BOOK FUN MAGAZINE - FREE READ

BOOK CLUB LEADER INTERVIEW -CHICK LIT BOOK CLUB & REVIEW - LEADER AND CO-LEADER

LUCIE BUCHERT - LEADER IS FIRST TO BE INTERVIEWED and then you will read DEBORAH LEATHER Co-LEADER of Club to be interviewed.

Thank you ladies for doing this joint interview and giving us a wonderful picture of your group and you as leaders. It's been a special priviledge to meet you and get to know your group.

















LUCIE SPEAKS FIRST:
What led up to you starting a book club? Had you ever been a part of a book club before?

In 2004 I joined the ACFW online book club; I had never been a part of a book club of any kind before. I was not very involved but enjoyed reading about the authors and I read a couple of the book selections. Since I had made that email address specifically for the book club I slowly quite checking it as life got busy. Then after a year or so went by I remembered that sweet little book club online and wanted to start again. Sure enough when I checked my email I was still getting their emails and so I just jumped right back in and started entering book drawings and reading along with the book club.

About the time I had reconnected with the ACFW online book club the Lord was working on some very specific things in my life. I wanted to be serious about living for Jesus or to be, as the old saying goes, “Sold out for Jesus”! I started thinking about how some of the books that I had been reading were not at all fitting with my Christian morals and beliefs and thought it was hypocritical to continue reading them. Don’t get me wrong, I know that there are a few good secular authors/books out there that are fine but as a whole I knew that I could really do without most of them. As Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”(This is one of my favorite verses) What goes into our minds matters!

I was watching TV one day and flipping through the channels and the Oprah show was on. She was introducing her new book for her book club! I thought it would be fun to join something like that but all of her selections were non-Christian. I felt a deep burden to do something. If I was able to start a book club, we would read only Christian authors.

For the next few days I thought about what it would be like to have my own book club here in town. As I thought about it all, I went around asking my friends if they would be interested in such a book club. All of the women I asked said that they were interested! Confirmation!

As ideas were forming in my mind God laid some things on my heart and I knew that I needed to pray. I eventually met with the Women’s Ministry Leader from my church to make it official. I was going to lead this book club by faith and faith alone because I had no idea how to even begin! I am not usually a person who speaks in front of a group or who leads a group & I wanted to start a book club?!! This was a giant leap of faith! But I was up for it!

Gradually things started coming together, and The Chick Lit Book Club & Book Smart Review (we called it in the beginning) was up and running.

We started with our Review Group meeting on March 8, 2008 (which we originally called the Book Smart Review) and then we officially met as the Chick Lit Book Club &  Review on May 3, 2008. Our first book selection was Cape Refuge by Terri Blackstock.

I know that you have a co-leader—Deborah Leathers—how did you meet Deborah? When did she become your co-leader? What are her duties?













I met Deborah Leathers (and her husband) at a Bible Study group several years ago and we became fast friends! In fact our husbands are also best buddies! So it was just natural to ask Deborah if she would come along side of me and help me with this wonderful new thing that we call a book club!

I realized that I was trying to do too much all by myself and so I started asking the ladies if they could help in different areas. Deborah willingly accepted and eventually became my Co-leader. Her duties as a Co-leader are to: help me in general, stand in for me when I cannot be present, email member reminders, put together new member gift bags, help get book author interviews set-up, take turns leading the book club discussions, review books when she is able, helps post flyers, and meet with me on a regular basis so that communication is excellent!

Hi, Lucie, I’m interested in being a part of your book club, could you please describe for me what I can expect? What do your typical meetings look like?














We are a group of women of various ages ranging from early 30’s to mid 60’s. Right now we have about 12 members and usually 6-8 are present at each months meeting.

At the Chick Lit Book Club meetings we enjoy reading, chatting, and getting to know each other. We meet at Starbuck’s once a month for our regular book club meetings and discuss the book of the month while we sip our favorite coffee! We share our deepest thoughts at times and we gain insight into each other’s lives through our conversations.

We meet at Deborah’s house when we have a speakerphone interview with an author (We tried meeting at the coffee shop when we had a speakerphone interview and we couldn’t hear the book author very well over the espresso machine! So a word to the wise, have your speakerphone interviews in a nice quiet place).

