10 November 2008

Pressure's on!

I joined my current book club about six months ago. I don't usually write about book club but this is a special case -- this is the first month I've gotten to pick the book. So I assume if they were going to kick me out, they would have done so before letting me steer the thing.

Typically, we all take turns picking the book in however way we like. One member came with three choices and had us give input on those before she made her final choice. Another, far more bolder than I, came in with a book she loved (Janet Frame's SCENTED GARDENS FOR THE BLIND) and we talked about that.

I picked a book I've been meaning to read for a while ever since I heard the author interviewed on NPR, and which my friend Katy (who isn't in the club) told me was one of the best books she read last year, Lionel Shriver's THE POST-BIRTHDAY WORLD. I got it from Bookmooch a while ago and had been putting it off, and I figured this would force me to finally read it. (And so it was!)

I've finished the book, which I liked but didn't love, and wondering at my wisdom of picking something I hadn't read when I made the choice last month. There's plenty to discuss in there, but what if there weren't? We've never had a book about which there was nothing to discuss, but certainly some books are richer in that kind of material than others. Then again, it seems kind of silly to screen books specifically for a book club. (My mom tends to grouse that her club's picks ought to be screened; they pick at the beginning of September for the next year, and she tends to get crabby after 3 or 4 books she didn't like.)

And then there was this conversation I had with Katy when I told her that I had picked the book on her recommendation:
"Oh," she said.
"It's just... No one else I recommended it to liked it."
"They all were like, 'Why am I reading about this woman's midlife crisis?'"
Yep. I wonder if the tea shop we usually meet in will let me carry in a fifth.

POST-BIRTHDAY WORLD widget via HarperCollins.com.

1 comment:

Emily said...

oh book clubs. don't even get me started. mine is interesting. i haven't picked a book yet, either... i have suggested a lot but they get squelched fast. there are a lot of politics involved...