Book Club Disasters

I love my book club.  It is made of of some of my favorite people.  Some of us have been reading books together for over 20 years!  We’ve really become a strong community by reading and talking about books together.  We’ve read novels (We even tackled Anna Karenina early in our book club’s history.) , short stories, self-help books, popular books, classics (Rebecca by Daphne De Maurier was one of my favorites.), and some children’s literature.

We meet about every 6-8 weeks.  One person picks the book and hosts the meeting.  The host usually tries to create a food experience that reflects the text. (When we read a book about Shackelton’s polar adventures, the host had ice cream in lots of different flavors!) We all try hard to read the books and make the meetings, but we also live busy lives and don’t always live up to our best intentions.  Tonight is going to be one of those nights for me.

Tonight is my book club meeting night, and I think (for me) it might be a disaster. First of all, I’m not finished with the book (number one book club sin.) We read Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. I only have about 5 chapters left. It’s almost worse than being half way or not having read at all!  I’m at a pretty intense part of the book, so it’s a terrible place to be when you are about to meet with your club.  They are going to give away all that I have been working to figure out!

The second part of the disaster is that I really didn’t like the book (and that’s being sort of kind).  I always hate being the one to say, “I didn’t like it!”  I don’t know why.  I’ve done it plenty of times and it often leads to good conversation.  I really didn’t like our last book (Educated) either, but I picked that one, so I didn’t worry about hurting anyone’s feelings.

And the third part of the disaster:  I have to leave early (number two book club sin)!  I have a big event I’m planning for tomorrow, my daughter’s coming out of the city, so I can only stay for an hour.  I feel like the worst book club member ever when I don’t go to a meeting or leave early.

So there you have it, I’m heading into a disaster.  Wish me luck!

11 thoughts on “Book Club Disasters”

  1. I just finished that book. I felt conflicted about it too. Did the conversation change your mind at all about the book? It’s my turn to choose a book for my club, and I’m reluctant to pick Crawdads even though it’s been on the Times best seller list for more than 20 weeks.

    1. The conversation did help me see some things differently – I was pushed to appreciate the science a bit more. I think we all left the conversation wondering why this book is so popular. We felt that the story was unrealistic (unbelievable, really) and that the characters were pretty flat. All in all, most people felt like it was a quick read, but not a great book. My father always reminds me that being on the best seller list just means that lots of people read the book, not that it’s a great book.

      1. Unbelievable, yes. How did she learn to read so fast for one thing. And she becomes a best-selling author and only one sibling recognizes her name and seeks her out? They can’t all be dead.

  2. I think when we think we are going into a disaster – it softens the blow of the pending crash! I hope this was true for you! Thanks for capturing the reality of being in a book club!

  3. Sometimes the stars just don’t align,and that is okay! As for not liking the book–stand your ground and state your opinions! I let my kindergarteners vote on every book we read aloud in the library, always reminding them that it’s okay if they don’t like a book–not every book fits every reader. The important thing is that you gave it a try! For my upper grades, I tell them they need to read at least ten pages per grade (3rd-30, 4th-40…) before making a decision. For us old folks–it’s our age in pages that’s my rule for trying out a book.

  4. I hope it wasn’t the disaster you feared. With long term friends like these it’s hard to imagine them being anything other than forgiving. It has also been a recent learning of mine that it’s not a crime to stop reading a book we don’t like, perhaps even a book club book.

  5. I’ve been in a book group for years too, and it is always stressful if you haven’t finished the book or don’t like the book. But I’m sure the comraderie that your group shares makes for an acceptance of each other’s flaws.

  6. I would live to be in a book club! Yours sounds amazing. We tend to beat ourselves up when we truly value something. I bet the other members know how much it means to you, despite life interfering this time!

  7. I have dreamed of being in a book club. It would be so much fun to discuss different books with others and see how each of us felt about the book.
    I am sure that you will be forgiven by the others this time around.

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