Besides discussing our book of the month, every other month we also vote as a group from a selected list of reviewed books.

We have two groups; the book review group, and the Chick Lit Book Club. The book reviewers meet before the actual book club meeting to discuss and turn in their book reviews.

Reading what you wrote me about your group--how have you been able to minister to the ladies in your group? Has this turned out the way you had thought or has God surprised you?














Running a book club has been very challenging at times but also very rewarding! One of the biggest blessings that I have had is reading what the members of the Chick Lit Book Club wrote in our 1-year Anniversary article in the Unifier:

One member shared, “I have read more books in the last year than ever before. The best part is that the books are uplifting, inspiring and always written by Christian authors. The stories all have their way of drawing me closer to my Lord and maker and reminding me that no matter what I am going through He is there for me and cares for my every need.” D.L.

Another lady said, “I joined Chick Lit to be able to get back into reading and hang out with some wonderful friends--you know, "Mommy adult time." With four kids, reading is something I have to make time for. I am enjoying the books, and am meeting nice new people. The club votes on the books we read, which makes us all feel included in the group. Meeting at Starbucks gives us all a chance to get out of the house and have a treat.” K.C.

This member writes from her heart, “I have loved to read all of my life, but I didn’t know just how inspiring it could be until I joined the Chick Lit Book Club. I used to only read a certain genre of Christian books, but this club has opened up new worlds of Christian books to me. Now, I am completely unsatisfied reading non-Christian books. In fact, when I have attempted to read one, the bad words and compromising situations jump off the page and hit me in the face so hard I have to put the book down! I also find that this is just another way to keep focused on God all day, every day. Like listening to KLOVE on the radio, these books keep my eyes and thoughts on Jesus, and I need that desperately!” C.R.

One member was pleasantly surprised, “Being in the Chic Lit Book club has really opened up exploration into other genres in Christian Literature. I can say that I have now read books I probably never would have!” H.P.













I’ll finish with this member’s comment, “I have been part of the Chic Lit Club for almost a year now and there are so many ways in which it has transformed my life... I also like that the books are purely Christian books, there are so many places that God is not the prevailing factor, and these books are a breath of fresh air. J.W.

The Chick Lit Book Club & Review has been making a difference in the lives of women! My personal prayer is that God will use this book club to help bring us closer to Him and also to be a place where others can learn about our relationship with God & desire to be part of God’s family too!

Has God surprised me?

Yes and no. What I mean by that is that it always surprises me that God cares enough for me even in the little things when He is such a great big God! But I say no it doesn’t surprise me because I believe from the beginning that He had His hands on this book club and nothing great or small is out of His grasp!

How do you get the word out about your book club? How did you get this book club started? This will be helpful for new book clubs or people wanting to take the plunge into leading book clubs.
We get the word out about our book club mainly by ‘word of mouth’. But we also do a little bit of advertising such as iron-on logos for our t-shirts (I am in the process of designing a new logo) and matching tote bags. We also put a little ‘blurb’ in our church bulletin from time to time and place article’s in our church newsletter, the Unifier. We are also going to start a new advertising campaign pasting flyers all over town in coffee shops, the local library, used book stores...

I got this book club started by listening to what God was laying on my heart to do. When you have strong convictions about something and it continues to be heavy on your heart you need to go to the Lord in prayer. It is also a good idea to meet with a wise Christian mentor or someone who you can trust and tell them what is on your heart. This should give you a good ‘measuring stick’ to go on.

I didn’t have a book telling me how to run a book club; I didn’t have a model to follow. I just had some ideas and convictions and a few good friends who were willing to take a chance; One step at a time, with faith.

Please describe to me how the book selection process works for your club? Do you vote with a secret ballet? Or some other method? Do tell. This will be helpful to book club leaders just starting out!!











From the beginning, one of my personal convictions has been to make certain that the books we are choosing meet God’s standards – they must have the moral values that the Bible teaches. Keeping this in mind, we have developed a group of book reviewers who read and research each book before it can be voted on.

After books have gone through the book selection process, they are now eligible for voting on. The Leader (or whoever is in charge of the paperwork) will then compile a list of books in the form of a voting ballet. Then, every other month we pass out the ballets and vote for two books. The two books that have the most votes get placed on our book list. This way we have a ‘running balance’ of books which give our book club members time to purchase their books.

