Michelle Buckley

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Friday, March 10, 2006

Book Clubs We Love

There are many book clubs out there that support African American authors. This month -- I just wanted to introduce you to two books clubs that have shown me some love, since the release of my first novel, Bulletproof Soul. If you are looking for a book club home, here are two to consider. Take a moment to say hello to the Dallas Chapter of the Sistah Circle Book Club & People Who Love Good Books, an online book club that this month celebrates its 2nd year anniversary!

Stop back often for additional literary profiles...see ya between the pages!

Email to join: welovegoodbooks@yahoo.com

Please introduce your group. PeoplewholoveGoodBooks is an online yahoo group that was started in March of 2004. It was started by me ( Shay Cousar) and I asked my close friend Jacqueline Carter to help me out and be the Co-Moderator. We both love to read and thought it would be cool to start an group to share that love with others. Right now, we have 26 members. We're a small, intimate group where everyone could get to know each other and not only share a love of books but friendship as well. I started a website to go along with the group. We feature authors and we write reviews . In the future I'd like to schedule more author chats and possibly do more book giveaways.

What made you start your online book club? I had been in another online book club and the experience wasn't a good one, so I decided to create my own. I just really wanted to share my love of reading with others. Don't you love it when you read a book that was soo good that you just had to talk to someone about it? That was how I felt and one of the reasons I started it.

Why did your group choose Bulletproof Soul to read as a BOM in 2005? I chose Bulletproof Soul because Michelle is a member of our group and I like to support the authors in our group. I will usually choose their books for BOTM( as long they are an active member and not joining just to promote their book) but once I read it, I loved it! Bulletproof Soul is so inspiring because no matter how many times Lacy got knocked down, she got right back up and I feel that this book is something all women should read because I'm sure we can relate to Lacy because we all have Bulletproof Souls.

Do you do more than just read books? For example, does your group carry out community service events? I hope to one day, have an event where everyone can get together for the weekend and just pig out and of course, discuss some good books.

What is your opinion of the current state of fiction?
I think it has room to grow, there are so many wonderful, good books out there and I am so happy that now there are so many to choose from. A few years ago, all we had was Eric Jerome Dickey or Terry McMillan for example but now (thanks to them, I'm sure) we have erotica, street /urban fiction, romance, christian etc etc. I hate going to the bookstore! LOL! I want to buy everything and know I can't LOL!

What would you like to see more or less of?
Good question! I like the idea of having so much to choose from.

Who are some of your favorite authors? I love Zane, Kimberla Lawson Roby, Nikki Turner, Chunichi, J oyLynn Jossel, Terry McMillan, Eric Jerome Dickey, Bernice McFadden, Travis Hunter, Sheila Copeland, and Gloria Mallette. Some of my favorite books are Addicted, Nervous, Shame on it All...anything by Zane LOL! Waiting to Exhale, Chocolate Star, If It Ain't One Thing, Passion Marks, Soul Matters, Disappearing Acts, Mama, If I Ruled the World, What's Done in the Dark, Friends and Lovers, A Man Like Richard, Shades of Jade, Bulletproof Soul, anything by Carl Weber...the list just goes on and on. I love these authors because they write about issues that we can relate to!

Personally, how many books a month do you, the moderator of the group, read?
I read maybe 10-12 books a month. They increased once I started writing reviews but I still find time to read what I want to read as well

Anything else you'd like to add?
I love being a part of PeoplewholoveGoodBooks because I share my passion for books and reading with others who feel the same way. Running a book club can be hard because of different attitudes, personalities etc., but I love it because I have gotten to know some great people! I hope the experience has been just as great for them as it has for me. I am proud that we are still going almost 2 years later and I want to thank those who have been there from the beginning for their participation and support!



Please introduce your group. We are The Sistah Circle Book Club located in NY, Denver, Dallas, Atlanta, and on the campus of Indiana State University. We are working on 2 additional chapter "births" for 2006. I am founding member, Lisa R. Cross.

What made you start your book club? We meet to read and form a sistahood. Exposure to African American literature was our focus. At the time, new authors were emerging through self-publishing, so we felt it was great to have a variety of books to read by new and upcoming authors. We try to share literature and literacy among our family, friends, and the communities in which we reside.

Why did your group choose Bulletproof Soul as it's February 2006 selection? SCBC prides itself on reading various books from small press authors. We like to see what new authors have to offer avid readers. So, we picked Bulletproof Soul.

What makes your book club stand out from the rest? Our community service, I believe. Each chapter is required to perform a minimum of one service project each calendar year. We are in the initial stage of planning large events for our organization. We are starting with a face-to-face meeting for members of the organization. In years past, we had a small self-published author award event. Now, we still offer theaward, without the event.

What is your opinion of the current state of fiction? I believe that fiction is "morphying." Now, that hot fiction is urban or 'gangsta' fiction. It is taking the major publishing houses by storm as they scramble to pick up these authors from small press entities.

What would you like to see more or less of? I don't think that there should be more or less of anything. I think the current pace is great. There are a variety of authors, there are a variety of stories--I think everything is great.

Who are some of your favorite authors? There are some great writers outt here like Eric Pete, Victoria Christopher Murray, Kimberla Lawson Roby, Phillip Duck, J.D. Mason...I should stop there because there are too many to name!

What are some of your favorite books? Favorites of "today"are..."On The Eighth Day She Rested" and "Someone's In the Kitchen"...I really liked these books. Why? The realism in the author's book...writing that pulls you in...great imagery. That for me makes a great book.

Why did your group choose Bulletproof Soul as it's February 2006 selection? SCBC prides itself on reading various books from small press authors. We like to see what new authors have to offer avid readers. So, we picked Bulletproof Soul.

Blogger Rose said...

That's very nice introducing those two book clubs. They sound very interesting. I'll visit their sites. Thanks a bunch.

11:59 PM, March 10, 2006  
Blogger Dr. Deborah Serani said...

It's so great that book clubs continue to be strong and rally around good writing and great books. Technology can't really touch the beauty of holding a book, touching the pages, reading the words and taking it all in!


6:46 PM, March 13, 2006  
Blogger Michelle said...

Rose -- The women that are a part of People Who Love Good Books are wonderful. It's a small group and not unruly. There is no drama and no attitudes to deal with. Just a bunch of booklovers bonding. What could beat that? And Lisa Cross with the Sistah Circle was one of the first people I contacted when my book BPS came out -- and she immediately embraced me by doing an interview and posting it on her site. There are truly some great booklovers out there. Which is a good thing for authors like us, huh?

Dr. Deb -- you said a mouthful. To me there is nothing like cracking the spine of a hardback book -- call me crazy but I get such a rush from that. And as far as technology -- to this day I have not read an e-book or listened to an audio-book! God bless book clubs and actual books (hee)! I hate to think of a future without actual books. Doesn't that sound like a rotten existence? Have a great rest of the week.

7:44 PM, March 13, 2006  

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