Courtney Edwards is a wife and a mother of two children from Windham who loves plowing through big puddles during ATV season.

Courtney Edwards Submitted photo

But it’s not ATV season anymore. In fact, the season for just about everything has taken a hit since the start of the year when COVID came on the scene. It was at that point that Edwards came in from the muddy trails and turned her attention to more studious recreation.

She started the Facebook group Maine Women & Men’s Book Club/discussion (What Are You Reading)? and really wasn’t expecting much. But as it happens, lots of people have found that good old-fashioned reading has proven to be a nice diversion in troubled times. The book club has taken off, supported by dozens of authors — including Gregg Olsen, Lisa Regan, Barbara O’Neal, Mark Edwards, Kimberly McCreight, J.K. Franko, Bruce Coffin, Shalini Boland and Olive Collins — and a good-sized handful of libraries and independent book stores.

We caught up with Edwards between books recently and got the skinny on her club.

What inspired you to start a book club? I created it a few months when COVID crept in. Reading became a hobby of mine after watching shows like “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Outlander” and then realizing that these shows are based upon books. . . . I had no idea! Instantly, I became passionate about reading, finding new authors and harboring a space where like-minded folk could discuss books, possibilities and stories.

What has been the reaction to the club? One morning I woke to 149 requests to join! This was understandably shocking. It has been eight weeks of adding various creators, people from all over, and readers of every background.

What kind of authors have you been drawing? I am very proud to announce that this group has welcomed over 40 of your favorite authors, poets, and writers.

Any author you haven’t brought aboard yet? I am hunting Stephen King down.

What kind of things do you have lined up? Stay tuned for postings about upcoming readings, zooms and events! This is a fun, positive, open space and all are welcome!

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