I have wanted to be in a successful book club for a while now. I love reading (I've enjoyed fourteen books since January 1st) and I always want to talk to people about the books I read. I don't know why my book club fantasy hasn't worked out until now... maybe because I have been in plays, or maybe I just feel awkward crashing parties. Maybe both. Anyway, somehow I found my way into our neighborhood book club. I am LOVING it. I have gone twice.
February's book was "Mrs. Kennedy and Me" by Clint Hill. It is not a book I would probably choose to read, because it is non-fiction. I'm so glad I read it though because first of all, I didn't know much about the Kennedys other than JFK was shot and Jackie was a fashion icon. They are a morbidly fascinating family. Morbid, because I think they are totally messed up in a lot of ways- but the point of view was kind. The story is told by Mrs. Kennedy's secret service agent, and he worshipped her... in a very chivalric kind of way. It was so fascinating. And I don't know much about the secret service or how they operate, so that part was very intriguing as well. At the end of the book, I just felt sorry for everybody because everyone was broken. Book club was great, because the discussion leader is a Catholic democrat who knows a TON about the Kennedys. She brought lots of extra books (about Jackie's fashion, for instance) and supplied lots of additional information.
March's book was "Divergent" by Veronica Roth. I actually had read the book before and enjoyed it, but I remember spending half the time trying to wrap my head around the "five faction" concept in this post-appocalyptic YA novel. The book was well written, and I liked the story and the protagonist a LOT, but I kept getting tripped up by those factions. The book would talk about "Amity" or "Candor" or "Erudite" and I would think Who are they again? What do they believe in, I forget. I also just couldn't believe that after some big nasty world-ending war, the survivors of said war would have it together enough to say, "Hey! Lets form groups. If you believe bravery is super important, step over to this area of Chicago, get some tattoos, and be 'Dauntless.' If you think selflessness rocks, go over there, wear gray, and be called 'Abnegation.' PS, those people get to govern us all, and our kids can choose which group they want to be in when their 16. Everyone ok with that? Great." Anyway, the book was much better the second time around because I didn't have to get derailed by all of those thoughts, and I had read the second book in the series as well, so it all made more sense. Not many others in book club shared my problem, so maybe I'm just special. Side note: the rights to make this into a movie have already been purchased, and the third book of the series isn't even out yet. And the author is like 24 years old, which means she was 22ish when Divergent was published. She is winning life.
I could review a few more books in depth, but I will spare you. For now. But I do want to mention one more thing before I sign off, because it is related to clubs.
About a month ago I went to a really cool birthday celebration for my friend Colleen. She had a girl's night and rented a limo and it was the best idea ever. We went to Mint (appetizers!), Jesters (improv!), The Big Bang (oops, Colleen forgot/lost her ID!), Mojitos (salsa dancing!), The Big Bang again (dual pianos and dancing/she used a passport!) and finally to the Talking Stick Casino (creepy and scary because it was 1:30am and only yucky people were there!). It was super fun to get out and let go. I was hit on minimally because I was trying to make as little eye contact as possible with people I didn't know. One of my neighbors was getting attention from a lot of guys, and one girl from our party was a hit with a few different girls, randomly. We all had wedding rings on, but yeah. Personally, my discomfort was minimal and I had a really good time. But it could NOT be an every weekend thing for me, or even an every month thing. It is definitely a special occasion thing.