There’s a notion in theater that you shouldn’t display a gun in Act I if you’re not going to shoot yourself in the a$$ in the Final Act (or something like that). Following that mindset, I don’t want to create a Part I without making good on its other half, so here goes…
My book club met and discussed this month’s selection, The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance, a memoir about twenty-something, Elna Baker. Elna is a single Mormon living in New York, trying to figure out what she believes about her faith, her life, and how many boys she needs to kiss along the way. Some of our thoughts;
- It definitely had its funny moments. A chapter called, “Babies buying Babies,” where the elite of New York’s youth come in to “adopt” dolls, was of special note. Another LOL moment, was the author’s proclamation, “I am a dirty cookie.” (Think of a fortune cookie costume gone horribly, pornographic-ly wrong.)
- We found some of Baker’s stories hard to believe. She had proved herself to be a liar (for a laugh?) a few times too many.
- Though we enjoyed the book, some were sick of the author by the end — too much “me, me, me” ranting? A reader needs to be an active participant, not just an observer.
- Final insights of the night?…Well, by that point one of our book club members was telling us a story about how her son had found a live possum in his baseball helmet right before a game was supposed to begin, so (as you can imagine) we had much more interesting things to dissect from there. Aren’t book clubs fabulous?!
Book clubs really have so much to offer. Hopefully, you’ve assembled an eclectic group of readers who can provide thoughtful opinions, varying insights and critiques, and differing points-of-view. I’ve changed my mind about a book more than once — giving it a second chance only after a persuasive friend opened my eyes to its (hidden) merits. If you’re a writer, listening to book discussions is invaluable: What worked for the audience? What did they hate? You’ll never please everyone, but paying attention to these cues sure can’t hurt.
When “book-talk” morphs into a series of story-swapping involving live critters…hey, that works, too. Reading, thinking, questioning and chit-chat can be a welcome change from a day that might have been spent pushing around pencils, strollers, or your teenager’s attitude.
What do we do when there’s nothing much at all to say about a particular book? Head to the food and beverage table, my friends, and look forward to next month!