A Good Home, Arabella Magazine, Author Cynthia Reyes, Book Clubs, Book lovers, Books, Books in the Garden, Gardens

Books, Gardens and Bob Marley

I can barely describe how marvelous it is to be the author-guest of a book club again.

I’ve been mostly at home since November – doctor’s orders – rarely venturing out.

But last year I’d accepted two book club invitations for this spring-summer and I really hoped to be able to carry through.  Well, hooray! I did.

Blog Photo - Book Club 1 2014

The first was hosted by Samantha (left) at her lovely Toronto home, where a very animated discussion took place about A Good Home.  The members knew the book very well, and were prepared for a great discussion. I loved being with them.

Thank you, ladies.

The second was The Ladies Literary Liquid Lunch.  (Great name!)

Blog Photo - Book Club Pool and Rock Garden

Blog Photo - Book Club Pond

 The club met in this garden in the countryside near Toronto.

Blog Photo - Book Club Lunch Preparations

Blog Photo - Book Club Linda with tray

Host Linda went all out to capture the Jamaican theme of A Good Home’s early chapters.

Blog Photo - Book Club Table Setting

She set the table in tropical colours.

Blog Photo - Book Club Table Setting CU

With colourful namecards.

Blog Photo - Book Club Name Card

And look at that coconut tree!

Blog Photo - Book Club Under Cocunut tree

As befits a book-club lunch in a garden, Shirley wore red and Sandy wore green.

Blog Photo - Book Club Shirley and Sandy

Members shared news. Joan and others took turns looking at photos of Linda and husband Daryl’s newest grandchild.

“What a sweet little face!”

Blog Photo - Book Club Linda shows Pic of Grandchild

It was time for lunch. A Jamaican menu, of course: jerk chicken, rice ‘n’ peas and a salad.

Blog Photo - Book Club Chicken and Rice

Daryl cheerfully manned the barbecue and played Bob Marley music — of course! That led other book club members to declare him “a hard act for other members’ partners to follow”.

Blog Photo - Book Club and Daryl

The club started “between 14-15 years ago” after one woman, Terri, posted a notice in the local library.

It’s an interesting group — from accountant Linda, to psycho-therapist Pam. There’s realtor Joan,  retired businesswoman Denny and several others.

Surprisingly, I discovered mutual acquaintances — like Debra Usher, my editor at Arabella Magazine.

Blog Photo - Book Club Iron Heron

It was through Denny’s local store in their small town that I got my first copy of Arabella, before the magazine even started publishing my feature stories. And here I was, meeting Denny in person and sharing that story with her!

Blog Photo - Arabella SpringSummer2

Pam, I discovered, is a member of the Heron clan of Heron Road in Ashburn, northeast of Toronto. I know the Heron family’s beautiful original homesteads.

There’s a democratic quality to the LLLL club. Every year, each member gets to choose one book for the club to read.

Blog Photo - Book Club discussion

‘Course, there was that time, earlier on, when everybody read and loved a well-known book. Then, Pam, who’d been silent, announced that she simply hated the protagonist.

Then there was the meeting where everyone had read the same book, but had mysteriously different ideas about the plot and characters. Partway through, they realized they were discussing three different books, all with the same title!

Blog Photo - Book Club and Cynthia

The group enjoys books, and each other.  They’ve even traveled together at times.

It’s yet another benefit of books – bringing people together.

As for A Good Home? The women had many questions, which I hope I answered somewhat intelligently.

And they loved the book. Thank goodness!

Dedicated to book club members everywhere.

46 thoughts on “Books, Gardens and Bob Marley”

  1. So pleased you were able to keep the two book club invitations. Looks as though everyone had a great time. Very much enjoyed your article and the photos in Arabella.

  2. How fun that you were able to go do that! I have always wanted to belong to a book club, but haven’t been able to find one in my area.

