Saturday, October 08, 2005

A History of Book Club

In the fall of 2000, the love-
ly and talented Wendy Har-
ris formed Book Club (to
be pronounced in the same
hushed tones as Fight Club,
i.e. "The first rule of Fight
Club..."). The initial selec-
tion was Cormac McCar-
thy's Blood Meridian.

At that point in my life, I was working full-time/overtime
at Amazon and doing contract work for Microsoft, and was
unable to join, as much as I wanted to. But then, due to bud-
getary constraints, my MS gig came to an end and, all of
a sudden, I had a little free time on my hands...

So things went fairly swimmingly for the next year or two, but
Wendy wasn't happy, so she pulled the plug on the old club and
reformed it as an all-woman group (even her future husband,
Kristian, got the boot) and instituted a few new rules. Nothing
unreasonable, but more structure would be part of the game.

I wasn't too excited about the all-female thing, but decided to
give it a try. Had a fine time at the first meeting, and a terrible
time at the next (too much "girls talk," as Nick Lowe might say).

For the next couple of years, I read most of the books, but never
attended another meeting. I really missed the old group, so in late
2004 I ran the idea by Clarke Fletcher, and we decided to start
it up again. Since then, we've been meeting regularly and things
have been going well. We've read some fine literature, enjoyed
some lively conversation, and consumed some tasty food and
drink ("The third rule of Book Club: No booze, no meeting!").

After consulting my sales records, I've put together a list of the
books the various groups have read between 2001 and now. All
dates are approximate, and I'm sure I've left out a few titles (like
Reading Lolita in Tehran, which held little interest for me

I would've preferred to read Nabokov's original novel). Because
the list is getting so long, I've created a separate entry for it.

As for the new/old group, we now meet every six weeks (as op-
posed to four), but this can change if someone's going out of town
or if the sixth week falls on a holiday. If you'd care to suggest a-
ny titles, please feel free to leave a comment or drop me a line.

Endnote: Portrait of Ian McEwan from his official website.

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