Monday, 26 April 2010

Book Club

Jessica has suggested to me that it might be an interesting ‘experience’ for me to read a book selected by a book club then give my two pennies worth during the following analysis and discussion on the book. I disagree with Jessica wholeheartedly and believe it will be nothing more than an exercise in futility. Does this mean I have escaped this undesirable fate? Of course not.
I detest the idea of book clubs for one simple reason; I don’t like being told what to do.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not some kind of sad ‘rebel without a cause’ type character. I just like making my own choices in life especially with regards to what I read. I don’t like the idea of someone I have never met dictating to me especially when I didn’t get the opportunity to vote on the book choice in question.

Therefore it is with no small feeling of resentment that I will soon be reading a library copy of ‘My Cousin Rachel’ by Daphne Du Maurier from the online Cornflower Book Group.
I will be perfectly honest; I really don’t like the look of this book. I am not expecting to enjoy it and have a rather negative view on the entire impending ‘experience’ it may well leave me traumatised.

As somebody who has never participated in a book club (either online or in real life) I’ll be giving my honest verdict on both the book and the whole ‘experience’ of the book club.
The things we do for love and blogs!

Posted by Chris


  1. My husband recently suggested that I read through the entire list of Pulitzer winners (for all time!). It started a bit of an argument, because, like you, I don't like to be told what to do.

    Oddly, he hates book clubs, and the very idea of book clubs makes his skin crawl. The fact that someone who has a different set of values than you may be choosing a book that relates to *their* values is his biggest concern, and no doubt the worst book I've ever read is frequently a book club pick and is on the "1001 books to read before you die" list.

    I can't do it. Good luck to you. I'm interested in reading about your experience.

  2. I've never participated in a bookclub either. I tend to read books that catch my eye so rarely read any books that are complete stinkers. I like to say that I can get caught up in any story even ones not in my fave genres BUT is that really true-- I don't know. It might be hard to get into a book that has no appeal for me whatsoever. I'd probably want to be the leader of the bookclub and influence the book choices. ;o)

    Can't wait to hear about your experience.

    I did have a fleeting thought awhile back when we chatted about Asimov-- I've put Foundation off for years and thought I might do better in a readalong--- would you ever be interested in co-hosting something like that? I haven't researched it and don't know any particulars-- but I did see some folks doing a readalong for Wuthering Heights. I wonder if others would be interested in reading it...

  3. I was in a book club for 5 years and loved it, loved it, loved it. Wish I could still be in it. I guess I can't guarantee that you will enjoy your book club experience, but try a shift of perspective: instead of focusing on being told what to do, think about how, through your book club experience, you will be introduced to books that you would never have touched on your own (whether because you didn't think you would like them, or because you might never have even heard of them), and you never know, you might find a gem this way.

  4. Your reluctant willingness made me smile. I think it would be hard for a man to find the right book club. Good onya for trying it out! I belong to two bookclubs -- I joined a library group because I knew they would read different books than I normally would pick. The thing is I don't really like the ones selected.

    My friend book club is reading Frenchman's Creek this fall, so I look forward to this review.

  5. Thanks everyone for your comments :o)

    @ Becki: I must admit I agree with your husband regarding book clubs, I have similar fears but I am going to give it a try regardless and see what I find :o)

    @ Lesa: I like your 'Foundation' idea very much, I'm off to work soon but i'll get in touch with you later to discuss it :o)

    @ Kathy: I hope you can forgive my negativity! ;o) I am too cynical sometimes! lol I will do my best to read the book without prejudice for the sake of the blog but there will be no mercy in the review if I don't like it!

    @ Kim: "reluctant willingness" is a great way to put it! lol
    I still can't see book clubs as a positive thing but, as my Mrs said, I have to give it a try before I can knock it so thats what I'm doing. Perhaps I will be surprised.

    By Chris

  6. I know what you mean! I joined two book clubs and lost literally every book voting. I want to be a good sport but also need to read something I want once in a while! Now I pick challenges where I already have books waiting on my TBR shelf. I think My Cousin Rachel is a great story, that's why I'm joing in with Cornflower. At least it was the last time I read it!

  7. Hi Jamie - its werid but I'm the complete opposite to Chris in that I LOVE books clubs. I have to stop myself joining them which is why I thought it would be a good idea for Chris to review one rather than me. Maybe I'll put my thoughts in a post afterwards.

  8. I don't know why the email didn't work-- the email I use for blogging is listed on my profile.

    I think a readalong would be fun and I would finally get the darn thing read-- I've seen two approaches but there may be more--I saw two bloggers that read a book then mutually reviewed it on both blogs and I saw a readalong in which anyone could participate-- they seem to read 3 chapters at a time then post their thoughts on their own blogs while linking to the host blog.

    Could be fun and interesting either way. e-mail me and we can hash out the details.

  9. My uncle is in a book club, but the focus is pretty much Russian literature and German poetry. Yuk! I hope, despite your resistance, that you have a pleasant experience and will be interested to read what you thought.

  10. Whitney - I think that would put even me off!!