Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Book Club

"The first rule of Book Club, is you don't talk about Book Club. The second rule of Book Club is you do not talk about Book Club."

One of my co-workers recently instituted a book swap club. There are only two rules (which sadly are not the rules above): 1. You can only take a book if you contribute a book and 2. You can't expect to get your book back. (It's a book swap, not a lending library.)

I love Book Club, since I am too lazy to drag myself to the library and too cheap to buy books. I'm also not wedded to most of my books, so I don't have a problem letting them go. I think I've put about 30 books into the Book Club and have fished out about 10, so I am well ahead of the game. Book Club has spurred my reading habit, which had fallen into the doldrums.

Speaking of books, I thought I'd do Fence's book meme, even though it's going to reveal the fact that I read way too much trash.

1. One book that changed your life
Nothing like starting with an easy question. I think I have to go with The Little Brute Family by Russell and Lillian Hoban. It's about a beastly family with three kids – a girl, a boy, and a baby boy. (Which, coincidentally, mirrors my own family.) The family is all horrible, except for the baby boy. (No comment.) But things change when the baby boy snags a wandering good feeling. I loved this book as a kid, although I was very resentful that the baby boy was the perfect one. Yeah, guess that makes me a little brute.

2. One book that you’ve read more than once.
The Great Gatsby Definitely one of my all-time favourites.

3. One book you’d want on a desert island.
Oh, good. Another easy one. Like I could ever narrow it down to one. I'm going to cheat and say the Harry Potter series. That should keep me busy for a while

4. One book that made you laugh.
This has been the hardest question to answer. I'm just not sure. I know I've laughed during a lot of books, but it's much easier for me to think of books that have made me cry. Not sure what that says about me. I'm going to say Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty.

5. One book that made you cry.
Sight Hound by Pam Houston. It's a great book, written almost as a series of short stories. There are about ten or so narrators, including a couple of dogs and a cat. The plot involves the life of a woman whose worldly and wise Wolfhound is dying of bone cancer. I read this in the little apartment my brother and I rented during our holiday in Slovenia. When I was done reading it, I had to change my shirt because I'd cried so much. Yeah, I'm not quite the stoic that Fence is.

6. One book that you wish had been written.
When I first read this one, I thought it was “One bok that you wish YOU had written.” As a writer, that's my highest compliment for a book. I have a few books on my “Wish I'd Written It” list:

  • Sloppy Firsts and Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty. Jessica Darling is a character that any writer would be thrilled to have living in her head.

  • The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series by Ann Brashares. It's amazing how Brashares is able to create 4 distinct voices and how the voices grow and change throughout the books.

  • Angry Housewives Eating Bon-Bons by Lorna Landavik. Funny enough, this is a book about a book club and the lives of the women in the book club. Landavik is able to move back and forth through time seamlessly, laying out the interwoven stories of her four protagonists.

7. One book that you wish had never been written.
I could do without that whole crazy rapture series of books - Left Behind.
8. One book you’re currently reading.
I just finished a book I got from Book Club - The Distant Echo by Val McDiarmad. I can't recommend this book highly enough.
9. One book you’ve been meaning to read.
JPod by Douglas Coupland. I loved his Microserfs and have been looking forward to this one.

10.Now tag five people.
I'm not really much for the tagging, but I'd loved to hear other people's answers. And not having a blog is no excuse. What do you think the comments are for?


At 9 August 2006 at 20:44, Blogger Col said...

I will tell you what I've enjoyed lately: "The Glass Castle" by Jeannette Walls. Amazing (true) story, beautifully written.
"Pope Joan" by Donna Woolfolk Cross. Got this because a book club picked it. Somewhat soapy historical fiction but it hooked me. "Prep" by Curtis Sittenfeld. And her new one, "The Man of My Dreams". Real life, warts and all.
"In Her Shoes" by Jennifer Weiner. I read this before the movie. The movie was cute, but the book is better.

At 10 August 2006 at 10:01, Blogger Fence said...

Sight Hound sounds great. And animal stories can easily make anyone cry.

The Book swap thing looks like fun, have you tried

At 11 August 2006 at 02:07, Blogger Career Guy said...

Oo-oo, tag me! Tag me! I'll work on my list. Later...

At 11 August 2006 at 20:37, Blogger -Ann said...

Hey Col- You're always reading interesting stuff. (And usually weightier than my trash.) I couldn't get into "In Her Shoes" although I did read and enjoy her first book, "Good in Bed."

Fence - I read an article about that in the Chicago Tribune a couple years ago now. At that time, I was very emotionally attached to my books and couldn't dream of doing that. Making a big huge life-changing mood has made me much more likely to part with books and to avoid saving stuff like Happy Meal Toys.

Dad - Please do. I am sure you will put me to shame with your answers.

At 13 August 2006 at 02:42, Blogger Career Guy said...

Unlikely I'd put you to shame--I have read a fair amount of trash in my time. I have trouble keeping up with you, actually.

At 14 August 2006 at 10:36, Blogger Fence said...

Have you signed up for LibraryThing? It is what all the cool bloggers are doing :)

At 19 August 2006 at 07:49, Blogger -Ann said...

Fence - Well, if the cool bloggers are doing it... :) But great, just what i need, another time sink. Especially one that involves books!


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