Book Club

November 18, 2008 at 12:21 pm 51 comments

Tonight is the first meeting of my very first book club. I mean, it’s not mine, in that I didn’t start it, but it’s mine in that I’ve read the book and I’m planning to attend and discuss.

I’ve always been a little intimidated by people who talk about their book club. I’ve always pictured them as people much smarter than me gathering in a wood-paneled library-ish room, maybe dressed in tweed, with herringbone socks and wire-rimmed spectacles. They would throw around words like verisimilitude and polysyndeton and everyone would nod their heads thoughtfully and pretend to understand.

By the way, I don’t know those words. I Googled “literary terms” and found the two words that were the most obscure to me. For me, reading is more of a gut-level activity. I either like something or I don’t. Something I read either draws me in or it doesn’t. I’m not a very analytical reader. So perhaps this club will be good for me, teaching me how to read differently.

I’m pretty sure my first book club meeting will not be like I’d pictured, because I already know some of the people in the club, and from what I know of them, they’re not going to be wearing tweed. They might know more about literature than me, and that’s cool. I’m looking forward to hearing other peoples’ ideas and listening to what struck them about the book.

Most of all, I’m excited for a night out of the house.

What good novels have you read recently? And if you can’t think of one, it might be time to curl up with a good story.


Entry filed under: Books.

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51 Comments Add your own

  • 1. jennylovesjohn  |  November 18, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    Hi Molly! Wow!! I, just this morning, finished The Heavenly Man by Brother Yun with Paul Hattaway. Unbelievable!! It’s actually a true story written about the experiences of Brother Yun and his suffering as a house church leader in China! Wow!! It will change the way you hold your Bible and think about what it means to be a follower of Christ!! I highly, highly, super-highly recommend it!!! Here’s a link to the bookstore (it’s the 2nd book down) on the website of his current ministry- amazing!!!!

    Enjoy our night away from the munchkins, as cute as they are!! πŸ™‚

  • 2. jennylovesjohn  |  November 18, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    awkward!! I’m not coming with you- enjoy Your night away!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  • 3. julia  |  November 18, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    Nicholas Nickleby, by Charles Dickens. LOVED it.

  • 4. Michael Smith  |  November 18, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    I can’t think of a novel that I’ve read lately, but I’m pretty sure you’re description of book club members should be in a novel somewhere.

    Seriously, that paragraph is incredibly well-written!

  • 5. casey zachary  |  November 18, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    The Almost True Story of Ryan Fisher by Rob Stennett. It is about a non christian business man who plants a church.

  • 6. Chelsea Bass  |  November 18, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    I recently read the Twilight series. I know it is not sophisticated and it is meant for teenage girls, but I just couldn’t help myself.

  • 7. Chelsea Bass  |  November 18, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    By the way, what book did you read for the club?

  • 8. ToilingAnt  |  November 18, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    I recently finished “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy, and before that, “Gilead” by Marilynne Robinson. Both were excellent (for very different reasons, though). However, I’m not completely sure I’d recommend The Road, unless you’re comfortable with very dismal, post-apocalyptic plots! On the other hand, reading Gilead feels like being wrapped in a cozy quilt.

  • 9. Sandra  |  November 18, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    I hosted my book club a couple weeks ago. I picked Little Women because I started it in 3rd grade and never finished it (but lied and told my teacher I read it). I really enjoyed it and am glad I cleared my conscience!

  • 10. Jen  |  November 18, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    I recently read “Their Eyes Were Watching God”. I enjoyed it very much.

  • 11. Kirstjen Pratt  |  November 18, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    I’m currently reading “The Count of Monte Cristo!” It’s excellent so far! Actually, I had the abridged version from one library, when it was due I turned it in and went to another library to check out the unabridged version. Call me _____ (insert obsure word that fits here), but it bothered me to not read the ENTIRE book.

  • 12. Shannon Archer  |  November 18, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    I just finished “The Invisible Wall” by Harry Bernstein. It is similar to “Angela’s Ashes” by Frank McCourt. I loved both.

  • 13. Ruth  |  November 18, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    I enjoyed reading Middlemarch by George Eliot while concurrently watching the 6-hour BBC miniseries. The miniseries sets things up for me and the book adds all the character development, more backstory and what the characters are thinking.

  • 14. Nancy Spring  |  November 18, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    Marilynne Robinson’s “Home.”

    I was so looking forward to it, since my husband (an English Lit prof) and I thoroughly enjoyed her “Gilead.” “Home” is a worthwhile read, beautifully-written, but disappointing when I compare it to “Gilead.”

