A Year of Picnics


The Essential Book of Homesteading















  • Hello darkness my old friend The cold comfort of winterhellip
  • Oh what a long strange trip its been Exactly onehellip
  • In 10 days Alistair and I fly from Asheville tohellip
  • Snow day snow cream sundae making me all kinds ofhellip
  • Cold as ice Hominy Creek which runs beside our roadhellip
  • We made snow cream sundaes and hot chocolate and watchedhellip
  • When I think about my intentions and resolutions for thehellip
  • Happy birthday to this Brazilian beauty You know those kindhellip
  • I went in for the coconut cake SO! GOOD! andhellip
  • Suffice to say Alistair dominated my feed in 2017 Seemshellip
  • Stay frosty Huxley but dont grow up too fast okay?hellip
my sponsors
budha hill natural toysImagine Childhood
Imagine ChildhoodBlissful Belly
Sponsorship Information
blog archive
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008

Feel Good Book Club at Flying Cloud Farm

Flying Cloud 10Flying Cloud 3Flying Cloud 2Flying Cloud 1Flying Cloud 5Flying Cloud 4Flying Cloud 6Flying Cloud 7Flying Cloud 8Flying Cloud 9
You know when you’re with a group of people, and a certain moment occurs when you look around, and see everyone’s faces, and the way they’re interacting with each other, and it just all feels so fully right, so deeply comfortable, so very real, and honest, and sincere? That happened for me last night, with my Feel Good Book Club buddies when we gathered at club member Annie Louise Perkinson’s Flying Cloud Farm.

We’d planned to picnic out in a field in front of the new home Annie Louise and her husband Isaiah are building. As she gave us a tour of the farm and future home, we noticed the quickly advancing, ominously dark storm clouds to the west, and opted to skedaddle back to the house instead. We jumped into Molly‘s car, and as we bumped across the fields back towards Annie Louise’s 100 year-old log cabin, we chatted and laughed, and I saw Annie Louise brush a stray curl off of Cathy‘s forehead while they were chatting. That small, easy gesture, like something you’d do to your younger sister, or best friend, was what did it for me. It’s when I realized just how at ease I’ve become with this group of women.

What started as an idea for a book club involving books that made us feel good (and lacked, say, rapists, or drug addicts, or serial killers-those books can be great, don’t get me wrong, this just isn’t the book club for them) has turned into so much more than that. We always build a potluck meal around our selections, and as we gather together every few weeks to chat and chew, we’ve begun to nourish each other’s lives in ways far surpassing the sustenance we bring with us in covered dishes. The nature of our gatherings, focusing on a literary work, gives us a launching pad for rich conversation. Last night, as we discussed Sue Monk Kidd’s The Invention of Wings, talk moved from slavery, to racial equality, to racial profiling, to bullying, to the treatment of women in the workplace, to the current political race and political climate in the U.S.. We relayed anecdotes, and revealed personal challenges, and encouraged one another. I left with a very full belly, and an equally full heart.

If you’re in the area, I highly suggest checking out what Annie Louise, Isaiah, and their crew are doing. Flying Cloud Farm, located in Fairview, sells their items at three area farmer’s markets, offers a CSA subscription, maintains an April-December roadside stand on the farm, and grows a vast array of flowers available for U-pick as well as sold in bouquets (they do wedding design, too). Their farm is a happy, nurturing place, full of soul, and dogs, and farm interns, and bamboo forests, and bubbling creeks, and vintage bicycles, and snorting pigs, and galloping horses, and so very much more. If you stop by, tell Annie Louise I sent you!

I’ve had a good number of people ask about joining our book club. I’m incredibly flattered by that, that you like what you see us doing so much that you’d like to become a part of the fun. While we’re keeping things small and just between us friends, I encourage you to start a book club of your own, wherever you live. We’re all food-focused women in the Feel Good Book Club, so our meet-ups always involve a potluck. Using that as your template, survey a group of friends about their interest in forming a club, select a book collaboratively, choose your first date and who’ll host, and go for it! That’s what we did, with our inaugural meet up nearly one year ago. It just keeps getting better!

At the conclusion of each meeting, we choose the next month’s selection (the host for that month gets to suggest 3 options for the next reading), who will host next (we rotate hosts each month), and we agree on a date for the following month’s meeting, typically a week night, as weekends fill up so quickly for most folks. As we get into the next month’s selection, we start tossing around potluck ideas via email. It all coalesces pretty naturally and organically.

I’d LOVE it if you’d share book club ideas/themes/tips with me! This is the first book club I’ve ever been a part of. A lifelong, avid reader who sidelined her reading since becoming a mother to those books that I was either writing or reading to Huxley, it feels so, so very good to be delving back into reading for pleasure. I’m curious to hear about your experiences and adventures, snafus and mishaps. Share, please! And thank you, FGBC ladies, for filling my cup, every month, in ways both direct and mysterious.

8 Responses to Feel Good Book Club at Flying Cloud Farm

  • Annie Louise says:

    Awesome post! Love that you caught the moment so well. Thanks for coming over!!

  • amanda says:


  • Molly says:

    So great to see your pictures! They are wonderful. It was a really, really nice evening.
    I love to read, too, and with my other book club, we try to pick books for about 4-6 months out so that you can move on to new ones, or skip around if you like. But, no one is good at remembering which books are up next, so we need a good organizer to remind us each month anyway!

  • Bridget says:

    I love this post!! Nothing better than being with “your people.” I highly recommend Orphan Train and the Nightingale.

  • Misti says:

    What a fun book club and farm! That bamboo thicket looks like a great place to explore!

  • Gloria S says:

    Beautiful location. It looks like a great…group, and fun time. Reminds me of my group of friends in the 70’s.

  • Kaitlin Jenkins says:

    This is incredibly beautiful! I appreciate you sharing your ‘formula’ for getting your group of women together for book club- I’ve been wanting to do sort of a monthly dinner club for quite some time, and the idea of marrying that idea to a women’s book club is beyond enchanting- you’ve left me with so much to ponder. Thank you!

  • jen says:

    Some neighbors and I started a bookclub a year ago and it’s positively changed all our lives. Having this community of women so nearby and in all different stages of life is an amazing gift! We also chose to keep our group small (10 women) and entirely in our neighborhood.
    From our very first meeting, we chose to make every single meeting the same day of each month so everyone could plan ahead and so we avoided those endless strings of emails trying to decide on which date the most could attend. So we meet every second Tuesday at 7 pm and we rotate hosts. We choose our books a year in advance and this year decided to focus on 6 books and then also choose 6 essays/podcasts/articles so we alternate months.