The Soul of a Book Club
I was watching the news about the ALL IN Challenge a few weeks ago and that got me thinking…
How could I contribute something, being that I’m not a celebrity (yet 😊). What could I do to help? Could The Walking Book Club be a vehicle to encourage people to participate? What if we added a philanthropic component to our virtual chats?
What if I invited authors to chat with the group about books and writing, with members making a donation to the author’s charity of choice as their ticket/cover charge to participate?
What did I have to lose?
So, I used the advice I have so often given to my children: “What’s the worst that can happen? They can say no.” I grabbed a glass of wine and started typing emails to some of The Walking Book Club’s favorite authors, and guess what?
Jeanine Cummins, author of American Dirt, said she would participate and raise money for people in need!
Who would have thought the author who held the #1 spot on the New York Times bestselling list — with her book still in the top 10 — would say yes?
Prior to the event, there were many hours of preparation put in with love, but I was still very anxious. Hosting 40 participants; navigating technology (not my strength); and facilitating meaningful dialogue with members, the author, and audiobook narrator Yareli Azrimendi had my mind exhilarated and exhausted, before, during, and after the event.
As the host, I was most focused on the experience for Jeanine and Yareli, but a couple pearls truly resonated with me:
Book clubs have the power to open dialogue.
“I really feel like book clubs can help facilitate more candid dialogue around important issues of racial injustice and inequality. A book club like yours, that’s potentially diverse, can really promote positive change. Anything that gets people talking and listening outside their own bubble of reality is a really important thing right now, I think.”
— Jeanine Cummins regarding The Walking Book Club
Monetary donations are a powerful way to support philanthropy in need.
“Now more than ever, as the nation seeks understanding about our current Civil Rights struggles, Whitney Plantation is a necessary resource for healing and truth-telling. The museum’s mission is to educate the public about the history of slavery and its legacies through tours and public programs. The museum is also a memorial, and it offers visitors a rare opportunity to mourn the lives of enslaved people and reflect about our nation’s troubling past. The closure from March 17 – June 19 meant a total loss of all revenue.”
— Ashley Rogers, Executive director of The Whitney Plantation Museum
The Walking Book Club’s mission is grounded in the desire to help people enjoy activity by engaging the mind and body. My work as a National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach appreciates that living healthy and happy isn’t always easy.
It takes work, lots of work.
My heart’s desire is to help women discover and manifest their recipe for Healthy-Body Happy-Mind. And now I think The Walking Book Club has also found its soul.
The club is evolving and this feels authentic—mind, body, and soul.
As we navigate COVID-19, unrest, and the unknown future, we are tapping into one of the elements of living a thriving life and finding meaning. So with that, I’m now adding the aspiration of building a global community of book lovers in sneakers with a giving heart.
My goal is to offer Heart and Soul Book Chats quarterly.
Please join our next virtual book chat to support The Whitney Plantation as we conclude The Book of Lost Friends.
To participate, please consider making a donation directly to the institute.
The Walking Book Club Update
July 2020 Selections
Put a hold on The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall, Godshot by Chelsea Bieker, and What I Know for Sure by Oprah Winfrey for July. Cara Wall will be joining us for a virtual book chat on July 19th!