My book club just had its first birthday! We’ve read some really fantastic stuff this year – new releases and backlist – and even attended a few author events. And we’ve mostly agreed about the books we’ve read. We all loved one book, thought another was overhyped, were confused by one and inspired by the next.
But our last meeting, well, this time it wasn’t quite what I was expecting. Some of us loved the book selection, and some of us hated it. As we talked it over, we all agreed that it wasn’t a very good book – it suffered from a lot of trouble with the plotting, and rather lazy character development. But because of our different backgrounds, our own separate childhood memories and adult experiences, we all had very unique reactions to the elements of the story. One of us grew up in a small town similar to the book’s setting. Another pointed out an interpretation of the ending based on her volunteer experience as a domestic violence counselor. And I found the book a great disappointment because I loved the author’s previous novel. Luckily we’re all genteel, sophisticated ladies, so our conversation didn’t come to blows or tears!
Reading is so very personal, even when you’re reading “socially,” like in a book club or a blog read-a-long. That’s what makes it so much fun to talk about the books we read! So I recommend you find a book club to join, or start one. And don’t forget the most important part of any club – the snacks!