Defending a Story

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The essence of the independent mind lies not in what it thinks, but in how it thinks.” ― Christopher Hitchens, Letters to a Young Contrarian

Today, on All Things Fulfilling, I’ll report my findings as a casual observer of a book club group from Dorchester County, Maryland.The New York the postmistressTimes bestselling book “The Postmistress” by Sarah Blake was discussed the day of the meeting.

In my experience, there are common things readers want to discuss about a book after reading it. The types of critique questions and discourse this East Coast book club had was not so different than any other groups I have witnessed. But, it was evident that each reader had a slightly different point of view about the story, which is why books are worth discussing. Here are some of  the ideas the members talked about:

Did the readers relate to the era of this story? Yes. Most in the book group lived through the times this story was set – World War II era.

Were the characters believable? The postmistress character, one reader said “was too ‘rigid’ to be realistic.” Others disagreed saying it was, “part of the  job.”

Did the author do a good job with character development? Some said yes. Others, no.

Was the storyline effective in evoking memories for the reader? In the case of this book, the answer was an overwhelming Yes!”

Did the readers like the ending? One “bookie” said admittedly, “it is the author’s prerogative to end the story however they see fit. But, she did not like it.”

Other points made in the discussion:
• More than one reader in the group said they “enjoyed her familiarity of the setting (small town Cape Cod),” but they were not fond of reading about war, they had already lived it vicariously through the stories of their fathers, brothers, friends and uncles.
• Another reader stated the meaning behind the narrative was much bigger than the immediate story. The book made a strong statement that “Life goes on despite war.” Note: I have found that universal lessons that go beyond the immediate story, are what makes for a very marketable book.
• One reader said “none of the stories within the book were finished.” Others defended the fact that the book left “things for the reader to figure out, in their own minds, and they like that in books.”
• The consensus seemed to be that a post office in a small town is still the center of community.

As I sat listening to the women’s discussion, I formed my own opinions about the ladies in the book group. Do return to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow as I share my general observances of the “bookies.”

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Book Marketing Savvy

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“….from the reading of ‘good books’ there comes a richness of life that can be obtained in no other way.” ~ Gordon B Hinckley

On Tuesday I joined a book club of women from Dorchester County Maryland for lunch. It was the second time I have been among the group, and talk naturally flowed to who is reading what, favorite authors, book lists and other common subjects among book lovers.

One member of the group mentioned she was headed to Boonsboro, Maryland to the historic Inn that is the subject of Nora Roberts recently published Boonsboro trilogy. Roberts has capitalized on capturing the hearts of her readers not only through her books, but by giving her fans an opportunity to visit and relax in the setting of some of her stories. In my opinion, it is a great example of using creative book marketing savvy and smart business.

boonsboro innObviously her investment in the old stone property, the Boonsboro Inn, on the corner of North  Main Street and Potomac, and in the town, itself, has been made possible by her success as a very prolific writer. She has approximately 200 titles to her credit, and some of her novels have been adapted for film. www.noraroberts.com.

The Boonsboro Inn aims to provide a fulfilling vacation travel experience with a literature experience. The assistant innkeeper, Patti, worked at Turn the Page Bookstore for four years. Obviously a booklover and well-read person, I am sure she is well-versed in providing the guests with plenty of background about the Montgomery brothers, the clan featured in The Next Always (Book 1), The Last Boyfriend (Book 2) and the final book of the trilogy, The Perfect Hope. To read more about the Boonsboro trilogy,Click here..

To learn more about the Boonsboro bed and breakfast experience, the amenities offered and the renovation of the historic property, please visit the website. http://bit.ly/19GwZhM.

According to hospitality surveys, more and more people are looking for unique vacations. If you have had a satisfying vacation in a literature hotel or inn, please share your experience with booklovers and writers who frequent www.allthingsfulfilling.com. Click on comment below and tell us all about it.