Tuesday, August 9, 2011

In Da Club

I'm involved in a book club. I know, I know. You rolled your eyes and thought what everyone thinks. Book clubs are just excuses for women to get together and drink and gossip. Heck, half the time they don't even read the book. And generally, you're right. I've been in those book clubs. We talked about the book for about 15 seconds and proceeded to let the vino flow.

I'm all for a drink with friends, but I love to read and I love to talk about books (durh, hello, I'm an English teacher), so a real book club--one that talked about books--was something that really appealed to me.

My friend Bree and I were always talking about the great books we were reading, and plotted to read books together so we could talk about them. When that kept not happening, she decided to institute a book club. So out went a mass email to the entire school. Guess who responded? Yep, English teachers and librarians. Do you think we read the books? Uh, yeah. And we even talk about them. At length. Often, when the subject changes, as it did today, someone will say, "are we done with the book?" And everyone will utter a collective, "NO!!" We get back on topic. It is wonderful.

So today I was surrounded by six amazingly intelligent women discussing Cutting for Stone. Like the book nerds we are, we discussed character development, the significance of the title, repetition, and even diagnosed a character with Asperger's syndrome. (Hey, we're pretty amazing, what can I say?)

And if you didn't believe me when I blogged about the beauty and complexity of this must-read in this post, you should reconsider. Everyone in the club L-O-V-E-D the book and we were all touched in some way by the text. (All of the married gals seemed to really like the idea of marriage for a year, BTW.)

I think Abbie was dead on when she said Cutting for Stone is one of the most intense books she has read in a while. It certainly is no beach read, but I think if you give it a shot, you'll see that it is complex, rich, moving and definitely worth the time invested in the read.

What's next, you ask? We'll be changing gears to a little nonfiction. Bonobo Handshake is up next.

I snuck a peek at Vanessa Woods' website and am pretty excited to read the book. Dotty, who recommended the book, has already read it. She literally gushed about it today. And if my book loving librarian friend isn't enough of an influence, you should read the reviews on Amazon, or even Woods' website.

I'll keep you posted.

In the meantime, I also recommend  People of the Book. Dotty gushed about it last book club meeting. (This gushing isn't as frequent as it sounds. Nor is it at all annoying--as gushing tends to be. It is simply one book lover speaking the language of book love to another.)

I can't put People of the Book down. It is smart, it is fascinating and it is inspired by a true story. While it is a wonderfully written piece, it definitely makes me cringe at the atrocities human beings commit on one another in the name of religion. In this case, Geraldine Brooks traces the plight of members of the Jewish race.

What are you reading? Ever been in a book club with English teachers and librarians? Ever had a nightmare about being in a book club with English teachers and librarians?

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