Thursday, May 09, 2013

so, you want to join a bookclub

As you probably know, one of my 52 New Things that I wanted to do this year was to join a book club - and I did. Hurrah! With the help of Twitter there's a bunch of us who get together each month to chat about books. The first book, Little Bee, went down a treat. It was short, sharp and interesting. The second book, Anna Karenina pointed out to us the modern-day dilemma - no matter how beautifully a book is written, if it's over 900 pages and written in teeny, tiny font you are going to end up watching the movie version before book club.

And that's fine.

We managed to watch different versions - from the latest with Keira Knightley in the lead (weird casting. I can kind of get it considering how expressive Anna's eyes are meant to be, but she doesn't carry what she needs to for such a role) to my version with Sophie Marceau (beautiful) to the original with Vivien Leigh!

What I love about bookclub is that I need to make the time to read a book. Which I'll totally do with the next one: David Sedaris Let's Explore Diabetes in Owls (he's probably my fave male author). And I need to think about it. With Anna Karenina I didn't have time to think - I was too busy trying to speed read, or feel guilty that I wasn't reading!

I love how my friend C has set up the club. She emailed out a list of books: classics, modern classics and new releases and asked us what we really wanted to read. Then she set up a schedule (allowing extra time for Anna Karenina, ha!) and we organise to meet at a local wine-serving cafe on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.

Are you in a book club? What's your fave book? Have you finished Anna Karenina? (I haven't, I got 1/3 of the way through and I've naughtily moved on to Caitlin Moran's Moranthology...LOVING!)


  1. I am in a book club, it consists of myself and two close friends - we had another but she moved to Sydney : ( We also all share a love of food so we take it in turns of hosting, the host cooks and chooses the book. Its a great way to do it for us and I love that I have now read books I normally wouldn't even look at.
    We read Little Bee too, what a great choice. As for Anna I ashamedly admit that even though reading is my number 1 pass time I'm actually not really one for the classics.

  2. It sounds as though that book club is working fine for you but to choose Anna Karenina? Not only is it far too long but as with most Russian books it is trying to remember who is who because of Russian patronymics and then the use of names depending on whether casual acquiantances or not. I find that is one of the difficulties with Russian authors.
    My hubby goes to a poetry group once a month (Dead Poet's Society...what else?) and although there are only 4 or 5 of them they seem to enjoy themselves. I did go along to one meeting in December and quite enjoyed it but not being a serious poetry lover I leave it to MOH to have a few hours away from me once a month. I think he deserves it!!

    1. Mimsie, were you listening in on our discussion of Anna Karenia...we hit that point about the names patronymics & casual acquaintances.
      I read this when I was 16/17 & read again for our bookclub. I resisted the movie pull, but will watch when I finish reading. I have continued to read AK since we had our meeting on Sunday, partly because I am enjoying it & because I have committed so much of my very scarce spare time to it I can't just let it fall by the wayside.

      As a librarian of 20+yrs standing this is the first bookclub I have been a member of, I have organised many & been leader for a few. To be just as a member who is doing this for the social & intelligent interaction I am loving it!

    2. Not only does one have problems with the Russian names but for some reason books by Russian authors do always seem incredibly lengthy. At 81 I am now past serious reading but my hubby (at 83) still mainly reads non-fiction or very good fiction. He is currently reading "November 1916 The Red Wheel/Knot II" by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (translation by H.T. Willetts). It has 1000 pages. I always admire his patience.
      Enjoy the book club; I am sure you will.

  3. I was thinking we should have set the 'chat' about AK much later in the year, but at least now each month we can check in and see how we are going, for those continuing and savouring it.

    My goals this weekend were to start a few new ones including Sedaris, Silver Linings Playbook and Perks of a Wallflower. I wonder how I will go?


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