So a while back, when I first started with my book group, my main concern was about whether or not I’d be too much of a blabbermouth or too little of an intellectual. While both of those may have come true, I no longer mind so much. This group of ten women is made up of business executives in very large companies, entrepreneurs, social workers, financial experts, a professor, and me: the stay-at-home mom with a blog. And besides those labels, there are layers and layers of personality and quirkiness and fascinating history within us. The conversations have been not only interesting, they’ve forced me to rethink my envy of working mom autonomy (commuting is not as relaxing as I remember it) and my appreciation for adult conversation (how I’ve missed big words!).
However, now, after six months of attending book groups in other people’s homes – even swimming in a fantastic heated saltwater pool – and eating other people’s food, it’s my turn to host. Not being much of a chef, and not having a jacuzzi or even a real powder room to offer my guests, how could I impress these high-powered women? Well, how does anyone impress anyone these days? SWAG! Okay, intellectual swag. Books!
A little while ago, I attended a great promotional event at Simon & Schuster, and while there were dozens of amazing children’s books discussed, a few adult books were offered up as well. When Wildflower Hill, written by Kimberley Freeman, was discussed, I immediately thought of it for my book group. It sounded interesting, gripping, but not too trying. This was going to be something read on the train and before bed, and we’d read several emotionally difficult books already this year (Incendiary is hard to read as a parent, and The Postmistress sounds so lighthearted at first…). A story about a Prima Ballerina in London returning to Australia and learning to live on sheep farm and reassessing her life might do us all some good.
What do high-powered women do when confronted with a novel with which they are unfamiliar? They look it up on Amazon – 4.5 stars! We’ll do it! It helped that Simon & Schuster had offered up books for the group in exchange for honest appraisals of what we thought of the novel. This group is nothing if not honest: “I got through the first hundred pages and couldn’t take any more” was one comment for the recent book group read The Tiger’s Wife.
Happily, I received an extra book to giveaway so that one lucky reader could read-along and serve as the control for my book group’s opinions. In fact, it would be great if a few people could pick up the book and chime in here BEFORE the book group meets in late January to suggest discussion topics. So really, you’d be helping me out if you enter to receive the free copy. And if you don’t, consider picking it (or its eBook equivalent) up at your local bookstore to join the conversation. If there are enough entries, I can scrounge up another copy, methinks.
Enter by leaving a comment telling me the last book you read for yourself by Wednesday, December 28th, 2011 at midnight EST. One name will be chosen at random to receive a brand-spanking new copy of the 4.5 star novel. So, spread the word about a free copy of Wildflower Hill from Simon & Schuster!