Friday, June 08, 2007

An update on Cindy's Book Club!

...and the "cutting" issue revisited

As I blogged about earlier, we here at 101QFL are experimenting with something this summer. Given my passion for fiction--particularly Christian fiction--my co-host Darren Marlar and I separately came up with the idea of "Cindy's Book Club." (We were so surprised when we found out we had both been thinking about this idea, unbeknownst to each other!)

You know, like Oprah's Book Club, only on a MUCH smaller scale. OK...on a miniscule scale, comparatively.

But my thinking is, if Oprah has done so much for fiction, why couldn't I do my small part to promote Christian fiction?

A measure of success already

During the months of June, July and August, I will be featuring three different Christian fiction titles. (Admittedly, they are somewhat female-focused, but our target demographic happens to be a female "soccer-mom" type.)

The first book is Quaker Summer, by Lisa Samson--a perfect choice to kick things off for the summer.

We're partnering with the Cannoli Caffe locally, and several bookstores are on board with us to help promote it.

We even have a Cindy's Book Club blog--you can go there to find out the details of how we're doing this. At the end of each month, we'll have an actual book discussion at th Cannoli Caffe, where participants can discuss the book, enjoy their delicious coffee at a reduced price, and win door prizes.

I have no idea how successful the book discussion will be, but we do have some solid figures from the bookstores. People are requesting the book, and in some cases, books are practically flying off the shelves. One bookstore received 8 copies one day, and six of them sold within two hours. Another bookstore also sold 7 copies in a matter of a few hours. Now the bookstores are stocking up, making sure they have enough.

To me, this is VERY encouraging. This project is in an experimental stage, and it may undergo some changes throughout the next few months, but I feel its goal of promoting Christian fiction is already starting to be accomplished!

You can take part

Even if you don't live in the area and therefore can't come to the book discussion, I'd love for you to take part. If you've already read "Quaker Summer," I'd love for you to comment on the Cindy's Book Club blog. If you haven't read it, pick up a copy today and let me know on the Book Club blog how you're enjoying it or any thoughts you may have on it.

Also, for your info, the next books will be (July) Split Ends, by Kristin Billerbeck and (August) The Restorer, by Sharon Hinck.

If this is successful, there's a chance the radio station will continue the Book Club past the summer. And even it's not extended, I'm thinking about keeping the Book Club alive through my blogs.

Reaction from my post about cutting...

"I was very disappointed in the Cut song - and couldn't imagine a Christian young woman singing it, without a context of other songs on the album or website that offer clear hope. There are ways to do it that aren't 'preachy'
if that's her concern, I don't know."--the mother of a girl who struggled with cutting

My post the other day about cutting and Plumb's song, Cut, elicited an e-mail from a woman whose daughter began cutting herself at age 15. The woman describes the shock and horror of discovering this was happening in her solid Christian home.

Fortunately, this story has a happy ending. Fast-forward several years: The daughter is doing well and is now married to a fine Christian man.

But this mom shares my concern about the song "Cut" failing to provide any hope for the cutter:

"I'd never heard of Plumb, so I went to her site, where that song was instantly playing. I found it very disturbing.

"There is nothing in that song that in any way is helpful, in the true sense of 'helping.' It identifies the pain. If that is considered 'helpful' in showing a young woman - or a parent - how this feels or that someone else feels it, then I suppose it is 'helpful.' But it offers absolutely no true help or hope - and in fact, I believe it adds to the haunting, eerie, romantic tragedy-feel of it."

As I mentioned in the previous post, kudos to Plumb for her compassion and her desire to raise awareness of the issue. This is not meant to trash her as a person and an artist. However, I think many parents and friends of cutters may echo that mom's concerns about the song.

If you are a cutter reading this post, please read my other post about the issue, which offers hope in Jesus Christ, as well as several helpful links.

And may all of you have a wonderful and blessed weekend!

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