"That was a really powerful question, Julia. Thank you.”
After my ‘Buen Camino’ speech, a member of the audience had sought me out. His eyes glistened as we talked, and he kissed me before heading home.
I think Walking the Camino: A Journey for the Heart and Soul is an excellent book for book clubs because it does raise powerful questions that will make for lively and thoughtful discussions.
For book clubs that read novels
The first two-thirds of Walking the Camino is memoir and strong on stories. I walked my first Camino on the French route during the sweltering summer months. I walked with my friend Hazel, her friend and others we met along the way, who became our ‘Camino family’. During a wet winter week of the same year, I also walked some of the Portuguese route with my husband. They were two very different Caminos!
This part of the book has strong themes of friendship, the trials and tribulations of pilgrims and the things that make the Camino special, raising many questions that book clubs will love to debate. You can see what sorts of questions are raised in my suggested book club questions, which are free to download here.
Many readers will also love hearing from my ‘Camino family’ in the bonus section at the back of the book. There’s a saying that everyone walks their own Camino, and these chapters highlight the differences between my experience and theirs.
For book clubs that read non-fiction
When writing Walking the Camino, I was continually thinking about how it can add value to the reader’s life, whether or not they are planning to walk the Camino. Many life lessons can be drawn from the narrative. Why don’t you check out my (free) suggested book club questions for an idea of what you could discuss?
For book clubs that read Christian books
Although Walking the Camino is not strictly a Christian book, it explores themes of pilgrimage and, to some extent, Christianity. There are stories of discussions with Christians and commentary about my feelings towards the Catholic church. Your book club may find it interesting to read a book written by an atheist that covers these themes.
Whatever the nature of your book club, if I am available, I would be happy to attend a meeting online where you discuss one of my books. Please email me to make arrangements: firstname.lastname@example.org
Walking the Camino is available as an e-book, audiobook, paperback and large print paperback, and a Supplementary Workbook is available as a paperback or pdf. You can also order a digital package that includes the e-book, audiobook and workbook pdf. To find out more or order yours, head to www.juliags.com/camino.
Would your book club consider reading a non-fiction book such as Walking the Camino: A Journey for the Heart and Soul? Please let me know in the comments below.