It was pretty close for a while.
To recap: I asked you to suggest some books written by authors from a race or culture different from your own. The goal was to build a list to help move the conversation forward, with regard to race and racism in America. You responded with a fantastic list of beautiful books and I decided I’d like to read all of them, preferably on a tropical island. But, this is a real life I’m living, so I decided to have you pick one book for us to read as our very first book club book ever, in the history of time. The struggle was real, and I was having an incredibly difficult time picking just one book, even with your suggestions. So, I narrowed it down to three books, and I asked you to vote for your favorite.
You guys! For DAYS, the vote was tied! TIED! 33.33% for each book. But then, there was a surge of votes and, just as the voting came to a close, one book pulled ahead and clinched first place.
I’ve never hosted an online book club. I’ve never even participated in an online book club. But, I know it’s probably important for our book club to have a name, along with a book to read. So, first, let me tell you I went ahead and named us “Forward,” because forward is the goal. Little by little, we can chip away at our own biases, our stereotypes, and our blind spots and, together, we can create a little bit of forward motion and leave the world better than when we found it. We can. I believe that from the bottom of my heart. And, our first book, The Yada Yada Prayer Group (Book One) is a great place to start.
If you’re disappointed (and, because the vote was so close, I’m sure some of you were hoping to have one of the other books as our first choice) I hope you’ll hang in there with us and participate by reading the Yada Yada Prayer Group. I’m going to keep the other two books on standby and, if all goes well, we will get to read those books together, too.
For now, here’s a link to purchase your copy of the book, and here’s a recap of the Yada Yada Prayer Group:
The Yada-Yada Prayer Group, Book One
Details: Novel. 416 pages. Written by Neta Jackson. The first of a series. Paperback. $14.99 on Amazon (on December 27, 2015).
Summary (from Amazon): What do an ex-con, a former drug addict, a real estate broker, a college student, and a married mother of two have in common?
Nothing, or so I thought. Who would have imagined that God would make a prayer group as mismatched as ours the closest of friends? I almost didn’t even go to the Chicago Women’s Conference–after all, being thrown together with five hundred strangers wasn’t exactly my “comfort zone.” But something happened that weekend to make us realize we had to hang together, and the “Yada Yada Prayer Group” was born! When I faced the biggest crisis of my life, God used my newfound Sisters to show me what it means to be just a sinner saved by grace.
Why it was one of the three finalists: I’ve read this book and I love it. The author is a friend of mine, and her commitment to racial reconciliation is something she lives out in her daily life, in Chicago. But what I love is the way she gently leads readers to consider what it could like to live without walls of division between us, in the Body of Christ. This book is a great example of what it looks like to use the gifts God gave us to help advance the message of hope. Also, this book was chosen as “Book of the Year” in 2008, by Women of Faith.
As for the “rules” of Forward, I’m going to keep it pretty loose. And, I’m open to suggestions. So, in the comments, please let me know what’s worked for you and what’s been frustrating about the online book clubs you’ve participated in in the past. Our official start date will be January 15, 2016, and I’ll be sharing more details as we get closer to that date.
What I want you to know is that I’m really excited about this. It feels like it’s going to be good, and I’ve got some ideas about where this could lead us, somewhere down the road. One more thing I’d like to share is that the audio version of this book is fantastic. So, if your only option is to listen to the book while you commute or cook dinner or exercise, you won’t be sorry that you chose the audio version.
Thanks so much for voting. And, thank you for your desire to move the conversation forward. This is how we change the world, right where we are. Remember to let me know the good and the bad about your past online book club experiences, in the comments. I look forward to your wisdom! Also, don’t forget to enter for your chance to win my Thank You Grab Bag of gifts. The drawing closes on December 31, 2015.
I just ordered my book! Can’t wait to join the conversation… thanks, D.
So glad! And, I’ve been spending some time with that cookbook you sent to me. 😉
I have had the Kindle version of this book for a couple of years and not read it yet. I’m really looking forward to reading it together. I’ve never really participated in an online book club so I’ll be learning, too. The book was recommended by my sister-in-law who was very impressed and has read the whole series.
Carol Longenecker Hiestand
I have never done an online book club. I have been involved in a Book Club with conference calls. I do think it would be extremely fun to have a live conference call to introduce it – record it for those who can’t be on. and then maybe 1/2 through do another one – where participants could be given a set amount of time (short) to either give their response to a question you might have or to tell what it has meant to them. I facilitated many calls and there are a few guidelines to keep things moving. I used to and still do sometimes use Free Conference, and it can be recorded for later use. just a few ideas from my former life which might apply here. I’d be glad to help in any way. Oh, and just ordered mine.
Today its $9.99 at Amazon and 3.99 for a kndle. Only 20 copies left
I’m in! It is not a book I would have picked because of the name :-)….but I am open to new and good reads and look forward to being part of this conversation! Ordering today!
Just a “warning”….the book with the cover above is Book 2. I had already ordered it before I realized that book 1 has a different cover!!!!!!
The book covers are very confusing. So just look carefully! Maybe it’s just me! 🙂
The book covers are confusing! Here’s a link to Book 2. It has a disco ball on the cover (which, of course, I love): http://www.amazon.com/Yada-Prayer-Group-Gets-Down/dp/1595544402/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1451341864&sr=1-1&keywords=yada+yada+prayer+group+book+2
So now I will have books 1 and 2! 🙂
Ok. Now I’m not sure which book is the book the club is reading.
We are reading Book One. 🙂
So just to clarify, it is Book ONE we are going to read, right?
Yep. We’re reading Book One.
Whoop! Our library has it!
Lisa Dye Norris
I love being in book clubs and sharing with others the insights gleaned from reading and sharing thoughts and ideas. I am excited about this online book club and I look ‘forward’ to this new venture!
Ordered! This is my first online book club… can’t wait to start!
It’s no coincidence that I stumbled on this post and into this Forward book club. I’ve been out of this blogging space for over a year, but so ready to step back in. And this is what I found… So very excited to join this book club and dive into what looks and sounds like a fantastic book!!! Just ordered mine. Looking forward to journeying with you in January!
Courtney @ SplashingGrace
I’m excited to start!
I’ve been reading your blog through feedly for a while and decided to come out of the shadows for the book club. Unity of the body is a heart-issue for me and your posts put words to my thoughts. My book arrived today so I’m ready to go!
Create With Joy
What an amazing idea for a book club!
I’ve shared this with my readers at this week’s Inspire Me Monday party (Week #211) at Create With Joy!
I also host a community for Book Lovers – The Book Nook at Create With Joy – and would love for you to join us! 🙂 (There is a month-long linky for readers to share their posts and news!)
Have an amazing month!