Of the countless new relationships that came from the release of my novel, American Dervish, Julie Goler is certainly among the most cherished. She is passionate, whip-smart, deeply committed to her book clubs and to the authors fortunate enough to make the club reading list. I looked forward to every club and honestly felt like I couldn’t have been in better hands. She was such a joy to work with.
-Ayad Akhtar. Author of American Dervish.
Julie Goler makes the potentially disastrous and awkward encounter between author and readers a charming, insightful and pleasant experience. Her questions are smart, leading to funny and instructive exchanges. Her deep appreciation for reading relaxes and encourages so that author and reader are both wiser from their meeting.
-Rafael Yglesias. Author of A Happy Marriage.
If Julie were a song, she’d be a Beach Boys classic circa 1964, a power harmony blast of sunshine that makes good book club meetings great and bad book club meetings impossible. Her extraordinary passion for literature opens up a special world into a book beyond what’s on the page. Her preparation and professionalism is the tonic she gives authors to relax and discuss things they’d never think to offer up themselves. Trying to run a book group without Julie is like driving a car blindfolded — possible, but ill-advised. If I had my way she’d lead each book club I participate in. In fact, I’m putting that in my book tour rider, right after yellow peanut M & Ms in every dressing room.
-Brando Skyhorse. Author of The Madonnas of Echo Park, winner of the 2011 Pen/Hemingway award and the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
For years, I was in a book group with a bunch of wonderful women from all around Los Angeles. We did not have a facilitator, but chose the books ourselves. Many of the women didn’t get around to actually finishing the books, and so the discussions tended to be fairly brief and uninspired. Over time, the group got more and more focused on the dinners served than the reading itself! After five years, I ended my association with this group and looked for a new one. This time, I found Julie Goler and she fit me in to a group of women close by. Having Julie as a facilitator makes all the difference! She chooses the books, leads the discussions and keeps it all moving along. We have snacks, not 5 course dinners, and the emphasis is definitely on quality literature and improving our analytical skills as readers. An added bonus has been Julie’s ability to pull in authors to speak to us in person or on the phone at meetings. I highly recommend Julie Goler’s book groups.
-Mary Kay. Therapist.
I have been a member of one of Julie’s book groups for almost 10 years. It has been a great literary journey. With Julie’s guidance, I have read wonderful books — both contemporary and classic — and have thoroughly enjoyed discussing them in at members’ homes in relaxed, intimate settings. Julie stays extremely well-informed about what’s hot in the literary world and always suggests interesting, thought-provoking books. Friends and family who are not in one of Julie’s groups come to me for book recommendations, which makes me feel pretty well-informed too. As an English major, I crave great books and informed literary discourse, but have no interest in a classroom setting. Julie’s book groups are the perfect alternative! It is an absolute pleasure to meet, engage and read with her each month.
-Sarah. Recovering attorney. Mom.
Julie brings the enthusiasm of a passionate reader; the knowledge of an experienced teacher; and the inside scoop gained from personal connections to authors to her book groups. There is truly no comparison between a “regular” book group and a group led by Julie. You will understand books at a new level, enriching the entire experience of being a reader. Don’t just read – be transformed!
-Michele. Law Professor. Mom.
Julie consistently picks books that are not only fascinating to read, but that also lend themselves to lively and informative discussions. My experience with Julie far surpasses that of the other, unmoderated, groups that I have been in. Julie’s warm, capable leadership style provides a forum that allows all to participate. We have intellectual discussions, and we always have a lot of fun
-Leanne. Retired Counselor.
Julie is everything you could desire in a facilitator – she has an academic background, but also incorporates many newsworthy and contemporary reflections on each title. She elegantly researches and provides background information about the author and the work, sharing reactions among her students and other groups while allowing readers to express their responses and opinions without inhibition. She avoids “literary anarchy” by giving everyone an opportunity to speak, while keeping “side-bar” conversations to a minimum. Because of her vast networking talents, her groups often include a personal visit by the author. Julie’s passion for good stories, well-told, helps each reader understand the true power of literature, asking each of us to look at our own values, choices, and responses. With genuine interest and creative perspectives, Julie continually helps us discover more about ourselves and others in the group.
Julie selects books that I would not necessarily read on my own, and she offers background information, insights and things to consider before we officially discuss the evening’s title. As the moderator, Julie engages all book group participants with thoughtful questions and provocative responses. She keeps us focused on analyzing the book and comparing it to others we have read. In addition to being a kind, intelligent person, Julie always has great restaurant, theatre and movie suggestions!
-Marci. Mom. Activist.