    I do admire how Robinson has constructed this novel “overtop” of “Gilead.” The two novel together tell different parts of the same story, and from different perspectives.

    Lots to discuss in a book club, though right now, my husband is my only book club, and he’s not finished the novel yet!

  • 15. MrsMK  |  November 18, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    Enjoy your night out!!

  • 16. nmwally  |  November 18, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    I was in a book club once, and it was so much fun. No tweed, but lots of girl chat and interesting thoughts thrown around.

    It’s been far too long since I’ve curled up with a book, too. I’ve recently made a new “resolution” to always be reading 1 classic and 1 contemporary book. Currently “Persuasion” by Jane Austen is my classic and “Feminine Appeal” by Carolyn Mahaney is my contemporary.

    What book did you read for your club?

  • 17. Cara  |  November 18, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    I just read Les Miserables. It was a bit intimidating to start, but I finished it in two weeks, (although I had three days of laying on the couch with Giardia). What a fantastic story. Even though most people know the story, the book far outweighs any production. It is also adrenaline-producing, so be prepared.

  • 18. jennapants  |  November 18, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    oh my!!! laughter shot out as I read, “and everyone would nod their heads thoughtfully and pretend to understand.”

    that TOTALLY matches my vision! HI-larious.

  • 19. diane  |  November 18, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    Just finished reading The Whiskey Revels by Liss… historical fiction… It was excellent. to the one who read Count of Monte Cristo, that is my all time favorite.
    enjoy your night out Molly!

  • 20. diane  |  November 18, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    CORRECTION: The Whiskey Rebels NOT Revels . πŸ™‚

  • 21. bubbles  |  November 18, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    We read Some Buried Ceasar by Stout for this month- a mystery. Last month we read The Whistling Season by Doig- it is just wonderful. What did you read/

  • 22. Rachel  |  November 18, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    Dang, Molly, I just looked down and I’m wearing a corduroy blazer. It’s hot pink and has it’s original elbows intact, so I don’t think it can be interpreted as Professor Tweed. Do you? Looking forward to nodding heads with you in my “library.”

  • 23. Stacey  |  November 18, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    Impressive words Molly……….I dont’ think I can even pronounce or enunciate them……I do live in AR ya know.

    I love tweed and snow and wood burning fires.

    I finished “Veil of Roses” recently and I wished that book would have been 1000 pages. I still find myself duing the day wondering what could have been had the book been longer. It truly is a good read….pick it up at Target. Or google it or something.

    I am ALWAYs reading “The Wisdom of Menopause” by Dr. Northruppe and I highly recommend it to anyone…….I dont’ care whether you are close to menopause or not. It really sheds informative light on women’s hormones/bodies at all stages of the game and prepares you for what is to come.

    Every night I read Polar Polar Bear What do you Hear? I go to bed hearing a Flamingo Fluting in my EAR.

  • 24. Stacey  |  November 18, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    PS….I hope there are snacks at your book club…..what is a book club w/out snacks…………………….I just love snacks!

  • 25. Kristin  |  November 18, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    I’m going to my first night at a book club too! Hope you enjoy!

  • 26. jennapants  |  November 18, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    i had to come back and read comments…and now officially love your cousin Stacey!!!

  • 27. Patty Broberg  |  November 18, 2008 at 7:08 pm

    Hi Molly!

    I haven’t really spent much time reading for a couple of years, but lately I’ve found some really good books that it’s really hard to put down!

    I’m currently reading “Deception” by Randy Alcorn… the third in a series. The first two are “Deadline” and “Dominion.” They’re all excellent (murder mysteries), but the one that got me going on his books was “Heaven” followed shortly by “Safely Home.”

    “Safely Home” might be the best novel I’ve ever read… made me really think about those who are persecuted and martyred for their faith in Jesus.

  • 28. Rachel  |  November 18, 2008 at 7:57 pm

    As I”m sure you know, I’ve finished teh entire Twilight series in about a week. It was an incredible experience. They are marketed towards teens, but they are more mature than that.

    I think they were truly so addictive though that I didn’t enjoy them as much as I could becuase I was hungrily going through them so fast.

    i loooooove reading πŸ™‚

  • 29. Lisa J  |  November 18, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    I completely agree with your preconceptions of a book club. I’m in an email book club which used to be an ‘in-the-flesh’ bookclub but most people moved away. We are reading Villette by Charlotte Bronte and I am really liking it (except for all the french that is eluding my 4 years of high school french) – thankfully the Penguin edition has lots of notes that help. The Chosen One by Chaim Potok is a fave I recommend along with Ferber’s, So Big. (don’t mind the punctuation errors, please) Both are considered youth books, but I enjoyed them as an adult. I love book recommendation posts because I get so many ideas and reading is one of my favorite things to do.