FUN QUESTIONS FOR LUCIE - LEADER OF BOOK CLUB

What are your four favorite books of all time?

Besides the Bible, (The Bible would have to be my all-time favorite because it is the only book that is complete truth and has the ability to truly change a person!) here are my top 4...

• Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell


• Thorn in My Heart by Liz Curtis Higgs




• The Shunning by Beverly Lewis

Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

Please name 4 of your favorite books your read growing up?

• Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume

• The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

• Little House on the Praire by Laura Ingalls Wilder










• My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George

A friend of yours has given you an opportunity to take a trip in a time machine—what two events in the history of the world would you like to experience?

1. Noah and the Flood – I would have liked to see how the animals just loaded up two by two that would have been amazing to see! Also, I would have liked to see what the Ark looked like when it was finished. I don’t wish to have gone through the flooding process or anything, but I have always been very interested in where that ark might be today...Mt. Ararat in Turkey?


2. The Ark of the Covenant – There is a mystery surrounding the Ark of the Covenant and I love mysteries! Is it still around today somewhere or did God destroy it? And for that matter what about The Garden of Eden? Did God hide the entrance to the Garden of Eden so that no-one with sin could eat of the Tree of Life and live forever in a state of sin? That has always made me curious...I cannot wait to get to heaven and have all of these questions answered! However, it would be amazing to find out here on earth; things in the Bible have been discovered. It could happen!


You have the chance to hang out with any two people (alive or dead) in the history of the world (besides Jesus) who would you pick and what would you do?

The first person was easy to pick but the second person was very difficult to pick because there are so many noble, inspirational people who I would like to hang out with!

#1 - I would like to hang out with my dad who passed away the year I graduated from high school. I miss him so very much and he never got the chance to meet my husband or his grandchildren. I would share things with him that are going on in my life & get advice from him. I think about what an impact he made on my life and how he was such a godly father, his faith in Jesus was constant.

#2 – It was a toss-up for second place so I just added both!

Albert Einstein was amazingly smart and it would have been an honor to sit in on one of his dissertations just listening to him! Maybe some of that smartness would have worn off on me, lol!

Joseph from the Bible, I admire how he had faith in God during the most trying times (like being sold by his own brothers to slavery and being accused of something he didn’t do and being thrown in jail for it!). I would have liked to be sitting there watching as he saw his brothers come in and then been in on the plan to trick his brothers into bringing their youngest brother, Benjamin, and their father back with them to be with Joseph and I would have loved to see their faces when he announced that he was their brother/son! The huge amount of grace and forgiveness that Joseph extends to his brothers is super-human and can only be given with the grace of God residing in his own heart.

 What movie most impacted you as a child? Why?

When I was growing up we used to attend a church where we met every Wednesday evening. Quite often we would watch Billy Graham films (or Gospel Films) and one that I will never forget was “A Time to Run”. This is a movie based on the Bible about what might happen when Jesus comes back...the resurrection. The part of the movie that made the biggest impact on me as a kid was the fact that Jesus could come back at any time/any place. I remember getting dressed super fast or take a super fast shower because I knew He could show up anytime and anyplace and you weren’t going to catch me in the altogether flying through the air to meet Him that way! Ha ha!

On the serious side, I think that movie was a great movie because it gave you a sort of real picture, tangible if you will, of how serious it is to make the decision to follow Jesus Christ and if we don’t follow Jesus there are consequences which sound pretty miserable to me!

A few honorable mentions are: The Cross and the Switchblade and The Corrie Ten Boom movie. We can learn a lot from Christians in the past & what they had to go through and how they handled it.

ANY FINAL COMMENTS THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO TELL FUTURE BOOK CLUB LEADERS!! SOME ENCOURAGEMENT, THINGS TO AVOID!! Any WORDS OF WISDOM??? Any input?

A book club can be a lot of fun! However, it does take some time and real dedication for it to run smoothly, especially in the beginning. When we first started out we basically had no clue how to do things and we did things as we went...this club was started with some ideas that I had in my head and as we started having meetings I would get more ideas and I asked a lot of questions and listened to our members. With prayer, patience and perseverance we have made our way into our second year!


