Friday, March 2, 2012

Heaven is for Real "Have You Read The Book?" Book Club!

Last Tuesday we held our first book club meeting of the year, if memory serves me, our neighborhood book club was established in 2005, I think. Oh well we have just kicked off the 2012 season with a very intense and interesting book “Heaven is for Real” by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent, which was published November 2010.

Cover art Our book club was initially suggested and then organized in 2005 by one of our neighbors who relocated with her job in 2006. Somehow the unofficial title of “book club” organizer/secretary fell in my lap and other than sending out email reminders each month my main responsibility is to try and keep the group focused on the book and to stay on subject, always challenging! 

Over the years, the book club has affectionately become known as the “Have you read the book” book club. Ok I know you might be wondering why our book club is called “Have you read the book” book club, when isn’t the whole point of having a book club is to actually read the book?

I am sure you can understand that sometimes life gets in the way of reading or finishing the book, or maybe we just set it aside because the subject matter was difficult. If you are an avid reader you understand these reasons for not finishing a book, and over the years the book club has developed into something much more than spending an evening with the girls discussing a book.

We have come to know each other, baring our souls to one another, sharing experiences that are sometimes very difficult to discuss; precious family passing on, jobs lost, losing adored pets and illness. But also, sharing the joys of life; weddings, the birth of a child and let’s not forget the new grandbabies and so many laughs!

Like I said life happens and since we all look forward to spending an evening together a little thing like not reading or finishing the book never deters us from encouraging each other to attend book club. The door is always open for a little female bonding and of course discussing the book.

I will share with you that we do have criteria for selecting a book, not too many rules just a few:
1)  The book must be available at the library and preferably on DVD (one member of our little club has a long commute to work and this insures she can listen to the book if not read it).
2)  January’s book should be a short read and something not too heavy to kick off the New Year.
3)  July and August are vacation months, we found over the years that the summer months were crazy with all the beach trips, Lake visit’s and we were constantly rescheduling.
4)  It’s always nice if you have read the book but if not one of us who has read the book will recap it for the group prior to discussion.
We usually plan a Christmas party at one of our homes in December, no book reading required just bring several books that you have “preferably” read so we can compile our list of books for the following year. December 2010, we met at a local coffee house rather than one of our homes, ironically everyone attended the meeting and we enjoyed our Christmas celebration. As a result, last year, we decided to meet again at our local coffee house to plan for 2012.   

Last December on the appointed day that we were planning to meet I started receiving emails from most of the group that many were not feeling well. We usually meet at 7 pm, by around 5:30 I made an executive decision and canceled book club. I suggested that we all concentrate on getting better, enjoy the holidays and plan to meet in January.  

In January we met at “The Stuffed Olive”   one of our favorite Bar and Grille’ where we indulged in homemade chips, sandwiches, wraps and burgers while we complied our list of books, hosts and facilitators for 2012.  

Our first official book club meeting for 2012 was last Tuesday night and Jana hosted the “Have you read the book?”  book club. 

There are currently 10 members in the book club and seven were in attendance last Tuesday night, don’t faint but everyone read the book! 

Jana prepared Taco’s; zesty lean ground beef, caramelized yellow onions, diced tomatoes, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped lettuce, lite sour cream, fresh salsa and Redneck Caviar which Jana purchased at our local market, hard and soft shell taco shells. 

We all loaded up our plates, enjoyed the delicious tacos and settled in to discuss “Heaven is For Real”. Summary from:
“Heaven Is for Real is the true story of the four-year old son of a small-town Nebraska pastor who during emergency surgery slips from consciousness and enters heaven. He survives and begins talking about being able to look down and see the doctor operating and his dad praying in the waiting room. The family didn't know what to believe but soon the evidence was clear.
Colton said he met his miscarried sister, whom no one had told him about, and his great grandfather who died 30 years before Colton was born, then shared impossible-to-know details about each. He describes the horse that only Jesus could ride, about how "regally big" God and his chair are, and how the Holy Spirit "shoots down power" from heaven to help us.
Told by the father, but often in Colton's own words, the disarmingly simple message is heaven is a real place, Jesus really loves children, and be ready, there is a coming last battle.”
I could write a couple of pages detailing our discussion and once I get started who knows how long this post could be. So, since I have already filled two pages and this post is really about the “Have you read the book” book club, I will summarize.

We discussed strange experiences that we have had regarding our faith, we all want to believe the story, guess that is why this is a great book for discussion.  

The conversation was intense, lively and we all left book club with more questions than when we arrived.  

Next month we are reading, or not the “Magic Hour” by Kristan Hannah, seven out of seven who attended last month read the book so maybe we are on a roll. 

Maybe we are unusual for a book club, I really don’t know. My Mother is in a book club and she told me everyone who attends always reads the book. 

So, tell me, are you in a book club and if so does everyone finish reading the book? I would love for you to share your book club stories!

Cheers! Kary


  1. No, I am not in a book club, so I am VERY jealous. Seriously, it sounds like you gals have a lot of fun. I've read a couple of books about book clubs, and I've always wanted to be a part of one. Have you ever read, "And Ladies of the Club," by Helen Hooven Santmyer? It is wonderful! If you haven't read it yet, I strongly recommend it. :)

    Thank you for sharing a piece of your happy days. I enjoy reading about it. Enjoy!


    1. Always so nice to see your smiling face and comments.
      We do have a great group of ladies.
      I will see if my library has the book "And Ladies of the Club" Sounds interesting!>
      Hugs, Kary