  • 30. Debby  |  November 18, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    I’m glad to have read your post & these comments, Molly. I’m always looking for books to help strengthen my mind & enlarge my heart (I got “enlarge my heart” from hearing Julie S a couple of years ago…she’s a great resource for book suggestions, no?). I feel like I’m working from a big deficit since I wasted so much of my teen years & then spent most of my 20’s working, now am (gladly) spending 30’s chasing babies.

    Two books that’ve been real beneficial this year are “Stepping Heavenward” by Elizabeth Prentiss and then the bio on her life that Sharon James did titled, “More Love to Thee.”

    You and Abraham both do a great job on your blogs…thanks for posting such helpful, worthwhile stuff.

    Blessings to you,

  • 31. Neely Tamminga  |  November 18, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    I would, in general, like to find more time to read books and novels. That said, I always feel some guilt when I’m NOT reading the Bible. Is that normal for other Christian women?

  • 32. Angela Caprine  |  November 18, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    What book are you discussing at your book club? I just read “The Shack”. It was interesting, but I had some issues with it too. Everywhere I went people were asking me if I’d read it, so I thought I’d give it a try.

  • 33. sarahT  |  November 18, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    this made me laugh… i have been in a book club with some other teachers at my school for about four years now. i love it! it’s my big night out each month. live it up! our book club is one part book discussion, two parts catching up and two parts dessert. i hope yours has this same wonderful balance.

    fav. books lately… thousand splendid suns even though i read it a while ago (i know jenna just finished this), it’s not a novel but i also really liked the glass castle. i also just started reading some of sarah vowell’s books and i am laughing out loud! i saw her interviewed on the daily show and loved her. i’m not too far into it yet, so i’m not giving the full stamp of approval, just a “the first chapter was great” stamp of approval.

  • 34. Sabine  |  November 19, 2008 at 2:44 am

    Read the novellal “An uncommon Reader” by Alan Bennett, which was brilliant. Now I wait for the next Jasper Fforde mysteries about the literary detective. Highly recommended!
    Enjoy your book club and what you really should read: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Perfect for the dark winter afternoons or evenings when the kids are in bed.

  • 35. Stacey  |  November 19, 2008 at 8:15 am

    High Five Jenna Pants…….glad someone does hahahah

  • 36. Matt Donovan  |  November 19, 2008 at 10:02 am

    I think you (and definitely Abraham) would enjoy No Other Life by Gary Young. Though it’s not technically a novel, I would argue it has all the makings of one, the only difference being it’s a story told in a series of short prose.

  • 37. Angela  |  November 19, 2008 at 11:08 am

    Chelsea Bass and ToilingAnt covered my recent reads! I read through the Twilight series because my youngers sisters are really into it; I found that I actually enjoyed the series as well!

    I also read Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and I agree 100% with ToilingAnt. I don’t know that I would “recommend” reading it, but the writing style and the enduring relationships between father and son were compelling.

    Yay for book clubs and a night out! I read books with a couple of co-workers, though I don’t always want to read what they’ve chosen. However, I see it more as a relationship-builder than a book club πŸ™‚

  • 38. karla  |  November 19, 2008 at 11:09 am

    I am in the midst of reading “The 13 1/2 lives of Captain bluebear” It is about a BLUE BEAR. It is adorable. It is about 750 pages long, and includes a chapter where he is raised by mini pirates. Literally, mini pirates. Like they are 6 inches tall, the big ships don’t even note they are attacking but the mini pirates never give up, they taught the blue bear perseverance. A co-worker lent it to me and we determined that it was the sweetest story we had come across in years.

  • 39. Andrea  |  November 19, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    To those of you who commented about the Twilight series, I agree. Very addictive, I love books that suck me in, though I am not sure that’s such a good thing. πŸ™‚ I was listening to an interview by the author of Twilight, yes I am a nerd, she says that she wasn’t writing the books with a JA audience in mind, hence the more mature themes.

    Love all the recommendations! I have always wanted to read Les Mis, but it is very intimidating to me! And the count of Monte Cristo is another one I want to read but haven’t.

    My recommendations, Pride and Prejudice, I am sure many of you have already read it. πŸ™‚ And, Sense and Sensibility. Two of my favorites.

  • 40. Cindy  |  November 19, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    This comment isn’t about the book club, sorry, I just wanted you to see it sooner.

