Last night we had our monthly book club get together.
Over the past few months we’ve switched from meeting at coffee shops and restaurants to rotating through each others homes and apartments. We originally began in coffee shops as our group was so tiny and I was the only common link between everyone. Desperate to try and build some friendships in my new town, I emailed every girl acquaintance I knew between the ages of 20 – 30 within a 30 km radius of my apartment, hoping that a couple might respond and be interested in joining a book club.
We started with four, and now–18 months later–we’re up to nine. Nine fabulous women whom I look forward to seeing each month, if we haven’t already made plans to get together in between meetings.
When I first proposed the idea of the book club, a lot of people laughed at me. I realize that not everyone enjoys reading like I do, and I think most people envision a book club being a bunch of stuffy old ladies in long skirts sitting in a parlor discussing Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.
In truth, it couldn’t be further from the opposite.
Each month we invade someone’s home and potluck some type of food. Sometimes we try and have a “theme” (appetizers, Indian, etc) and sometimes we just bring what we’re craving. We crowd around a table or crash in the living room and usually spend so long catching up with one another that someone has to crack the whip and get us to talk about what we read for a little while.
Sometimes it’s 5 minutes, sometimes it’s two hours.
In any case, we talk and eat and visit for hours… it’s just not always about the book. haha! Usually it’s a glorified girls night, and the book is just the common thread that pulls us all together every month.
We each take turns choosing what we read. We just finished Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua, and we’re moving into Still Alice by Lisa Genova for October, when we’re also going to gorge on a post-thanksgiving feast.
Sometimes I still can’t believe that it all worked out. That I not only got my book club, but also the group of incredible girlfriends I can count on for anything and love to spend time with.
I know it’s only been a day, but I’m already looking forward to next month…
…and I know exactly what I’ll be thankful for. :)
Tonight was book club night.
I know I keep saying this over and over, but I love my book club girls. Seriously. When I first dreamed about starting a book club, I couldn’t have even imagined a greater group of women than this. We’re all so different, but at the same time have so much in common. I look forward to book club night all month long.
This month we read Room by Emma Donoghue. It was my pick–I first saw it while browsing through a store during boxing week. The cover immediately caught my eye, and after reading the brief synopsis on the back I knew I had to read it. I brought it up as a possibility at our last “meeting”, and it was chosen as our book.
It’s told from the perspective of Jack–a curious 5 year old boy who has lived his entire life inside “Room” with his mother, who was kidnapped at age 19 and has been held captive for 7 years.
It was one of the most interesting books I’ve read in a long, long time. It’s not necessarily dark, but there are definitely some disturbing aspects to the story that left me thinking long after I put the book down. It’s hard to imagine ever being in such a dire situation, let alone seeing it through the eyes of a 5 year old who has no idea that a world outside “Room” exists.
We had a long discussion about the novel which then branched off into long discussions about breast-feeding (I have a whole post about this coming…), teaching and life at large… before moving on and sharing embarrassing and funny stories that had me laughing until my sides hurt.
I’m usually very conscious of time, but before I knew it two and a half hours had passed and no one seemed in any hurry to leave. This was the first time we met at someone’s home instead of a coffee shop / apartment, and it was such a different feeling… it was was cozy and relaxed, and if I didn’t have to work tomorrow I wouldn’t have minded staying to visit even longer than we did.
It was an absolutely lovely evening… and I hope yours was too.