I just got home from my book club. Do you belong to one? I am part of an online book club and a wonderful real life book club started by the women of the Methodist church where I work and attend.
But the women in my book club are not what you might expect from a church based club. If mentioning that it is "church based" causes you to picture a bunch of quiet, dowdy, mild mannered ladies, you would be wrong. Nopety nope!
They are almost as crazy and sassy as the women in the Movie "Book Club" pictured at the top of this blog post. As a matter of fact, we all watched that movie together at someone's home a few weeks ago and it was hilarious! The movie is about a group of friends in a book club who decided to read and discuss the book "Fifty Shades of Grey", you can imagine where it went from there.
We did decide not to add that book series to our list.
Here is what is very cool about belonging to a book club. You get to experience the book more than once. Book reading is a solitary activity. But sometimes a book will touch you in a way that makes you long to talk about it. This is where the dilemma arises.
Have you ever had a friend go into detail about a book they are reading that you have not read? It can be tedious to listen and act interested, right? A spouse will often have entirely different taste in reading and you can see the glaze over their eyes as you describe your latest delightful story.
A book club allows you to enjoy the book again as you get together and talk it over. Why did this character do that? What worldview motivated the main character? What did you feel when so and so did such and such? How did this story resonate with you?
As I am reading a book for the club, it affects my attention to detail. Today some of the books came into the cozy living room with little tabs marking certain sections to discuss. I love that! I've written myself reminders of favorite parts or questions that I had.
Today we numbered 12 and it was a discussion full of laughter, sober thoughts and deep questions about life, relationships and trust. We read "Educated" by Tara Westover, an intense and gripping true story that I will not ruin for you here. Look it up. Amazing.
I was hesitant to join this club because I do love to read, but did not like the idea of being told what to read. What if they wanted to read something I know I won't like? Last month we read a book I would not have normally read and I enjoyed it. Did not love it, but did not hate it either. It is good to get bumped out of our comfort zone once in a while. If you do not like a book, that just adds more flavor to the discussion. So it's a win-win.
I guess I should not have worried about the good taste of this particular book club. After all, I met them when they invited me to join them after reading MY book!