Some great verses to inspire you along the way: Galatians 5:25 - “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” (See also Romans 12:2, 9; Galatians 5:16, 17; Ephesians 4:17; and Colossians 3:1-3)

WORDS TO THE WISE!!

1. Be patient. Don’t expect everything to just fall into place because it’s just a ‘fun’ get together.

2. Take it seriously. If you want things to run smoothly it will take some planning and working things out.

3. Meet regularly with your Co-Leader or other important team member. Communication is extremely important, you want to keep the lines of communication open at all times to stay up to date with everything and to avoid any misunderstandings, we are human after all.

4. Delegate whenever possible and if you are the Leader try to decipher what each member is talented or gifted with so that they are being used to their best ability.

5. “Failing to plan is planning to fail”....that’s a good one to remember! Look ahead, have a vision!

6. Start a blog and include your meeting dates & times. Write about what went on at each meeting – what book you are reading, who was there, ect... This is a fun way to stay in touch with your book club members!

There was no “blue print’ of how this book club thing was going to work. I would suggest there being put into place some sort of leadership team; such as the main Leader, a Co-Leader or Assistant, a Secretary and a Book Buyer. You could call them by a different name but basically you need a main Leader who will be in charge and accountable for the direction of the club and another person who will be unified in direction, beliefs and vision with the Leader. It’s nice to have a Book Buyer who will make purchases for those who are not able to get to the store or have a computer. Also it’s nice to have a Secretary who can record everything at your meetings so that if you forget something it’s on record somewhere.

With all of us having jobs and families we make certain that we set aside one Saturday a month to meet together. There are a few faithful women who have been with us from the beginning. Some have come and gone as their schedules allowed or dictated. I’m sure that we will have more new members to come and possibly a few to leave...the ebb and flow of how things happen...

On a final note I would like to say Thank You to Nora for having the Chick Lit Book Club & Review interview! This has been a very good experience for me and helped me to gather all of my Chick Lit paperwork together and organize everything! Whew!!

May God bless you in all that you do!

Lucie
http://luciesbookreview.blogspot.com/



NOW INTRODUCING- DEBORAH LEATHERS- CO-LEADER --Here are her questions and answers. :D


Where does your book club physically meet? Do you have or have you had special book club events? If so, please explain.












Our book club meets at Starbucks, unless we have a speakerphone interview, then we meet at my house. The noise level can get kind of high in the coffee shop.

What is the most creative thing you all have done for book club? What was something that was way over the top for you and everyone loved? Special event, field trip, retreat?

































We had an anniversary party at our local park. Lucie bought the cake, everyone else brought items for the BBQ too. We included the husbands and kids.It was a great turnout!

Have you ever had an author speak at your book club, in person, or on the phone? If so, who? How did the meeting go? Any surprises you learned about the author and/or the book you didn’t know about before the chat?

We have been honored to have speakerphone interviews with three authors since we have started. Brandilyn Collins-she is amazing-we did not really have to ask her questions, she told us stories about how the idea for her book "Eyes of Elisha" came about, we could sit and listen to her all day. We also spoke with Miralee Ferrell, we read "The Other Daughter", we all loved that book and interviewing Miralee was like talking to an old friend. She got us really excited about the sequel "Finding Jeena", which at that time, was still in the works and now it is soon to be released. And just recently we interviewed Mary Conneally. We read her book "Cowboy Christmas". Mary is so funny. She talked to us about not giving up. She is a great example of someone who trusted God that Him timing for her dream of writing was all that mattered. And we are so glad she has persevered!

All these authors were new to us, we had never read any books from them before, so most of what they shared was surprising. We pass the phone around and each group member will ask the author a question, it's amazing how nervous we can get at first, but then we relax as we realize that they are just people like you and I.

What books have you read recently that sparked a lot of passion and discussion in your group? Why?












We read "The Atonement Child" by Francine Rivers and that really sparked a lot of passion and discussion. For those who have not read it, it deals with a rape and whether or not the character will have an abortion or carry the pregnancy to full term. Women tend to have such strong feelings about the subject of abortion, their right to choose, it was easy to have this conversation in a group of women who share the same beliefs, but it still had moments of intense passion when we were sharing our thoughts.

