Some facebook thing that I've now lost (found it!) gave a list of rules for a good book club, so I decided to compare this against my happy and thriving club. I also brought them up at out latest meeting, where we had a lot of fun, ate pizza, and talked about Doomsday Book by Connie Willis, recommended other books to each other, and planned our next books through the summer.
1. Don't do it with your best friends.
2. Rotate who chooses the book.
3. Send out advance questions and pass them out at the book club.
4. Do it at work.
5. Call the writer.
6. Build in social time.
7. Size matters.
8. Give ample time between sessions.
9. Have a cell-phone bowl (like a key party).
10. Venture into nonfiction.Monday: Tell the Wolves I'm Home, I'll Give You the Sun, The October Country, Darkship Thieves (completed), Honor's Knight (completed)
Tuesday: When I Was the Greatest (started), The October Country, I'll Give You the Sun, Life After Life
Wednesday: Life After Life (finished), I'll Give You the Sun, The October Country, Codex Born
Thursday: Codex Born, Matilda (started, finished), I'll Give You the Sun
Friday: I'll Give You the Sun (finished), Burn For Me (started), The October Country, Reading and Learning to Read
Saturday: Burn For Me (finished)
Sunday: When I Was the Greatest, The October Country, All the Light I Cannot See, About Last Night
Started three, finished six. The direction is good! Currently reading seventeen books. I'd like to get that down to about ten. (It will never get below that, due to my habits of having some books I only read at certain times, and also needing to have books on my NOOK, phone, car, etc.)
I finished up last month's Vaginal Fantasy Picks. Well, the sequel to one pick (Honor's Knight) and then the alt pick. I'm having a lot of fun with Rachel Bach's series; my older son has finished it and was very happy when I brought home her fantasy stuff from the library. It's got a smart, interesting woman solving the universe's problems with integrity, humor and space guns. Perfect for me. Darkship Thieves was more of a mixed bag -- it is clearly an homage to Heinlein's Friday with both the good and the bad that implies. The main character has enhanced powers and a mixed expression of sexuality; any book that involves grown women using the term "Daddy" is going to leave me cold a lot of the time.
I heard many raves about Life After Life, but I found it a bit tick-boxy. It's like the author had a list of things and issues to make the character go through -- rape? check. Domestic abuse? Check. Hitler's buddy? check. And the questions about individual choice and history were raised much more interestingly in Jo Walton's My Real Children. Each page was easy to turn, but I had no problems putting the book down and a lot of inertia to pick it back up.
Matilda was a fun pick for the school book club. I liked how Matilda and her friends are the smart, moral ones while all the adults are the base, foolish ones. I used that as an excuse to make the kids run the discussion as well as to cover the idea of transgressive texts. It was a good antidote to the teen read I'll Give You the Sun which had two astonishingly selfish and cruel twins, who loved each other heaps but had no qualms about selling each other out at the smallest provocation. Really, both were the kinds of kids who would eat the last two cookies off the plate and tell their siblings there were none left, unless the cookies had nuts or something they didn't like. I wish the endings didn't have them both in romantic relationships, because their partners are in for a rough time, and those two really need to spend some time with themselves.
Ilona Andrews writes books about witty and capable women who get together with superpowered men in a fun and diverting way. This worked well doing what the box said it would do, and I'll keep an eye out for the sequel. I bet my high school son would like it as well.
Books whose bookmarks moved included Tell the Wolves I'm Home which is beautifully written and I enjoy savoring it, but I suspect there are hard times ahead for the narrator so I'm in to hurry to get through it. About That Night is mystery that doesn't have a character to grab me (like the author's Dooley) so I read a little bit and then put it down. Codex Born will probably grab me soon, but right now I keep losing it around the house -- it spent several days on the dryer while I searched for it. And my NOOK's power issues keep me from binging on All the Light I Cannot See, which was sad when the library made it go poof. I have it back again now.
If I finish this in time, I'll report in to Teach Mentor Texts about my readings. Book Journey is on hiatus after a tragedy.
2015 Challenge Progress:
- Cybils 2014: 7/81. Wow, I'm going very slowly. I just had the eighth stolen by my eighth grader, so I guess I'll start a different one.
- Where Am I Reading?: 18/51. Lots of unfortunate duplicates.
- Award Winning Book Challenge: I have apparently stopped reviewing books. But I've ticked off seven different awards.
- Full House Challenge: 22/25. I love this kind of thing.
- Book Riot Read Harder: 13/24. I've done the easy ones.
- Alphabetically Inclined: I V X Y Z still missing. 21/26
- Best of the Best 2012: 52/25. I am stalled.
- Reading My Library: Library temporarily closed, so on hiatus.