Good morning, good morning! The sun is shining here and it feels so nice to feel its warmth as we start our day. Let’s get down to business shall we? I’ve just finished selecting our book club titles! Y’all have blown me away with your enthusiasm to start reading with one another in this online community, and I am pretty pumped to share what we’ll be diving into this year together.
I’ve been taking note of all of your preferred titles since this post, and have kept everyone preferred titles in mind. I also have grouped books based on similar themes and seasonal ties to keep things fresh, yet tethered them to a specific season and the pace nature sets for us as the year rolls on. If you are in the Northern Hemisphere, you’ll be following natural rhythms set here in the Midwest of the US. If you are in the Southern Hemisphere and are concerned that our discussion will hinge far too much on the Northern Hemisphere seasons, not to worry! These books are absolutely not limited to the season I’ve paired them with.
For those of you who plan on incorporating this bookclub into the rhythm of your day, here are a few tips to help you stay accountable:
- Subscribe to Homesong (in CONTACT tab) so you will get bi-weekly updates fresh off the press!
- Set a reminder on your phone to read 10 pages sometime during the day. I love todoist task manager app to help me out during the day.
- Put a friendly note somewhere where you’re bound to see it – your bathroom mirror or your fridge, for example.
- Keep the stack of books by your bed as a gentle reminder, and take one with you everyday when you leave the house. You never know when you’ll have a bit of unexpected downtime to sneak in a few pages.
- Pick the same time of day to do your reading. Maybe you want to read every other day for one hour in the morning? Perhaps you are an evening reader after the kids go down? You might opt to turn the TV off a few nights a week to read with the kids or your husband? Think about your game plan now to prepare yourself for this new season of abundant reading!
What to do if you don’t care for the book we are reading? Well, you’ve got two options:
- Read it anyway. Chances are, you will learn something you didn’t know beforehand and you will enrich our discussions. I have read plenty of books that I didn’t flat out fall in love with, but they have me food for thought and challenged my perspective. Sometimes we want books that cater to our season, but other times it’s good, and even healthy, to venture outside of our comfort zone and get our hands a little dirty with something new or unexpected.
- Skip and join us later. No one is going to force you to read along, so if a particular season isn’t fitting or if you really do not care to read our current selection, no worries! You can join up or take a break at any point that works best for you.
Lastly, how is this going to work?
I am going to send out weekly emails (sometime over the weekend) with journal prompts to help you through your book. They may be specific questions or little assignments that will nudge you better engage with your reading and reflecting. Apologies in advance if I get too nerdy with this – I love teaching and this greatly excites me! Because we all read at different paces, these prompts will be open-ended and will invite you to reflect on your own before coming here to share in rich discussion with others.
Furthermore, we will do a book club check in bi-weekly at Homesong where we will open things up to a broader scope and dig deep into themes that are stretching us, challenging us, comforting us, humbling us, and inspiring us.
What you can expect:
- Every week: journal prompts and short assignments to carry you through the week
- Every other week: hang out here to discuss and connect with others – this leaves two discussions per book (ideally, one have way and one at the end)
- Every month or so: a new book to read
- Every season: a new collection of books to read
I encourage you to underline, star, write down, or circle anything that sticks out to you while reading. You may think you’ll remember a certain paragraph or line, but chances are distractions will seep in and you won’t. Doing this as you read will help you greatly when we gather back here to chat about our books. If you are reading on a tablet, keep a fresh piece of paper nearby to write down pages, words or phrases that are meaningful to you. And the moment you’ve been waiting for, our book club selections!
2017-2018 Book Selections:
Spring: Books that uncover truths and profound joys we’ve been longing to see, taste, touch, feel and hear. | 944 pages = 10.5 pages a day
- THE HIDDEN LIFE OF TREES: WHAT THEY FEEL, HOW THEY COMMUNICATE—DISCOVERIES FROM A SECRET WORLD by Peter Wohlleben | 288 pgs.
- *The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness In a Changing World by His Holiness the Dalai Lama & Archbishop Desmond Tutu | 386 pgs.
- NO-DRAMA DISCIPLINE: THE WHOLE-BRAIN WAY TO CALM THE CHAOS AND NURTURE YOUR CHILD’S DEVELOPMENT by Daniel J. Siegel | 288 pgs.
Summer: Books that celebrate living a beautiful life, while challenging us to live more boldly with intention. (4 titles because I bet you’ll be traveling and will have more down time to stick your nose in a book!) | 1010 pages = 11.2 pages a day
- AN EVERLASTING MEAL: COOKING WITH ECONOMY AND GRACE by Tamar Adler | 272 pgs.
- UPSTREAM by Mary Oliver | 178 pgs.
- *Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert | 304 pgs.
- SIMPLICITY PARENTING by Kim John Payne | 256 pgs.
Autumn: Books that welcome us to explore our brokenness as we adopt a slower, more rhythmic pace at home. | 912 pages = 10 pages a day
- THE BROKEN WAY: A DARING PATH INTO THE ABUNDANT LIFE by Ann Voskamp | 288 pgs.
- THE ABUNDANCE: NARRATIVE ESSAYS OLD & NEW by Annie Dillard | 304 pgs.
- TENDER AT THE BONE: GROWING UP AT THE TABLE by Ruth Reichl | 320 pgs.
Winter: Books that give us a lens to look inward as we hunker down, recalibrate, and rest before a new year. | 976 pages = 10.8 pages a day
- H IS FOR HAWK by Helen MacDonald | 320 pgs.
- THE BOOK OF SHE: YOUR HEROINE’S JOURNEY INTO THE HEART OF FEMININE POWER by Sara Avant Stover | 320 pgs.
- THE LONELY CITY: ADVENTURES IN THE ART OF BEING ALONE by Olivia Laing | 336 pgs.
*New titles! Thank you for all your input, friends. I decided to incorporate two new books to our group based on your suggestions. They were all delicious.
What are your next steps:
- Order your books, check them out at the library, or see if a friend has one you can borrow.
- Start reading The Hidden Life of Trees, our first selection.
- I will be sending out the journal prompts for this in several weeks, so you can start early if you want or wait for those. We will officially begin on the first day of spring, Monday March 20th, so you don’t officially need to start reading until that date.
How do you like our upcoming reads? I worked to make sure everyone has a book they love on their list. What questions do you have for me? Is anything I’ve outlined thus far that you find confusing? Let me know, friends! It’s important to me that you know that this is *our* book club, not mine. I am going with this because it feels right and am unsure of where it will take us, but that’s all part of the adventure, right? If you ever have any suggestions or ideas of how to make this work more smoothly or differently, I am open to each and every one of them. For everyone who has taken the time to come here, to share, and to make intentional reading as a community a part of their lives, thank you and bless you. We are doing great things together, let’s keep it up!