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Guest blogger: Kaneana May

12 January 2020

Book club love

Back in 2016 I had a conversation at the park with two other mums about a book we’d all read. I can’t remember what book it was, but it was something light and easy; something all three of us loved. Once I bundled my kids back up and went home, I kept thinking about that conversation and how much I’d enjoyed it. Usually at the park, talk was dominated by teething babies or toddler tantrums or how to hide vegetables in dinners. It had felt special, and maybe even a little indulgent, to have a conversation about books and reading. But I knew I wanted to have more conversations like that …

Later that night, I messaged the two other mums and asked if they were interested in joining a book club. It wasn’t long before I had gathered together twelve members … and so our book club was formed. At the time I was excited, but I had no idea how special and precious it would become.

We kicked things off with What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty. It was a great ‘first’ book as the discussion questions asked us what we were doing ten years before and where we’d thought our life would be. For those that didn’t know each other all that well, it was a great get-to-know-you discussion.

Since then we’ve read a range of genres and writing styles. Being in book club has forced me to read books I normally wouldn’t pick up. A fair few of us love romance and women’s fiction, so we probably read more of those than any other genre. Some of our favourite romance reads have been by Jojo Moyes, Tess Woods and Natasha Lester.

Our local library; MidCoast Libraries, has 71 active book clubs and 270 book club sets! So far, we’ve read books by Jane Harper, Rachael Johns, Holly Ringland, Tim Winton and Anh Do. We’re now on to our forty-sixth book.

For any aspiring writers, a book club is a great way to be connected with other book lovers. I live in regional NSW and as a mother to three young kids I found that sometimes it was difficult to be connected to the writing community. Book club allows me to be able to talk characters and plot and story. I also love hearing what others like and don’t like in a book. It helps me think about writing with the reader in mind. It also grounds me on the occasions that I read a bad Goodreads review to know that everyone has different tastes and styles—and what works for someone on the page, doesn’t always work for another.

My book club were all excited when I shared with them that I had received a publishing deal for The One. And when it came to my book launch, they all rallied around me with food and preparations to make sure it went smoothly on the day. It felt so special having them there to cheer me on.

I felt that it was important to include book club discussion questions at the back of The One and I’ve been thrilled so see social media posts of other book clubs reading my book.

How our book club works:

  • We borrow a ‘book club set’ every four weeks from our library, but you can arrange to meet sooner or later depending on wants/needs of your members.
  • We pay an annual fee (which isn’t much divided by all members).
  • We take it in turns to pick a book.
  • We meet every fourth Sunday at 3 pm (but you can arrange a time that is conducive to your members).
  • We bring a platter of food to nibble on … and often champagne/wine/cider (or tea). What more could you want (friends/book chat/ nibbles/bubbles)?
  • We have a wonderful few hours talking about our latest book (and other things too). At the end of our time, we hand out the book for next month.
  • Every fourth Sunday at 3 pm is one of my favourite days of the month. We share much more than books; we share a friendship and a feeling of contentment and community.

If you don’t have a book club, I recommend you do it now. If you feel lost for how to find members, contact your local library and ask if they can help you find/form one. And if you’re looking for book titles, I’d be flattered if you chose The One.

You can find Kaneana here: Website | Facebook | Instagram

The One

Fall in love like nobody’s watching …

On the wrong side of thirty, Bonnie Yates wants a happily ever after. Problem is, she keeps choosing the wrong guys. When an ex returns to town with a fiancée in tow, history and temptation collide. Unable to shake her inappropriate feelings, Bonnie flees, becoming an unlikely contestant on popular dating show The One. Will she find what she’s looking for?

Working behind the scenes, Darcy Reed is a driven young producer dealing with a tyrant of a boss. Despite being surrounded by love at work, her own love-life with long-term boyfriend Drew is floundering. Producing a flawless season is her best chance at a promotion. But with the unrelenting demands of the show, how will she save their relationship while making that shot?

Penelope Baker has relocated to a small seaside town to hide away with her secrets and nurse a broken heart. But with The One beaming across the nation’s televisions, she can’t seem to quite escape the life she left behind …

Before cameras roll on the final ceremony, all three women will discover just what they’re willing to do in pursuit of the one …

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