Thursday, May 15, 2008

Reading Can Take You to Exciting Places! (Like Hollywood)

I have some very exciting news: I am a winner!


And this is way more than a good self-esteem day. I actually won something! For free! Because I can use the internet!

One of my blogging inspirations/friends/peeps, Queen B had a drawing for a book on her site, so I left a very thoughtful, insightful comment and WON! 

(Or it was a random drawing.) 

(Details.)

Since I am literate and in a book group, I thought it might be fun to enter. Plus, she was giving away "Same Kind of Different As Me" which I've really been wanting to read. I've heard several good reviews from actual people I trust, so game on.

Besides bragging on Queen B for being so generous and scholarly, I also thought I'd use this post as a PSA for book groups in general. It might sound intimidating and pressure-packed to join a book group, but that is just a big myth.

In case you're just joining this blog or have grossly misinterpreted everything I've written to date, I am about as low-brow and tabloid-loving as they come. 

That said, Laura Ingalls Wilder and whoever wrote the Babysitter's Club and Sweet Valley Twins developed a love of deep, symbolic literature in my heart sometime around third grade.

Clearly, my passion for fine writing has slowly devolved into a passion for very short articles that contain few big words and much talk about hair products and bookshelf accessorization.

For this reason, I love book group because it forces me to read about 12 books a year. We take turns choosing titles and plow through one book a month.

More accurately, I plow through one book on one day of the month. Ideally, I'd check the book out of the library then slowly savor the dramatic structure, rising action, character development, and use of parallel symbolism while sipping a latte by a roaring fire (or poolside, depending on the season and aquatic ability of my kids.)

Instead, I read/skim the book while ignoring my children and all household duties in order to have the book very fresh on my mind when we convene later that evening in our cardigan sweaters and tortoise shell glasses.

Or sweats. Whatever.

To give you a sample of a book group evening, below are the minutes from one of our typical meetings:

8:00-9:00--Dessert
Honestly, this can make or break a night. There are usually copious amounts of chocolate involved, except when A's husband (who is not even in book group) shamed us all and made sour cream apple pie. I've thought of it almost every night since.

Don't be fooled that we're enjoying casual conversation and catching up on each other's lives during this time. 

We are talking about the dessert we're eating and brainstorming future book group treats.

9:00-9:30--Discussion of Children, Their Sleep Habits, and Various Behavior Issues/Concerns/Abnormalities/Weirdness
This isn't a formal part of the night, but when there are eight moms with 22 kids between us, it's inevitable.

Also, there are many diseases, rashes, tantrums, and bodily functions that must be discussed. 

Because.

9:30-9:45--Mention of the Book We Read (Or Didn't Finish Reading)

9:45-11:00--Miscellaneous Discussion
This portion of the evening probably doesn't need much elaboration. Let's just say I know these girls very well.

And this is where we get a good dose of aerobics because without fail, we laugh to the point of tears. Again and again and again.

The girls are hysterical beyond your wildest imagination and a few are even good with sight gags.

What happens in book group, stays in book group.

11:00-Midnight--You Tube Videos
This is where things really get out of hand and we are hovering around a smallish computer while sharing at the latest YouTube madness that nearly causes bladder issues because of all the laughing.

Epilogue:

Book groups--they are great. Especially if you don't have time to read.

Post-Epilogue:

I'm listing several of the books we've read over the past few years in the sidebar. At least the ones I can remember.

3 comments:

Queen B said...

I am so glad that you won!

I will be checking out your list...

Amy said...

I love Same Kind of Different as Me!! (It's all about Fort Worth!) I can't wait for you to read it and blog about it! The only others I've read on your list are Blue Like Jazz and To Kill a Mockingbird, both of which I love so leave the list up b/c I'm going to assume that most of those are as good as the ones I've read!
:-) ac

Lisa @ Take90West said...

The tagline for our bookclub is 'the reading is optional' and our meeting outline looks very similiar to yours.

Can I just tell you I honestly wanted to be a one of the Sweet Valley Twins? Jessica. And drive the Fiat Spider convertible? They just had the most darn perfect life. And also, the Trixie Belden books? I wanted to be Honey Wheeler.
(I was so confident in my own identity!)