Can you tell me some books that you’ve read your members just raved about? What made them love the book so much? This might help other clubs in their book selection process.




We loved "Cape Refuge" by Terri Blackstock, it was so interesting to read this mystery suspense series (yes, most of us read the 3 books that followed, we couldn't put them down!) The story was not predictable, so it kept you guessing until the end! We also loved "Between Sundays" by Karen Kingsbury, anything by Karen will always touch your heart and make you think about the lives of others around you. I could choose more, but I hope that helps.


FUN QUESTIONS FOR DEBORAH - Co-Leader of Club.

What are your four favorite books of all time?

Love Comes Softly by Janette Oak,
The Orphan Train West Series by Jane Peart,
Cape Refuge Terri Blackstock, "
The Potluck Club by Eva Everson

Please name 4 of your favorite books your read growing up?

Charlotte's Web,
any Sweet Valley High book (hey! I am being honest here!),
Little House on the Prairie,
Blubber by Judy Blume

A friend of yours has given you an opportunity to take a trip in a time machine—What two events in the history of the world would you like to experience?

1) Mary finding out that she was with child from the Angel,

2) The discovery of chocolate, again, just being honest!





You have the chance to hang out with any two people (alive or dead) in the history of the world (besides Jesus) who would you pick and what would you do?

Wow, this is tough, I would have to say, My Grandma and Papa, they are both dead now, but there are somethings that I did not get to tell them, and I would like to spend a little more time with them.

What movie most impacted you as a child? Why?

I would have to say Forever Young, Forever Free I watched at a drive-in movie and even though I did not understand all of the issues that it dealt with back then , I remember that it really touched me and made me ask questions. I cried really hard too. I remember that very clearly!

ANY FINAL COMMENTS THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO TELL FUTURE BOOK CLUB LEADERS!! SOME ENCOURAGEMENT, THINGS TO AVOID!! WORDS OF WISDOM???
I would say remember that this is not just a club, it is a ministry, and when you let God have control He will do amazing things. We have so much fun and read so many great books that help us remember why a life with Christ is so much better, more free. It is so good to have these talented authors out there sharing the gift that God has blessed them with. Thank you!

Deborah












Thanks Lucie and Deborah for stopping by and letting us get to know you and your group better. We can be a benefit to others by sharing.


You are a blessing!!


Sincerely,


Nora :D

6 comments:

  1. Thanks again Nora! It was so much fun to be apart of this interview. I feel so honored to be apart of our book club and help Lucie in any way that she needs me. Our book club helps me stay connected and draw closer to Jesus in more ways than I ever thought possible. It amazes me what reading a book can do.
    Thanks again!
    Deborah Leathers

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  2. Great interview ladies. As a book club leader myself, it's enlightening to hear what other clubs are doing. Sounds like your group has an awesome time and I can tell that you really have a heart for what you are doing. Keep up the good work.
    Sheryl
    Redeemed Readers of North Metro FBC

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  3. Thank you Sheryl! I appreciate the positive feedback. It is such a great thing to be apart of this Book Club. Each member brings something different to the group and we appreciate each and everyone of them. Lucie and I feel that as long as we are following the guidance of the Lord, we can't go wrong. Thanks again, and have a wonderful day!

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  4. I second that thank you Sheryl! It's good to hear from another Book Club leader. We appreciate your encouragement! May God bless you and your book club
    (The Redeemed Readers? What a cool name!).

    This is such a neat opportunity to be interviewed online. Nora, you will never know what joy you have brought to us just having us here and taking an interest.

    Blessings,
    Lucie

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  5. I appreciate both of you sharing your hearts and how God has moved in your lives and your group.

    I love to see God at work in His people. It's a treat to get to know you both and the book club you've started. If you know of any other book club leaders that would like to share their group with us I welcome them.

    I think we can LEARN so much from one another. That's what I'm most excited about doing these book club interviews. We can share and encourage each other in LOVE.

    Thanks

    Blessings

    Nora :D

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  6. Great interview. I picked up a few ideas and books that I'll share with my own book club. Thanks! I just have to share a new author that you may want to check-out for future book club books as she writes chicklit fiction. Her names Evinda Lepins and her books are based upon her personal experiences. As a new author, I think she sounds promising!

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