Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.


Book Club Reading

I've been part of an online book club for the last couple of years. I joined purely to spur myself to read again. As a kid I was an avid reader, bringing home stacks of books from the library, reading under the covers when I should have been asleep, reading on car rides until I became carsick, reading at family gatherings to occupy myself. In recent years my reading has been confined to mailing lists and blogs, newspaper or magazine articles. When I did read for enjoyment, I was reading cookbooks, cooking magazines, and recipes.

The idea of the book club was that we would each pick a book for the group to read and discuss. As its turned out, we're all readers for different reasons, with wildly different tastes and schedules. Of the people in the group, most are lucky to eventually finish each month's book (often weeks or months "late") and most of the time conversation rarely happens beyond "I read it. I thought Scene/Character was engaging/unrealistic," or "I just couldn't get into this book. I never got past page XX." Even so, the structure of having a group that is a good motivator where merely reading for enjoyment or to simply pass the time is not.

I've enjoyed being part of the club, such as it is. I've enjoyed being challenged to read books I never would have picked up on my own. I've expanded my definition of "reading" to include listening to audiobooks, which are a godsend for those long boring bus rides or drives to drop Kate off with her dad. Especially when driving, or even when doing household chores, the time passes much more pleasantly listening to a book.

Not including the books I've read or listened to with Kate (such as Inkheart and a whomping stack of Nancy Drew) since joining the book club I've read or listened to:

Under the Tuscan Sun
The Time Traveler's Wife
Garlic and Sapphires
The Virgin Blue
The Lady and the Unicorn
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
Life of Pi
Year of Wonders
The Invisible Man
Trickster's Choice
The Secret Life of Bees
The Sparrow
The Summer Guest
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
Tears of the Giraffe
Self Made Man
Me Talk Pretty One Day
Trickster's Queen
The Partly Cloudy Patriot
Kushiel's Dart

I'm currently listening to Middlesex and enjoying the familiar Greekness of the setting and characters. The reader is fantastic. Other books I have in the listening queue (some I've started but not finished):
A Game of Thrones
The Stolen Child
The Kite Runner
The Devil in the White City
American Theocracy
One Woman's Army

Books recommended to me I have either not started or not yet finished:
Open Secrets
The Human Stain
Evidence of Things Unseen
Don Quixote
The Autobiography of Malcolm X
We the Living
Holidays on Ice
Bark of the Dogwood
Agent to the Stars
Palace Walk
May Contain Nuts
Tender at the Bone
Geek Mafia

I have, of course, read other books. Kid books with Kate. Dry political books that were not for entertainment. Books on caring for rabbits. Even though I feel I read very little compared to some (or compared to myself when I was younger) I do spend a great deal of time reading. Perhaps writing more book reviews would be a good way to direct my writing. Will give that some thought.


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