Intimate Conversation with Reader’s Paradise Book Club
Ella: Welcome! Missy, tell us about your passions and the club.
Our passion is reading, discussing and collecting books. Outside of that; some of us have published articles on line and off, others enjoy writing reviews. Our community is large and we are afforded the opportunity to network with other book clubs and exchange ideas Not forgetting that as a group we attend author events & the Harlem Book Festival every year.
Currently our website is hosted on MySpace until we can find the graphics needed to move forward with our website. When you visit Reader’s Paradise we offer you our perspective on the books we havee read as well as a little bit about who we are and what we are about.
Ella: Tell us a few books that you would define as “Literary Hallmarks.”
I love the word “hallmark” it’s so classy!
Sugar by Bernice McFadden
Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine by Bebe Moore Campbell
Tumbling by Diane McKinney Whetstone
Sweet Georgia Brown by Cheryl Robinson
Ella: What do you define as Quality Literature?
I would have to say “quality literature” is Diane McKinney Whetstone, Cheryl Robinson and Bernice McFadden. These authors have written timeless books that could’ve been written from an 18th century perspective, but they will still arrest the hearts of 21st century readers. Lastly for Reader’s Paradise a quality piece of literary will drive the message home without a lot of fluff and stuff.
Ella: What is the primary mission of the group?
One of our primary missions is to promote local Chicago authors who are self published.
Ella: What does a typical meeting consist of for the members?
Our book of the month meeting ALWAYS consists of food and a good time. We play “getting to know you” games whenever a new member joins. We also make sure to have a safe space for folks to agree to disagree. Usually we meet anywhere from 2.5 – 3 hours some meetings we have to go over upcoming book club business.
Whoever is hosting it is her job to facilitate the meeting and move the conversation along. Members choose whether or not to come equipped with discussion question but the host don’t have that choice.
Ella: Have you select your books for the year?
In 2008 we chose our book of the month reads in 2007. Since our book club is small we each will take 2 months in 2009 to host and pick our books for those months. The selection is made purely by personal interest. We try to mainly read Chicago self published authors.
This year we are going to pick our books monthly. So once the host decides she is taking that month she also will be responsible for picking the book if that is not a set author month. So far for 2009 we will be meeting with six Chicago land authors and we are excited. We also have one author coming from out of town in May; Derek Vitatoe author of With these hands & Deacon’s Circle.
Ella: What are you reading now?
Our January book of the month is a novel by Delena Lewis “Forgiveness don’t get no better than this”. (Excellent book) Why this book? One of our members met the author during her daily maneuvers and after talking to the author she decided this would be a book for our book club. Quite frankly this is how we have made the choice to read several of our books.
Ella: Who are some of the other authors your group has featured?
The first author who blessed Reader’s Paradise was a dear friend of mine Naleighna Kai whose gift we still have. From there it was Michelle Larks, Brenda Taylor,
DJ McLaurin, Darrin Lowery,Ken E. Lamar, Pat Simmons. In 2009 we have a great line up as well, but our primary focus this year is “paying it forward” we have truly been blessed as a book club and now it’s time we give back..
Ella: Ultimately, what do you want members to gain from your union?
It is our prayer that the Holy Spirit convicts Reader’s Paradise to delve into other genres and develop a desire to want to stay there. With God as our nucleus we would hope that our circle continues to grow strong by each member’s voice.
Ella: What projects do you have coming up?
One of our founding members is getting married in May “go Mel” A trip to New York City for the Harlem Book Festival, Our semi-annual retreat and working with Kreative Readers in the very near future on a project, which is too soon to talk about but you all will hear about it.
c/o Laverne (Missy) Brown
P.O. Box 508223
Cicero, IL 60804