As we’ve mentioned on the blog before, we have a DGLM book club. Unlike most book clubs, we usually read different books, then report back to each other on what we’ve read. Some of us are better at book club than others. Jane, for instance, usually finishes her books so far in advance of our meeting that she needs to read her report to remember what the book was about. Others spend their lunch breaks day of, furiously typing away.
While I hate book club (it always seems to creep up on me), I also love book club. First off, it forces me to do some extracurricular reading. Not that I don’t read outside books, mind you. Right now I’m reading Those Across the River by Christopher Buehlman and Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt, and can’t wait to start The Stranger’s Child by my favorite, Alan Hollinghurst. But with book club, I’m forced to read things I’d never have picked up on my own. For instance, it was book club that introduced me to Hollinghurst, when I would up with The Line of Beauty, a behemoth of a book that I probably would have used as a doorstop, what with my love of short books.
This month, we’ve actually all read the same book, The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach, which has been a great surprise for me. Yeah, I know, it’s gotten tons of acclaim, and I read all the rave reviews. But I hate baseball. Maybe even loathe it. It’s a sport I’ve never understood. But as the reviews have pointed out, it’s not a book about baseball, even when it is, and I’m happy that I was forced to read it, because it was one hell of a read.
How about you all: any favorites that started out as required reading, either through a book club or school?