I told you about reading that book club book in a handful of hours so I could be ready to talk about it with a room full of strangers I only found out existed the day before, but then I didn’t actually tell you about that room full of strangers who possibly only began to exist when I walked in the door. (Who’s to say?)
They meet in a meeting room on the upper floor of a fancy grocery store, and when I walked in there were about a dozen women of various ages (mostly old-ish) sitting around a big table in the middle of the room. There were a couple other people at other tables, but I figured I’d found my group. Plus there were a bunch of books on the table. So, being my father’s daughter, I walked over and said, “Judging by the pile of books, am I right in assuming this is the book club?” They didn’t kick me out. Can’t trust their judgment.
This is a group of Very Serious Readers. Most enjoyed the book, thought it was a nice book to read over the holidays, but they also almost unanimously dismissed it in some way as a pile of fluff. They read Literary Fiction for Very Serious Readers, or so it seems. Or maybe it’s mostly Depressing Fiction for Very Serious Readers. (I think it’s fair to say that those two categories overlap.)
Maybe I’m wrong (I’m probably wrong). Maybe I’m jumping to conclusions (I’m definitely jumping to conclusions). They were all very nice, certainly. Maybe three of them were younger than me, but over 30. And in great contrast to my last book club, they’re not one big group of friends. There are probably a couple of pairs of friends, but the rest appear to be strangers who found each other online with the express purpose of starting a book club. They (we) met in a public place, talked about the book, decided on the next month’s book, and got out, all in about an hour. (It was great.) No stress about house-cleaning, or buying enough wine for 15, or planning food because they’re all coming to your house to judge YOUR BOOK which most of them DIDN’T READ, no, I’m not still defensive about the one time I hosted book club, why do you ask?