Last week I attended yet another fabulous book club and walked away with a few fun book club ideas you can implement in your own club. Seriously, one of the most enjoyable and unexpected things about being a published author is attending book clubs and talking about your own book. This particular book club was hosted by Jo Ann Wardein. (I think everyone in Fayetteville knows Jo Ann! She was one of the first people to welcome me when I moved from Dallas.)
She completely outdid herself.
It’s in the details, y’all.
Jo Ann did a fantastic job of bringing the setting alive, from the “Welcome Brother Brown” note on the front door and themed napkins to bouquets of cotton stalks.
And how about this creative string of garland showcasing Savage Crossing and the delta? Most of these pictures came straight from my blog—places and things I love which happen to be included in my novel—cotton fields, grain bins, cornbread, the Mississippi River.
And the FOOD:
Jo Ann recreated food from the book, specifically the meal Anne Abbott cooked when Brother Brown came for supper. (She fancied it up with melt in your mouth sirloin.) In case you’ve forgotten the Brother Brown Comes to Supper scene, here’s an excerpt to jog your memory:
At this Fayetteville book club we had pepper steak, green beans almondine, and Pecan Delight Whipped Salad. Everyone agreed Pecan Delight Whipped Salad should make a comeback. For real, this green Jell-O salad tasted delicious and shouldn’t be reserved only for funerals. (If you want to make the throwback Jell-O salad for your next soiree, here’s Aunt Gladys’s Jell-O Salad which I think is exactly the one we enjoyed.)
For dessert? Gracie Lee’s (& Nana’s) favorite strawberry cake. Naturally.
Make it Magical:
I can’t not show you a few pictures of Jo Ann’s outdoor space. Even though last week Fayetteville temperatures hung in the sticky 90s, her resort-like garden showed no signs of the dreaded end of summer doldrums. Next year, she should be on Fayetteville’s garden tour.
Twinkle lights filled the trees making everything special and festive.
[tweetthis]How to host a @pinterest worthy #BookClub! It’s in the details y’all. #GracieLee #book #read [/tweetthis]
A heartfelt thank you to Jo Ann and all the fabulous Fayetteville book club ladies! (I’m sure they have an official book club name, but if they do, I’ve forgotten it.) The questions and lively conversation reminded me once again why I write. What a fun thing for an author to connect with readers on such a personal level. Honestly, I’m amazed when I see people I’ve never met holding copies of my book.
Is your book club reading The Accidental Salvation of Gracie Lee? Invite me. I might just show up.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
P.S. Want to start your own book club? HERE are some great tips for getting yours off the ground.
Wow, this is truly inspiring! I’ve never thought of a book club as an excuse to throw an amazing, themed party! Definitely makes me want to start my own – thanks for sharing.
Best, Karen from Life in its Natural State
Martha Orlando says
Fabulous ideas, Talya! I need to find some book clubs in my area to do some sharing of my novels, too.
You make me homesick for our years living in the South–Texas, Georgia, and North Carolina. The problem of living many places is that you love and miss them all! Jo Ann sounds like a wonderful friend to have and a marvelous hostess.
Dorothy Johnson says
I want a book club! Love the way she set things up for the discussion of your book. Impressive garden.
Jo Ann Wardein says
To all you readers: Talya was actually the main star and attraction of our book club! Her book is fun, and she was, too!