Back in February, a group of friends and I decided to start our own little book club. This has been great because as you can see from my lack of entries on the “Books” tab of this blog, I’ve kind of fallen off the reading bandwagon. I’m also excited that this open me up to whole new genere of reading that I normally wouldn’t frequent. In the past few years, I’ve centered my reading around non-fiction, development, Haiti, etc. types of books. Obviously this book club leans more towards the fictional, entertaining, kind of books, which I’m excited for, for a change.
With no help from me (because let’s face, I’m just not this creative), the group came up with the name “The Literate Lushes.” I love it! Although I do wish I could enjoy the bottomless mimosas that we seem to center around every month! I can’t wait until the book club when I can drink again, haha.
Anyhow, here’s what we’ve read so far:
February: A Discovery of Witches, by Deborah Harkness
This book was met with some criticism doing our inaugurational book meeting. At first, I was one of these skeptics because it started off sounding WAY too much like another Twilight saga book, except that instead of a frail teenage girl who can’t seem to not trip over herself, you have a helpless witch that can’t use her powers to do the most basic things to protect herself. I guess when you’re writing a book about witches, werewolves and vampires, you have to stick to the main themes surrounding those characters. The basic premise revolves around a witch and vampire that fall in love with each other (duh), and the vampire is constantly trying to protect the witch from one attack after another. Turns out she’s a very special witch and everyone is out to get her, dun dun duuuuun!
A couple readers of the Literate Lushes got a bit annoyed about how much detail the writer went into in describing mundane things, like curtains or couches or something. I have a tendency to skip over a few lines or just read extra fast when I get to stuff like that, so it didn’t bother me much.
Once the book developed a bit more and diverted from the typical Bella and Edward scenario (although to be honest this did carry a bit throughout the book), and found it’s own conflict and drama, the book did get much more interesting to me.
This book is part of a three book series, of if you know me and my obsession for serial reading, I picked up the second book as soon as I was done with the first. I won’t go into detail about that book yet because the Literate Lushes still haven’t read it and I don’t want to spoil anything. I will say that I was very upset to finish book two and realize the third one is still being written. Although not as upset as I was when I finished the last book available for Game of Thrones…talk about a cliffhanger!
March: Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn
This, specifically, is one of those books that I most likely would never have read on my own accord. The description is definitely eye catching, but I just don’t see myself actually taking off the shelf.
However, I’m glad I was forced to! Definitely out of my usual area, but very entertaining book. The book is about a married couple, who sees the marriage deteriorating and falling apart. Both of them make some mistakes along the way, and the husband ends up paying a pretty high price in the end.
I think everyone except myself and the person that picked this book pretty much hated it–or so it seemed when we got together to discuss it. When you start picking it apart–as some tend to do during a book club–you do find a lot of flaws in how the author made up the two main characters and all the madness that ensues, but from a strictly entertainment point of view, this book caught my attention about a third of the way through and was enough for me to want to finish it and figure out what happened.
I think the problem most Lushes had with this book was that you couldn’t really like either character: they both had huge flaws and faults, which made them difficult to root for. I was pulling for the husband just because the wife was such a crazy bitch (literally…and I’m not really a fan of that combination of words), but I could see how you couldn’t even like him very much. Not to mention, then end was pretty disappointing. On the one hand, it was nice because it was not your typical happy ending, but on the other: I like my happy endings!
April: The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak
I won’t go into detail about this one yet because we still haven’t discussed it among the Lushes, but I will say it’s my favorite so far. I will tell you that it’s a sad but inspiring story about a little girl growing up in Nazi Germany, trying to be a normal, poor, German girl. That’s it for now ;)
Guess what? I get to pick next month’s book! I’m having trouble finding something–I’d like to find a book that combines my interest in non-profits/development/poverty, but that isn’t a huge debbie downer and that is still entertaining. Something along the lines of Three Cups of Tea or Mountains Beyond Mountains, but I’ve already read those…
I found a book called Small Acts of Resistance: How Courage, Tenacity, and Ingenuity Can Change the World that has some potential. Sounds inspiring to me but I’m still not convinced it’s the right fit. I know I’m taking a risk by going with a non-fiction book, but I figure that’s the point of this book club: to expose all of us to something we wouldn’t normally read.
Anyhow, if you have any recommendations for my pick, please let me know!