I'm doing something a bit differently today, delegating blogging to another author. (Does that mean I'm in management now?) Cindy Hudson wrote a book on how to start mother-daughter book clubs. I love this idea. My mom and I are always sharing books and we usually have very different thoughts on them. It's interesting how someone I'm so close to can see the same book in such a different light.
Cindy offered to tell you guys a bit about what inspired her to write a book on mother-daughter book clubs and maybe, inspire you to start one of your own. So, without further ado, here's she is.
There’s no shortage of advice to moms on how to stay close to their daughters as they grow. You can find it in popular magazines, books on parenting and through multiple online resources. Yet, with all the suggestions you’ll find, none may be simpler than discussing books you read together.
How can reading books together bring you closer to each other? Books open up worlds of thought and information you may not be exposed to in your daily life. Books let you broach topics that may otherwise be too embarrassing to bring up on your own. They also lay out the whole of human experience—what it means to be a friend, part of a family, or even a citizen of a country.
Some of the best discussions I’ve had with my daughters, who are now 18 and 15, have been while we were reading books for our mother-daughter book clubs. Often we read aloud to each other, so we talk about what’s happening on the page while we read. We talk about it again at our book group meetings, where we get to hear other moms and other daughters weigh in with their opinions.
Over the years we’ve broached many topics that we may not have otherwise. Some of them have been historical, as when we read Red Scarf Girl by Ji-Li Jiang on the Chinese Cultural Revolution and Zlata’s Diary about a young girl’s life in war-torn Sarajevo. We’ve talked about friendships and blossoming romance, such as that in Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen, and Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. We discussed living with personal tragedy when we read Light Years by Tammar Stein and Millions by Frank Cottrell Boyce.
Together we have laughed and cried and puzzled over hatred, racism, sexism, and the ethics of cloning humans. We learned about our country’s history, and political as well as historical situations in other countries around the world. We talked about what these things mean to us, and every time we did we revealed ourselves to each other, something that’s often difficult to do in parent-child relationships.
Yes, staying close to your daughter through the years is more a combination of actions as opposed to just one thing alone. But you’ll never be sorry you spent time searching for common ground within the pages of a book.
Cindy Hudson is the author of Book by Book: The Complete Guide to Creating Mother-Daughter Book Clubs (Seal Press, October 2009). She is a mother-daughter book club consultant, journalist, and editor. Hudson has more than twenty years of experience as a marketing and public relations professional. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and two daughters. Visit her online at www.motherdaughterbookclub.com and www.motherdaughterbookclub.wordpress.com.