, but I have not started it yet. I guess I'd better get on it. Great idea. I've never been part of a book club before.

I don't have any name ideas though . . . maybe something will come to me.

I'll be bold and make my suggestion public: how about "The Heart of Tartness Book Club"?

Going to buy the book now . . .

Oh wow!
I just love those names. This will be a difficult contest to decide.
Love the idea too. We have eight groups who meet monthly in the store. Many times folks want to join but find family and job constraints. Online should be great.
mary alice....back this 3AM from Bermuda and ready with a list of what's being read in Bermuda-------the first book I saw was The Cinderella Pact

If deciding is hard you could always pick the two or three (or more if you wanted) and put it to an on line vote.

Online Book club seems like it would be easier to attend than a weekly meeting in person. However since I have never been to one how does it work do you read the whole book all at once and disscuss it or only so many chapters at a time? I am really looking forward to being a part of this. Thanks for putting it together.

Queens of Tarts Bookclub

Sour Apple Tarts

Bright Tarts BC

oh Ace of Tarts Book Club

Lipstick Readers Club

TLC Book Therapy

The Readers and Eaters Club (Ok, maybe that's just me)

Loving these ideas.

More on the format later, but yes, you do read the whole book, and then we discuss it. Since we have an 'in' with the author, she might suggest things to discuss, or we'll come up with some issues. Then we just let the discussion flow.

Naturally, eating and drinking are always encouraged during Book Club. Plus, you don't have to worry about driving home!

I have a question about time frame. Will the book club discussion last one day or a week etc.?
I like the Queen of Tarts Book Club suggestion.

Hi Annette -

We will begin the discussion on the appointed Friday, and continue as long as people want to keep posting comments. You can always open earlier blogs by clicking the name of the blog on the right margin of the LC Blog Page.

The Poppin' Fresh Sweet Tarts

I've tried two different online book clubs and both fizzled because no one was really serious about the books...80% of the members would show up, 20% would admit to never getting around to buying the book, another 20% to not having time to read it, 20% to having started it, but not finishing it, leaving the rest of us to start discussing it only to be drowned out (we'd use a chat room) by the others gossiping. I am *really* looking forward to participating with serious book lovers.

Tarts with Heart

I just finished "The Cinderella Pact." I don't want to give away how much I liked it...but I read it in one evening, laughing out loud the whole way through.

Tarts with Smarts BC!!!!!!!BTW Rebeca love your book web site. Thanks for a new place to buy books! :)

Janice - you're most welcome and thanks for supporting your favorite authors and independent book stores!

I say we call it "Turn the Page" and that way we'll have a theme song too. hahahaah.

It also brings back memories of those books that came with records when I was a kid... you'd get to the bottom of the page and the pleasant yet neutral voice would say "Turn the page"

History Trivia for non-Dummies Blog
FYI-The First Novel Published in the United States
It was "Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded", written by English novelist Samuel Richardson and published in America in 1774. The publisher was none other than Benjamin Franklin. An excellent biography entitled 'Benjamin Franklin, An American Life" written by Walter Isaacson contains this and other fascinating facts about our greatest maxim-maker.

Examples: "Fish and visitors stink in three days;" "An ounce of protection is worth a pound of cure;" "Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise;" "Three may keep a secret if two are dead."

So interesting it is, I like it !

this guy is just what i imagined edward to look like, so , who is this model? what’s his name? do tell.

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