Friday, May 24, 2019

Bouyed up by the Book Club by Judith Hudson

Even when I feel snowed under by work and obligations, there’s one group I can count on to buoy me up: my book club.
We’ve been together for years, since our boys were in soccer together, and while the boys have gone their separate ways, the moms are still together.
Last night’s meeting was the first outdoor meeting of the season, and we sat on my friend’s deck in the balmy evening air, drinking wine as the sun set. The snacks were delicious, very fresh and healthy in honor of some of our crazy diets: home-made cheese roll with Irish cheddar served with thin apple slices, shrimp on endive boats with some delicious, light, herb-y sauce.
The book? Oh yes, there was a book, Kirstin Hannah’s The Great Alone. We gave it an average 8.5 out of 10.
Set in off-the-grid Alaska in the 1970’s, it brought back memories of the years I spent in small town Northern Ontario. (More about that digression on my personal blog, ) We weren’t as far north as Alaska, but as winter approached, I remember the feeling of increasing isolation, when the snow comes and you either have to shovel yourself out or stay put. And the darkness. For months, my Scandinavian blood did a slow, dark boil.
Hannah’s book deals with darker subjects, of PTSD and domestic abuse, but she does a great job of explaining the lure, and the pain, of the north.
I think that discussing these subjects in a safe group—and we agreed we all felt safe with each other—has increased our sense of intimacy as a group. Sometimes I don’t see these women from meeting to meeting, but we tell each other things we tell no one else.
The group is important enough to me that I even read the Second World War books that keep creeping into the list. Books I’d never read on my own, but that I might be better for having read. Books that pull me out of my comfort zone.
The books I write often have humorous scenes, but there is usually an “issue” at the core. I have put book club questions for the first three books on my website as well as in the back of the books, in case you and your book-club friends are looking for your next book. The Good Neighbor - the Ebook on sale until the end of May, for just 99¢.
I’d be happy to skype with your book club – you can contact me here.
If you are not in a wine club—I mean book club—consider getting a group together and see where it leads. It could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Don't forget to enter our monthly giveaway - this month celebrating Memorial Day weekend. The prizes include a $20 Amazon gift certificate and an abundance of ebooks by Gems authors!

Until next month, happy reading.


  1. I think it's strange that I've never been in a book club, but there you go. Hopefully, it will happen sometime, especially if there is wine involved. I enjoyed your comments on living with a long, dark winter.

  2. I would love the idea of getting together to discuss books. Unfortunately none of my friends read the same kind of books that I do.

    1. Strangely, these women were not my friends before the book club. We have very different lives, but over the years the book discussions have formed strong friendships. Maybe look for a club of acquaintancs and see where it goes.

  3. I've never been in a book club either. I always looked at most of the book as too serious. I read for mostly escapism although I have read more serious themed books and enjoyed them. So saying that, maybe a once in a while book club would work for me. Your closeness of your members is something we'd all love.

    1. You can make ti whatever you like. And while some of the darker books (like the World war II books) are not my fav's, it does push me to read out of my escapist genres. Books I wish I'd read.

  4. Nicw to have that safe place. Not sure why I feel like Nora, that the books read by book clubs are more serious, and less escapism. Great to hear how much you get out of yours.

  5. Your book club sounds delightful. I discuss books I read with friends. The only times I've been invited to join formal book clubs, I declined because of the books they read, i.e., serious nonfiction. When I read for leisure, I'm looking for entertainment.

  6. I feel the same way about my book club. We've been together for so many years and I feel more as if these are my sisters.


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