Thursday, August 20, 2009

August Book Club

I joined a local book club. I miss the great discussions in class about the books; the discussions always added so much more to the book. Other readers had ideas and interpretations that I didn't think of, so I figured a book club would be fun. Literary discussion to enrich the text in a social grown-up setting! Wow!

I googled "book club Murrieta" and bingo, found one. From their website, which was awesome, I found out they were reading Wicked by Gregory Macguire for the August meeting. No problemo! I read it, Loved it, and saw the play. Then I read other books by the same author because I loved Wicked so much.

I read this book quite some time ago, two or three years maybe? I then lent it to my friend who saw the musical three times and was hungry for more. Every time I asked her if she liked it, or if she finished the book, she told me she hasn't finished it yet. I finally stopped asking. So, I never did get my copy of Wicked back. I called her last week for it and she didn't know where it was but she'd find it and bring it over "tomorrow". Uh huh. I checked around town for the book and didn't find it; I went to the public library and they didn't own a copy. How does the library not own a copy of this book? Anyway, I went to the book club without being able to refresh my memory on the nitty gritty details, but that's ok. I remember enough. I hope.

We met at this awesome little book store, Eclectic Books. I love it! I had no idea it was tucked back in the corner of the shopping center, maybe because I never go to that shopping center, but it was a gem of a find! Of course, the bookstore owners knew Katie and told me to wish her well. Katie played a show there before she moved to South Carolina.

There were eight ladies there including me. And three of us were named Mary!

I walked into the book store and found a group of ladies sitting around and walked up to them and said, "Hi. Is this the book club?" and one of them said "That's us" so I introduced myself and sat down between two Marys. Someone said, "Did you like the book?" Of course I responded enthusiastically, "I loved it!"

There was a collective groan. They went around and said how they all hated it. Most of them didn't even read to the half-way point. What? Seriously? My big balloon of enthusiasm deflated.

The bookstore owner, Tess, came to the group and handed out bookmarkers and explained the store specials and offered her help to the group. She was nice. She also started to read Wicked and didn't get very far. Ugh. Another one.

At this point, I was very disappointed. I got up to get a cup of coffee that Tess made for the group and I needed to take a moment and shake off the shock. How on earth could anyone not love this book, let alone a group of people! Shock and dismay!

Back to the group. Fine, lets talk about why they didn't like it. I gotta figure this out!

[Gracie wants some attention... this post will be continued... stay tuned!]

Part II...

I got my coffee and sat back down, then another gal showed up. She was perky and happy. She said she liked the book! Yes! I was so outnumbered! Still outnumbered, but not alone now.

We went around and discussed the novel. Mrs. Laid-Back, she said she didn't understand it. Too much politics and religion and ah phooey, so boring. Miss Quiet said she finished it but struggled to the end, just hated it. She gave no reasons why and she never spoke again. Another speechless one said she didn't finish it, it was boring. One of the Marys said she didn't like the tone. The other Mary said it wasn't her genre. (Finally, one of them gives a reason!) On the other side of that Mary, she said she was bored, she almost got halfway through, she just didn't get it.

There were comments about how the book lacked romance, it had too many adult elements, politics was boring, it was hard to follow, the characters weren't like they were in the Wizard of Oz movie, and there were too many big words.

This conversation was just killing me! The group was throwing out all these excuses but they weren't giving examples and they weren't backing up their statements with anything specific. They didn't seem to want to discuss it.

The other lady who liked the book talked about why she liked it. I agreed with her and we talked a bit about how great it was that it is an adult book, had deep characters, involved politics and religion, included geographic imagery, and was complicated and twisted. We talked about the characters, some of the events that took place in the story and some of the characters' traits. We compared the story to the movie Wizard of Oz.

A couple of ladies mentioned they saw the play. I saw the play too, a year ago. It was an amazing musical! So, were these ladies thinking they would be reading a musical? The lady who liked the book hadn't seen the musical. Hmmm....

Conversation quickly turned to Stephanie Myers' Twilight series. They all perked up and got excited, even the two quiet ladies sat up a little taller. I guess they read two of the books in previous months, and the third book they read on their own. Now it was my turn to lose interest. I haven't read any of the Twilight books; I think I'm the only one on the face of the Earth who hasn't.

The next book for the book club is The Time Traveler's Wife. The ladies all decided to go see the movie. Really? Is this a book club or a movie club? Are they all going to like books for young teens and books that are current box office hits? I'm not too sure about this book club. I picked up the book, and I hope it is a good story, but I don't really have my hopes up about this book club. I left the bookstore feeling disappointed.

Does this mean I miss college? Ah, Shucks.


Wolfpak5 said...

Don't feel bad I haven't read the Twilight series either. Jen is not interested but her friend Tanya loved it. I did buy Wicked but haven't read it yet. Was too busy reading your books you sent home with me. I finished all but two. I didn't think I would like The Namesake but it really wasn't bad and now I would like to see the movie. Read Atonement and now will have to see the movie.

Kate said...

Aw, jeez. What a disappointing experience. I haven't read Wicked, but I read Twilight because I got so tired of my students pleading with me to read it. It's not all that well-written, but the author definitely accurately portrays the true thoughts and motivations of a teenage girl. Otherwise, I think it's silly. Plus, vampire stuff gives me nightmares. I'm not going to read any of the other books.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I finished Wicked, but I can't say I liked it. I just found it too dry. Saw the musical later and loved it.

I have no use for Twilight--though I did read the first one.

Time-Traveler's Wife is in my all-time top 20.

I'm the only one in my book group (we've been together for 10 years) that reads every book every time.

Alicia said...

sorry...i am another who could not get through wicked, but i am packing and dealing with kids. you know how it is!

loved the whole twilight series but thought they were a little cheezy! yes i did laugh out loud during the 4th book.

don't give up on stephenie meyer. try reading the host! that is one of my favorites!!

Mom Taxi Julie said...

I haven't read that one. I wonder why so many people didn't like it?

I've been with one of my bookclubs for about a year now. I can pretty much tell who is going to like or not like a book after I've read it. Funny how everyone has different tastes in books.