***** May be some spoilers *****
I have always thought it would be nice for me to join a book club. I don’t have many people I speak frequently too, to be able to talk about books with. I usually just bore people as I go on and on and on. My partner is a good egg and he tries to listen and fair play to him he does very well in paying attention and he asks the right questions, but I thought I would be nice and give him an itty bitty break.
One of my friends who works at my local town library messaged me one afternoon and asked if I would be interested in joining a new book club she was organising (as she knew I was obviously fond of books.) Eager to be more sociable and meet new people I said of course! Then waited patiently for the first meeting. We all nervously sat around the large table and waited for Beth (the organiser) to start us off. We went around the table and introduced ourselves, you know the usual I am this person I work here and I like reading so and so. It felt very good to get out of the flat and be sociable, as at times I find that I do find reasons to stay inside. NOT ANYMORE!
After our third meeting I was surprised to see how different everyone’s opinion of the books were. Our first book was Stoner by John Williams. I have to admit that I did really like this book. Not for the events or the drama (because there wasn’t really any drama) but how real the characters were written. How relatable they were to me. It made me feel as if I wasn’t alone in some of the actions and decisions I have made in the past. However, half of the reading group thought otherwise. They couldn’t manage to get into the story (we have all been there.) They thought that the character of Stoner was weak and basically a fool. So, we argued, well debated, about the character of the protagonist and in the last few minutes I came to the conclusion that the novel was indeed a love story. They say you never forget your first love, Stoners first love was books, and books were the only constant thing in his life. It was a love story about a man and his books.
Our second book was The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry. Now this was a completely different story (well in so many words.) I noticed that the people who enjoyed Stoner could not actually get through this latest novel, and the people who did not like Stoner had loved reading TSS. How strange! I thought to myself. The very minute part of me that always wanted to be a scientist immediately wanted to hook us all up to machines and see what our brains were thinking. The overall story wasn’t that much different yet we all had different views. Bar the 2% of the group who loved both books.
Safe to say I am enjoying Book Club a lot. It is broadening my literary horizons immensely. And even though I couldn’t finish TSS I am determined to finish it at a later date.
The next book is The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave which our founder Beth, actually won for us on a website that runs competitions to give out a certain number of books to book clubs around the country. I love that we are able to silently do something to help the library gain more books.
I am excited to read this one, but we shall find out within the next month whether it lives up to our expectations.
Are you a part of a book club? If so, what are you reading this month? Are you enjoying it? Let me know!
Happy reading everyone!