Friday, December 4, 2009

Feeling the Book Club Magic

This week I was invited to a charming book club to talk about Final Approach. I enjoyed the wine, cake balls, and a marvelous pumpkin and cream cheese muffin (I've GOT to get to more book clubs...) but the real joy was in meeting these women. They all work at the same elementary school. Most were teachers, one a librarian, and another a counselor. It's always a treat to hang around with other readers and this group was special because I have a soft spot for educators.

We talked a little bit about where my ideas came from, what I'm working on now, and how the publishing process went for me. We went around the room and discussed which actor we'd cast in the role of Vince. I always pictured him as a young Harrison Ford, but one woman saw him more like Tim McGraw and another mentioned Matthew McConneghey. That's the beauty of books.

One gal had a copy of the book that was obviously water logged. Being a bathtub reader myself, I tried to commiserate with her, but she surprised me. "No," she said, "It's not from the bathtub. It's from the shower." She pointed out that much of the book had not gotten wet, which meant that she liked it because she had to continue reading it in her non-shower life. Books she doesn't really enjoy get read entirely in the shower. Our conversation, her rationale, all of it, cracked me up. So of course I took her picture with my book, twice its normal size.

When I left, I thought back to my old book club. We lasted for a year and then disbanded. It was tough to get our schedules to match up, and there was added pressure of having a book to read on top of whatever we were reading for fun. But the plus side was the social aspect, the pleasure of talking books with others, and being introduced to books and authors I wouldn't have discovered on my own.

Last weekend I had dinner with a friend who said she likes to keep her reading experiences private. Book clubs hold no interest for her because she doesn't want to share her impressions and potentially be talked out of them. I keep so little of what I think private that it took me a while to understand what she was talking about.

How do you guys feel about book clubs? If you belong to one, what do you think?


  1. I don't belong to one, but many times I have wanted to discuss books I've read. Did anybody else notcie that a particular character acted "out of character" and their opinions about why that occurred - Was it on purpose? Did the author just miss the inconsistency? Does anmyone else even agree that it was "out of character"?

    That said, I can definitely relate to your friend who doesn't want to potentially be talked out of her ideas and impressions. To me, that is kind of like when a movie is made of a book I really like and it is all wrong -- so totally and completely diffrent from the pictures and voices in my head when I read it.

    Let's get together and we can talk more about this... :) I'll even make lemon cake balls.


  2. Where was spell check before I hit "Post Comment"?

  3. I agree with your friend. I talk about books, but I don't go into the kind of depth that a book club would because I like to know that my impressions are my impressions and aren't influenced by others.

  4. Cathy, we can talk about whatever you want if you bring those lemon balls. No joke... I'm salivating just thinking about them! Mmm.

    I hear what you guys are saying. The movie analogy drives it home. I remember how disappointed I've been when a movie doesn't do a book justice, or how elated I've been when I've thought the movie got it right on. At the end of any read, my reality of that experience is what it is. I saw and heard the characters a particular way and thought I understood what motivated them.

    To me, it is fun to talk about the finer points like Cathy mentioned. "Did anybody else notice..." usually starts a good talk.