I have a truly fun and unique collaboration to share with you today. Kym and Bonny and I are starting an online book club and we want all of our readers to be part of it! I can’t take credit for the idea (it was Kym’s) but I’m happy to join my two friends who are, like me, avid readers who also love to share the joy of reading with others. In all honesty, these two women read things that are way harder than most of the books I read. I think they included me because I’m a librarian and they figure that means I know something about running a book club. The joke’s on them when it comes to that, though, because the book club at my library is run by the Assistant Director, Amy, and not me!
We have a plan for how this is going to work but it’s pretty fluid and we will adjust accordingly as we go along. For now there are just a few things you need to know (other than the book we will be reading but I’ll get to that in a hot minute) . . . first of all, there is nothing to sign up for or download or do except the obvious: read the book. Second of all, let’s talk schedule. Over the month of October we will each take a Tuesday to discuss the book, how to participate, and what to expect in terms of questions. In November we will each take a Tuesday to host the book discussion. The first Tuesday we will discuss the first third of the book, the second Tuesday will be for the second third, etc. I would suggest being done reading it by November 5th, the first Tuesday that discussion begins, but since discussion will continue on Tuesdays until November 19th, you do have some flexibility on when you need to finish. For this first go round the discussion will take place in the comments on our blogs. This could evolve into something more interactive at some time but logistically it seems simpler to stick with the format we all know well for now. Finally, we want to be very clear that this is a beta run of our online book club. We will be seeking your feedback and input and will use that as we go forward.
Are you dying to know what book we have chosen? It’s Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson. From GoodReads:
New York Times Bestseller | Named one of the Best Books of the Year by The New York Times • The Washington Post • The Boston Globe • The Seattle Times • Esquire • Time
Winner of the NAACP Image Award for Nonfiction | Winner of a Books for a Better Life Award | Finalist for the Los Angeles Book Prize | An American Library Association Notable Book
A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time
Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.
Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.
Now, you know you can buy this book at a local book store or on Amazon but don’t forget about your public library where you can borrow it for free. You can also see if it’s available on Libby or hoopla if your library uses those platforms. Just do whatever you can to get it into your hot little hands and read with us!
P.S. I didn’t forget that the last Tuesday of the month is a time to discuss my progress with my One Little Word, story. I’m taking full advantage of my word, though, and deciding that creating an online book club is now part of my story. So there.