Monday, April 4, 2011

Will You Join My Book Club?

I've recently joined a few book clubs in Toronto in an attempt to make friends.

Book clubs have always appealed to me.  What's not to like? I like books.  I like clubs. 

I tried to start book club with my friends a few years back.  I was very thorough in the theme department (surprise surprise) - for example, if we read an Amy Tan novel we met at Hon's Noodle Cafe in Chinatown.  Angela's Ashes?  Irish pub.  A Fine Balance?  Indian curry and then somewhere to kill ourselves because the world is without hope.

I think I chose food first, fit the book in later.

It didn't really work.  We would talk about the book for about four minutes and then gossip.  I wanted to seriously discuss the themes, how it made me feel, character arcs, etc.  So it fizzled.

I realize now that this is what most book clubs are.  And I have embraced it.

The Engineer has a lovely friend whose partner is a lawyer.  It really doesn't matter that she is a lawyer, but it will give you some context.  Her group of friends consist of social workers, therapists, and other lawyers who work in the realm of government and/or helping those downtrodden.  Do not picture a corporate lawyer club - these are all women who are very strong in their convictions and work tirelessly everyday for the better good of man.  This is the book club.

And they all met in their feminist club at university.

I too was in a 'feminist' club at university.  As long as you count Alpha Gamma Delta, a club that has a cheer about a squirrel a feminist club. 

There are no hard rules and lines.  I say that it is a feminist club.

I was very excited to go to my first meeting. I loved the book and was very excited to talk about its themes and ideas.  I expected a group of grounded, intelligent women to do the same. 

After a ten minute discussion, it was all about the wine. 

So therefore my kind of book club.

The other book club I joined was through and aptly named 'Girly Book Club'.  The book choices are slightly lighter than the lawyer book club (whose latest choice is about eating meat and how bad it is) and has women from all walks of life.  I really enjoy it and have already met some great people.

Same thing.  Show up, drink wine, talk book for a bit, drink more wine.

Ergo, my kind of book club.

When I mentioned these book clubs to my friend, she turned to me and said, "Is it that kind of book club?"

Umm, the kind that reads books?

No, THAT kind.

I wasn't following - it took a while to understand. 

But here it is:

Turns out, my friend's friend was invited to join a book club by a woman she had just met.  This particular girl lives in a fairly affluent neighborhood amongst 30-something women who have young children and wear UGGS/Hunters as their main footwear.

This girl was happy to be asked to join and offered up her own home as her first meeting (rookie mistake). 

She dutifully read the book, bought the needed wine, and prepared a little feast. All these women, some she knew and some she didn't, came over and she was so excited.

One glass of wine.  No book talk.

Two glasses of wine.  No book talk.

Three glasses of wine.  Still no book talk.

Okay, this girl thinks, we are just catching up and getting to know one another.


Apparently the 'book club' was just a cover for 'swinger moms who want to make out with women but not tell our husbands' club!!!!!!!!!!

Much to this girl's horror, she let it be known that she was uncomfortable and didn't want to participate.  I wonder if she kept trying to bring the conversation back to the book.

Eventually, the women poured out onto the front lawn, the neighbors complained, and the swinger ladies spread rumors about this girl so that she wouldn't tell the truth about them.


When my friend told me this I was in shock/hysterical laughter.  I felt this seems right our of a movie/bad TV show.  Is that not crazy?

So many questions arise. 

How do you start a book club like this?  How do you recruit?  When do you think someone is 'suitable'?

My friend is a bit upset they haven't asked her.

I guess it's always nice to be asked to join a book club.

1 comment:

Mrs.B said...

hahahaha...I have been thinking of starting a book/dinner/wine club, but not making much progress.
(Never knew about the UGG swingers club...may have to google it.)

When I lived in NOLA, I did these things all the time(minus the swinging), but in my little town now...there are NO stop lights...LOL...what do you think "supper" club will mean to them?

Great blog!