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.
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!)
The club met in this garden in the countryside near Toronto.
Host Linda went all out to capture the Jamaican theme of A Good Home’s early chapters.
She set the table in tropical colours.
With colourful namecards.
And look at that coconut tree!
As befits a book-club lunch in a garden, Shirley wore red and Sandy wore green.
Members shared news. Joan and others took turns looking at photos of Linda and husband Daryl’s newest grandchild.
“What a sweet little face!”
It was time for lunch. A Jamaican menu, of course: jerk chicken, rice ‘n’ peas and a salad.
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”.
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.
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!
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.
‘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!
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”
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.
Thank you. Me too.
Glad you enjoyed Arabella.
I hope your day is going well.
That looked like such a great time! Thanks for sharing this. 📘😄
You’re welcome, Susan.
Wow so great you could make both and loved the Jamaica theme!!!
Thanks! Me too.
Did they play No Woman No Cry? One of the all time greats.
One of my top favorite songs, too!
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.
It’s well worth doing, Rosie.
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.
I’m so grateful to these clubs for picking my book to read. And then, for liking it enough to invite me to visit. It made my day.
Wonderful, And I didn’t realize how little that you are able to be out and about, so I imagine it was an extra joy to get out and connect. 🙂
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.
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!
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.
I am so pleased you were able to to to both events. They looked great fun.
Thanks, Clare. They really were. Terrific groups.
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. 🙂
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.
I do understand, keep well. Kind regards, Iris.
I wish I had something like that around here..y’all look like you were having a wonderful time…
Thank you for sharing you and your world…
Take Care…You Matter…
Thanks, Maryrose. I was so happy to be with both book clubs. Very thoughtful, funny and interesting people.
There is something so wonderful in communing about books. I’m happy for you that you had the opportunity to enjoy these two groups – a real treat.
What a treat it was to spend time with each, Jeanne. These people seriously love books.
It’s nice when people appreciate your work, and even better when they’re friends.
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.
Wow, wish I was nearby. This is great Cynthia!
Yes, it was.
Thank you, Francine!
And thanks again for visiting my blog.
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! 🙂
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.
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?
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….
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.
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.
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. 😀
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?
No, not doing any writing to speak of. But that’s okay because right now I’m on a reading jag. 😀
Reblogged this on Cynthia Reyes.
What a great honour to be invited by such interesting readers. Glad you got to enjoy and experience them, Cynthia.
Sorry to read of ‘doctor’s orders’
Thanks, Derrick. The post was reblogged from a year ago.
They sound like great experiences Cynthia.
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! 😀
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).
I am honoured. Thank you, Hilary, for doing this.