And by clubbing, I mean reading books for a book club. Over the summer, I joined up with a book club that a friend of mine from high school was heading. I love reading. Love it. I also love talking about things I have read.
I read three books this year with them because I joined late. And I missed reading one. Oops. This last meeting, we planned out the books for this coming year. I think it’s going to be a fantastic reading year.
What I like best is that because there are no genre restrictions so there are tons of options. The books (and what I thought of them) that we read for 2012 were:
- “The Sisters Brothers” by Patrick deWittThis was a western that followed two brothers that were guns for hire and their recent hire. I liked it fairly well. There were few names, they tended to describe people and use that like the sad traveler and the bar maid. No real names, so that was nice since I have a hard time following with names. The story was a bit of a ramble for the first half, just day after day type travel log. Then it picked up and you got the plot. I won’t go into it, since that would spoil it, but it was actually good. The main problem I had with it was that while I wanted to know what happened, I didn’t really care about the characters… except for one of the horses. So yeah. Not bad, but not great, although not sad that I read it.
- “The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis StevensonEveryone knows this story about a doc that makes a potion that unleashes his inner monster. I was surprised by it, though. No, I knew what it was about, but I was surprised about how short the story was and how little details were actually provided about the running around of Dr. Hyde. You never really know what he does that is so horrendous, just that he does them. I figured there would be more violence, but all of his activities, except for when he hurt a child and the tide turning murder, were left completely to the imagination. It was actually very well done and I thoroughly enjoyed the read, even if it was an older book. I highly recommend it. We also had some good discussion about how shocking it would have been when it first came out when no one knew the ending.
- “The Dubliners” By James Joyce
This book. My. What to say. It was sad. It was depressing. It was about 15 different short stories about different people in Dublin, Ireland in the early 1900’s. All of the stories were really short, under about 15 pages, except for the last one which was actually quite long. Sadly, it was also one of my least favorites. The stories centered on disappointment, lost love, drunkards, and domestic violence. Actually, I take it back, I think there was one story that actually just ended without being sad or dark or depressing, but it was very abrupt. To me, this book was a lot like Napoleon Dynamite. Napoleon Dynamite was a lame, not funny movie, but I found it humorous to discuss after the fact. The Dubliners was depressing, sad, and anticlimactic, but I enjoyed discussing the stories afterwards with the group. I am still not so sure I would recommend this book, but looking back, I am not entirely sad to have read it. I will not, however, revisit this book or any of its stories.
So that was what I read with my group this past year. The books on the agenda for this year are:
- “In the Shadow of the Banyan” by Vaddet Ratner
- “House of Leaves” by Mark Danielewski
- “Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card
- “The Dante Club” by Matthew Pearl
- “Cat’s Cradle” by Kurt Vonnegut
Kinda excited to get to reading!