    I was just led by a friend to your post on “Rocks in My Dryer” – the “What I’d Like You to Know – Mother of a Stillborn Child”. We just lost our only son to still birth 4 months ago. After 12 years of infertility and a definitive statement from our doctor that we could not have children, we found out we were 3 months pregnant on July 1, they suspect he died around July 28 and found out we had lost him on August 21. The pain has been almost unbearable – but we are surviving because of our faith, our love for each other and our friends.

    Reading your post was like listening to my own thoughts being typed out on a typewriter. It completely blew me away. Most importantly it totally validated my feelings of utter loss, confusion, exhaustion, fear, longing, frustration, and everything else.

    Thank you for your post. thank you for opening yourself up so unabashadly. You might possibly have saved my sanity.

  • 41. Ralph  |  November 20, 2008 at 9:21 am

    I recommend Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. I’m currently reading Night by Elie Wiesel. It’s a memoir of his experiences at a concentration camp in Auschwitz during the war. It is hauntingly good. And it’s just a hundred pages or so.

  • 42. Chris  |  November 20, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis

    Neely Tamminga, I can understand how you feel when you wrote:

    “I would, in general, like to find more time to read books and novels. That said, I always feel some guilt when I’m NOT reading the Bible. Is that normal for other Christian women?”

    When I’m reading a good book–whether it’s a novel or nonfiction–I always have to be careful because it can be so easy to let other types of reading overtake our Bible reading.

    But as along as we don’t let it take the place of reading the Bible each day for a substantial amount of time, then reading a novel can be a good thing just like other things we do–riding a bike, doing laundry, playing a game with our family, and other things we don’t eliminate from our lives.

    Since I became a Christian, I have noticed that novels can help us see how biblical principles can be lived out, and has other value–even if it’s not a specifically Christian novel.

    I wouldn’t feel guilty about it anymore, but you are wise to be aware of the potential for other types of reading to become too time consuming.

  • 43. Tara  |  November 21, 2008 at 10:15 am

    I’m in midst of “Little Men” by Louisa May Alcott. Slowly but surely! It’s so charming!

  • 44. shawnda  |  November 21, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    So, what are ya’ll reading? : )

  • 45. Neely Tamminga  |  November 22, 2008 at 6:41 am

    Thanks Chris. Helpful to have an accountability check on that one for me. Don’t get me wrong, I read and I’ve read the Harry Potter series more than once as well as the classic Austen faves, I’m just checking in to see if I’m the only one.

    (Great post, Molly, by the way).

  • 46. Ashley Robbins  |  November 22, 2008 at 8:47 am

    I am in a book club with other teachers that I work with; it is SO much fun! We always do dinner and someone different hosts every month. Book clubs are a great way to get to know other people, particularly if you have trouble building community with people outside of church (like me!)

    We just discussed “The Thirteenth Tale” by Dianne Setterfield. Fantastic story! Few stories have captivated me like that one (it even sent chills up my spine a few times!)

  • 47. 'Guerite ~ BoldLion  |  November 22, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    Wonderful! I wish that I am in that kind book club too, but I am in the Theology Breakfast and talking about the book that we are currently reading. The last month was The Cross of Christ by John R.W. Stott. This books does required a PH.D degree in my personal opinion. Right now, we are reading The PeaceMaker by Ken Sande. This is a different kind of book club than you are thinking of.

    Now, if I am in the book club (like you are thinking of), reading a fiction book. I would love to read George MacDonald’s books all over again. Why? I get so intoxicated from reading this book and want to live during the 1800’s and in Scotland or Highlander. I will curled up in my favorite clasic Lazy Boy chair and have a nice strong juice kind of drink (not wine). (On the down side about George MacDonald is that he is a universalism, but I don’t see that in his fiction novel books.)

    Be a real BookWorm for Christ,
    ‘Guerite ~ BoldLion

  • 48. Sharon  |  November 24, 2008 at 8:49 am

    The best book I’ve read recently is “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.” So well-written and I just couldn’t put it down.

  • 49. Rachel S.  |  November 24, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    The Yiddish Policeman’s Union just got me through two very long overseas flights…it’s twisted in an interesting way, rather than a grotesque one…

  • 50. sarah slice  |  November 25, 2008 at 7:09 am

    The Giver..for my Children’s Literature class. I have read this book every year since it was assigned to me in 8th grade, and each time I find new ways to think about Christianity, through the profound symbolism in this book. I’m not sure Lois Lowry intended for my to see redemption in her Newberry Medal winning novel, but all the same, I love it.

    Greenville, SC

  • 51. Sarah Lorence Johnson  |  November 25, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls


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