Join us from wherever you are!
Welcome to New Leaf: a cozy space for those who love books and those who can’t get past page 5. (True story, and I’m the worst!) Anyone interested in the camaraderie of like-minded women will find themselves nourished in our monthly hang-outs.
I started New Leaf as a way of taking back my power when COVID-19 derailed SWTW’s travel plans back in 2020. I’d been stuck inside my home office, riding the waves of uncertainty and feeling legit sorry for myself. I knew two things for sure: (1) I craved community and (2) I wanted to finish a damn book for once in my life!
So, I’m putting out New Leaf to the world. With members hailing from the far corners of Finland and Australia to the US Midwest and along the shores of Lake Ontario, we’ve become quite good at juggling time zones!
We like to keep it real.
I’m not big into fluff. And, I’m a smidge of an introvert. I knew that if I was going to start a monthly commitment with a bunch of ladies I didn’t really know, we’d all have to agree to show up just as we are. Like so many, I was looking for connection, and not more pressure. So, with New Leaf, you never have to worry about judgement. If you haven’t read the book; if you are distracted, sad, moody or late — our Book Club welcomes you in all your messy, unglued glory. There some of us are, out enjoying a wintery hike. Just goes to show how casual our meetings can be!
A strong female lead.
One of the questions I get asked over and over is, “how do you choose your books?” Ha! We’ve done everything from group brainstorms, rotating book suggestions from members, to drawing a book out of a literal hat.
The common theme is a desire to explore work featuring a strong female lead, be it memoir, other non-fiction or the most anticipated novel of the year. We seek out the “oldies” and venture into the “up-and-comers.” I like to think there has been something for everyone.
Our goals are to be inspired, to see ourselves in the work we read, to grow and of course, to feed the voracious beast that loves a good story!
Over the past two years, we’ve been entertained by new, best-selling authors (Christie Tate, author of GROUP, came to our inaugural book club!), challenged our ideas of diversity and inclusivity through thought leaders like Sonja Renee Taylor (of the best-selling, The Body is Not an Apology), laughed alongside characters like chemistry-prof-turned-cooking-show-icon, Elizabeth Zott (Bonnie Garmus’ Lessons in Chemistry) and cheered for Charlie as she set out to free herself from the shackles of 1947 societal expectations (Kate Quinn’s The Alice Network).
What to expect:
We meet typically once per month via Zoom and usually take part of the summer off. Our get-togethers are Thursday evenings, around 7:30 pm Eastern Time in North America (Toronto & New York). We try to alternate to Saturday mid-afternoons to accommodate our overseas ladies!
Meetings begin with a round table update so that everyone gets a chance to spill their “beans.” We genuinely care and are invested in each others lives! We want to know how the ongoing renovation project is coming. How much longer until the divorce is finalized. When the next round of job interviews is and what’s happening with the living situation: is he, or isn’t he?!
Naturally, we host a conversation centred around the book we all read (insert me, looking over my shoulder… because I might not have made it past page 5). I like to generate questions that will encourage conversation from readers and non-readers alike.
And that’s when the real magic happens… We end up in these rabbit holes where truths come out, tears are shed and well-meaning advice is shared. I mean, this doesn’t happen at EVERY book club, but like I said, we don’t do fluff.
We also have our own Community on the SWTW Mighty Networks site! All updates, meeting details, book lists and regular hits of inspo are posted here by me as the moderator and our members.
If you’d like to join us, click here.