  3. Congrats on being able to get out and connect. You look and sound happy, and from that wonderful setting, I can understand why. That’s a fancy book club! I haven’t been in one, but this might inspire me. blessings Cynthia.

      1. This fall-winter was a tough one, Brad. I had so many book-related invitations that I overdid it last summer and by November was a mess. I get myself into more trouble that way…. But I plan to grow up one day soon.

  4. Cynthia, a lovely post.
    Very pleased you were able to make the events – what lovely occasions. I made some of my best friends at book clubs when living overseas!

    1. They can be very special things, book clubs.
      As an author, these are some of my best times — meeting with clubs who have read the book. Everybody has their favorite character, for example, which makes for a great discussion.

  5. So glad to hear that you had lovely days out at the book clubs, Cynthia. Must be really exciting for you as an author. Hope there’ll be more such opportunities for you. 🙂

    1. Thank you, my blogger-friend.
      I am behaving myself and following doctor’s orders (trying) so that I will be able to accept more invitations. I just need to learn to pace myself better, and when the pain kills, to lie down and play dead.

  6. I wish I had something like that around here..y’all look like you were having a wonderful time…
    Great photos….
    Thank you for sharing you and your world…
    Take Care…You Matter…

    1. Well, they’re friends NOW!
      Books can be a great connector of persons. I felt totally comfortable with these two groups of book-lovers, though virtually all were strangers till then.
      Thank you.

  7. So sorry to hear that you’ve been cooped up so long! Sending best wishes for a steady recovery!!! Writers get used to being alone but it’s awfully nice to hang out with friends from time to time, too! 🙂

    1. It’s awfully nice to go out and meet new people too. What a blessing, indeed.
      Spring means that I can sit on the verandah or walk around the garden so there is much to be thankful for.
      Thanks for your reply, Lori. Hope your summer goes well.

  8. Jerk chicken with rice and peas, yum! Maybe I’ll get takeout tonight from the Jamaican place down the street from us. Only, why do the Jamaicans call it peas and the rest of us beans?

    1. That is such a good question – why do Jamaicans call it peas when it is usually beans? Why do Jamaicans call anything by a different name….
      My sisters and I went to school with a guy whom everyone called Archie Balancer.
      Imagine our surprise, as adults, to learn that his name was really Archibald Answer! Now we wonder if we ever really knew anyone’s names….
      I have NO idea why we Jamaicans call things what we do. But if we can play with a term, or mess up a name – we will!
      Glad you have a takeout Jamaican place down the street….

  9. It sounds as if you had a wonderful time. How lovely to go to a book club meeting where your own book is the subject of discussion. It is great that you were able to go.
    If you are a reader then book clubs are wonderful. I love it that I have to read books that I might otherwise not read . Even if I don’ t like it I have to persevere so that I can say why I don’ t like it. It gets you out of your literary comfort zone and that is good. Sometimes you find authors you love who you would never have discovered without your book club.

  10. So true, Chloris. That’s what a number of book club members have told me.
    And thank you for your kind comments. It was great that I was able to go and I loved every minute.

  11. That’s wonderful, Cynthia, and well deserved I’m sure. I’ve never belonged to a book club, but always wanted to. I’ve even tried starting one a few times, but couldn’t find anyone in this area interested. On the bright side, I belong to one of largest book clubs in the country. The many blogs I follow where we review and discuss the books we read. 😀

    1. A good way of putting it. I often learn about great books from my blogger-friends too.
      I’m also a member of Rave Reviews Book Club, many of whose author-members are Indies.
      good to hear from you, Elizabeth.
      Are you doing a lot of writing?

  12. I loved re-reading this post Cynthia. I had forgotten the funny anecdotes near the end – it must have been such a laugh when you realised you had been discussing three separate books! 😀

  13. I have a book club meeting tomorrow in the UK, this is our holiday month, so we each bring along a different book that we have enjoyed and tell the others about it. I plan to tell them about A Good Home (even though I only have it on my iPad).

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