Book clubs, now and then

51fuHql18FLOur book club has been together for over twenty years. The first book we read was The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood in the late 1990s, so naturally, we became the Ya-Yas.  We are all women, although from time to time one husband joins us. As our token male, we affectionately call him our Yo-Yo.

Our motto: We read. We eat. We talk about reading and eating.

Since we all taught at the same school in those early days, we read four books a year, one per quarter. Our meetings were always scheduled for the Friday report cards went home, when we could all join in a collective “Aaaah” as the grading period ended. Over time we’ve adapted our schedule. But even in retirement, we find ourselves busy and with long personal TBR lists, so sometimes it feels like we must squeeze in the required book club reading. Now we’ve settled on one book every other month.

Our friendship span over thirty years. As such, we are subject to frequent laughter and occasional tears. We’ve weathered every major event that a long life can and has thrown our way. Love, marriage, divorce, children, grandchildren, illness, death. Just like my fictional characters, Libby and Claire. In fact, I had my friends in mind as I wrote Us, Now and Then. I believed that a book about female friendship, family, love, loss, and a late-in-life romance, would resonate with women of a certain age. A perfect book club choice. It would have been our book for May. I could hardly wait.

However, Us, Now and Then published April 1, just as COVID-19 was rolling up her sleeves. Furthermore, because the Ya-Yas range in age from our 60s into our 80s, we’ve cautiously kept our distance. Happily, many friends and family have called or sent emails telling me how much they enjoyed my book. A few have even posted kind and thoughtful reviews at Amazon. An indie author can’t ask for more. I am grateful.

That May Ya-Ya meeting finally took place in July. Eleven of us met in a member’s backyard where we could maintain some distance. We masked up and brought our own coffee. While not quite normal, I was grateful to the two friends who organized the event. And I loved being with the Ya-Yas again.

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Surprisingly, this new COVID-19 reality has opened some new opportunities as well. A few weeks ago, another friend pitched my book to her book club. We met via Zoom! It was fun to talk about books, writing, and life with her group. Book club people are so nice! I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did.

If your group would like to visit with a real author, please contact me at or leave a comment below. I’d love to be invited to another meeting. If it’s virtual, my travel expenses will be minimal. And I can do it barefoot and without a mask. Always a plus.

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