The Effing Magic of Book Clubs

Twice a week all Spring, I’ve been in living rooms from Oregon to New York.

Sometimes I’m physically in the room with a dozen female strangers; sometimes I’m beamed in via Skype.

Most of them have read my book and all of us have a glass of something in our hands.

I break the ice by reading passages I hope their book club will enjoy.

Sometimes I read the right stories.

Sometimes I don’t.

But after talking love, loss, books and Pilates for an hour (or three), the definitions of reader and author become amorphous.

There’s nothing they’re afraid to ask.

Nothing I’m afraid to answer.

We take turns showing and telling.

Crying and laughing.

And by the end of every book club, I’ve met women I’d like to know better and others who it seems I already do.

I finally finished your book today. I’ve had it since it came out but knowing the subject, I’ve put off reading it. (With my wife’s chronic illness, I usually read to escape—not face—these emotions.) All I can say is thank you for writing this. Your experience moved me and is helping so many others.
—  — Chad, Kentucky (ckharlan66)
I’m reading the final pages of ‘Splitting the Difference’ while I’m waiting for my flight at JFK. Decided I needed to stretch my legs and wander the gate hallways and what do I find? A restaurant named Revolución. Like many other readers, I am strangely connected to you and your story. Thank you for sharing it.
—  — fcuklogic, New York
I had Barnes & Noble order your book and ship it to me in Rhode Island. Everybody keeps telling me they read it all in one sitting, so I am keeping it in the shipping box until the weekend (otherwise I know I won’t go to work tomorrow)! I’ve been so anxious to get the book because I know from following your blog that you paint riveting watercolors with your words. God bless!
—  — Rachael Anne (thegoodnitemoon)