Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Book club rant

This will be a post without stitching news or stitching photos, so you may want to skip past've been warned.

I belong to a monthly book club and we have a core group of about 10 women, plus or minus two. And it's making me a little nuts.

The majority of the women are older, and since I'm no babe in arms, I should elaborate and tell you that by that I mean they are in their seventies.  Issues?  Can we talk about issues?  My god, if we ever read anything that's not set in the 1940's, I think I'll pass out.  And girls, if you're going to choose a book for your hosting month, will you puh-leeeze get the title right?  Don't tell us that the title is In Her Place when you actually mean A Woman's Place, (set in 1942 - go figure) because then we'll end up with this book:

Instead of this book:
Two entirely different things, am I right?  (And I'm actually more interested to read the first book because it's NOT about World War II.  Plus I love the expression on her face.)

I should tell you that the book for my month (October) is Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book.  I thought it would be cool to switch things up and read a YA novel that was sweet and creative and fun.'s October.  Ghosts and vampires and what's not to love?  And during our meeting last night one of the women unceremoniously dumped it on the table and said, "This is our book for October?  Does anyone realize that it has pictures?"  Which completely pisses me off because since December 2009 -each and every month - they go through the list of books for the year and each and every month I tell them, "NOW LOOK, this is a children's book.  Look in the YA section of the book store.  It's light reading.  It's fun. And it won the 2009 Newbery Medal."  But as usual, nobody listened to me.

I want to scream.  And I know that they are going to hate it.  Of course, they all hated the last book I chose (ironically, set during WWII), The Book Thief.  And I tried to suggest To Kill a Mockingbird, but they didn't want to read it because it was too depressing and "it just goes on and on and on."  (Seriously.  They said that.)

Fortunately, there are three or four other women who read more diverse books and who are open to trying new things.  These three or four other women also seem to be able to keep the discussion about the book and not veer off to discuss why so-and-so got divorced or the latest church gossip.  So I'm happy to be a part of the book discussing subset of the group.  But the other ladies?  Ay-yi-yi.  Making me nuts.

OK.  End of rant.  Back to stitching.


  1. Your book club does not sound fun at all! I'm going to check out your October book on Amazon.

    I just finished reading City of Ashes, City of Glass & City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. Not my genre at all but I LOVED them! I'm glad I stepped a bit outside my comfort zone.

  2. Oh dear. Sounds like you need a different book club. I loved The Graveyard Book btw! It was so much fun! Neil Gaiman is a great author -- the books of his that I've read anyway. I haven't read The Book Thief but I've heard it's good. I'll have to try it. Such a bummer about getting the title of the book wrong. Geez!

  3. Yeah, that's why I can't do those things.

  4. Doesn't sound like much fun :-(

    I saw a book club discussion on Book-TV one weekend; they were having an intelligent discussion about a book that everyone had read and that everyone wanted to talk about. Now that's a book club!

  5. Lee, I would love to be a member of your book club. :D But then, I'm 1) about half the age of the "older" members of your club, 2) a lover of well-written YA novels, and 3) a born pot-stirrer. Hehehe Also? I think that first book you posted looks fascinating.

    Sadly, with a 5 month old in the house, my reading is limited to cereal boxes and traffic signs at this point....

  6. I'm sooo sorry. I haven't been in a book group like that, but I can just imagine the "joy." You poor dear. I'm in the midst of The Graveyard Book now and it's lovely. You're right though, they will hate it.

  7. I am so sorry about your group. Maybe it's time to find a new one.

  8. I think it is time for a civil insurrection! Take the four or five woman who actually like to read and start your own group. I've been in a number or different clubs who have veered from the subject at hand to general gossip. Gossip is OK for a party, but is deadly to a group with a real purpose. I'd rather just read books on my own and leave the groups (who hate or don't even read the selections) to others.

  9. Sorry to hear your book club woes.
    I've never joined a book club and don't think I ever would. The "read this book" smacks way too much of my hated English classes (where we had to read incredibly boring stuff).
    Don't get me wrong, I love to read. But something I pick, not someone else.

  10. I have always wanted to join a real book group but haven't found one nearby. Now after reading about yours I should be glad about it, lol.
    Kathryn's advice sounds good.

  11. This made me laugh!
    My best friend started up a book group and has found that the women who attend fall into three distinct sub groups.
    1. Serious book lovers, who talk in depth about the books.
    2. Book lovers who talk a bit about the book and chat about other stuff too.
    3. The ones who come just for the wine and gossip. (They even asked if it was okay if the didn't have to read the book!)
    I think I would fall into group 2.
    It would be fun to know what your group have to say when they have read the book you chose.

  12. Oh boy. You sound a lot more patient than I would be. I would have complained a long time ago about the WWII books. Personally, I love YA fiction. I read a lot of what my daughter reads as well as everything else that catches my fancy and it would irritate me to be constantly reading about that one time period. I agree with Kathryn that it could be time to branch out with more serious readers.

  13. Your post is a riot! I've never tried a book club. Somehow reading is more of a solitary pleasure for me and, like Blu says, a book club seems more like school and forced assignments. I think I'd be one who came for the punch, cookies and gossip! Thanks for warning me about how annoying that could be.

  14. Sounds like you need a funner book club! Geesh! Good luck!

  15. Oh, Lee... the conversations we could have on this subject. While I don't have the WWII issue, I do have people who either only want to read comfortable books (translation: nothing to talk about) or spiritual books. OY. My little local library may try getting a club together, which would be nice because it would give me some variety. (Maybe we could do a stitching bloggers book club??)


  16. I feel for you. I really do. I've been book clubless for the past five years and I miss it. Tried to find one here and they weren't serious at all. It was all about the wine and the gossip.

    I say breakaway and start your own group.

  17. As long as the book has pictures *of* Neil Gaiman I'm a happy woman. Seriously, I wish I was in your book club.

  18. That doesn't sound like an encouraging book club.
    I have read both the Book Theif and The Graveyard Book and I think they are both absolutely fantastic!
    I am sad that they cannot branch out for you.

  19. I "read" The Book Thief via audio about 2 years ago and fell in love with it. Amazing!! It's a shame that your other members are limiting their exposure to good books.

  20. I am with Kathryn - on that the ladies who like to read about other than WWII get them and branch out. Maybe meet at each others home or a public place to have lunch and discuss. The book you chose sounds great. I am over to the book store to look it up.

  21. I was in a book club once that started out great but then evolved into everyone wanting to read a book that was made into a movie. Then we could skip actually reading the book and see the movie instead on our book club nights. I left after since to me it was now a movie club and not a book club. It is a challenge to find a book that everyone likes and is good for discussion also. A few months have had dud books but other months I have branched out and discovered new authors that perhaps I wouldn't have tried.

  22. Okay, I am laughing right now, because you have just described what my life is like as a middle school English teacher! God forbid anyone be asked to read a book that they don't "think" they will like, why? Because they might actually enjoy it and have to admit it to the person who told them it was a great book!

  23. This is so weird....I just read The Graveyard Book!!!! Loved Loved Loved it!!!!!!

  24. I feel your pain! I used to belong to a book club and ended up leaving the group after about three years due to the same issues. A lunch hour group is forming up at my workplace, so I might check it out.