Nora St. Laurent

Nora St. Laurent runs three book clubs outside of Atlanta and has established a successful model that has made her a resource for others who would like to establish clubs. To Nora, Book Clubs are a Ministry that revolve around relationships and through this, the Lord would love the women that He put in her life extravagantly. She facilitates a safe environment where women can enter into relationships.

Nora says it best: "This is not about what church you belong to or how well you know the Bible. It also is not a matter of whether or not you go to church. God has called you into relationship with Him and with me and the other ladies in this group to love, to be loved and to encourage each other."

Visit her blog at She has a vision to duplicate the model to reach as many people as possible and is writing a book about how to do just this.

Finding the Right Book for Your Book Club

If you are looking for an answer that fits every situation, it’s not available. There are as many ways to find the right book as there are books to read. The task can seem overwhelming. I felt that way when I began my book club. How was I going to get the right book? I have several really good sources for you to check out. You can find the one that best fits your club’s needs.

First of all, start with your club members. Ask your members what their thoughts are. Do they have any ideas for picking the monthly book selection? What do they expect? What did you, as the book club leader, envision the book selection process to be? Discuss your ideas and come up with a plan of action.

Second, check out the reviews of books you are considering, starting with,, and If you don’t find what you are looking for, do a search on Google for the type of books you want to read and view those sites for reviews. The possibilities are endless.

Third explore books that talk about selecting a book. The Pulpwood Queens’ Tiara-Wearing, Book-Sharing Guide to Life by Kathy L. Patrick (she tells how she got started doing book clubs, gives suggestions of books throughout her story, and has a Web site), The Reading Group Handbook by Rachel W. Jacobsoh (starting a book club and book selections that have worked and why), Honey for a Woman’s Heart by Gladys Hunt (discusses different books to read and what works for reading groups, but she also gives additional information about the books she recommends: “What Makes a Good Story?”; “The Brightest and the Best: Literature and the Classics”; “Something for Everyone: Genre Fiction & Non-Fiction”). Honey for a Teen’s Heart by Gladys Hunt is a wonderful resource as well.

For children’s book clubs, The Mother-Daughter Book Club by Shireen Dodson is a guide on how to start a book club and book selections that worked for different age groups. The American Girl Book Club Kit, put out by American Girl, has everything you need to start a book club. It includes book selections from the American Girl series, with questions to ask the girls at the book club meetings. They have fiction and nonfiction selections and questions that correspond to each genre. How to Get Your Child to Love Reading by Ese Raji Codell has many helpful suggestions for younger children through teenagers. Another book for younger children is The New York Time’s Parent’s Guide to the Best Books for Children by Eden Ross Lipson. Books are broken down into categories and a summary of each book is included.

Finally, go to your local book store and/or library and ask what is popular in the particular genre your club wants to read. For instance, discover the most popular romance, suspense, comedy, and so on.

You can always check out my blog,, if you are interested in the authors of Christian fiction. I have several author interviews posted that are from a slightly different point of view.

A book club is lots of fun. Don’t make or take it too serious. Have fun picking out the books that fit your groups’ particular needs. Keep the main thing the main thing: Fun & Fellowship—that’s why I do book club!! How about you?

Nora St. Laurent
Book Club Servant Leader
ACFW Book Club Assistant