My book groups

I’m in two book groups. One with women in my church (it tends to be much more conservative and people get antsy if there are “bad words” in the books–please see my post entitled Hell’s Bell’s) and one with women who work with me at Purdue. I’m going tonight to the church group to discuss The Heretic’s Daughter, and I am almost finished with Trollope’s Can you Forgive Her? (and by the way, I can’t–she’s too silly in ways that are inexplicable. WHY is she engaged to her no-good cousin who is spending her entire dowry to get into parliament? WHY did she break off her engagement to the noble John Gray? WHEN will I ever be finished with this 1,000 page plus book?)

Why do I like book groups?

1. There are usually good refreshments (I’m so shallow!)
2. There are usually smart comments (and some others that are more annoying–don’t get me started on the ending of The Life of Pi).
3. We get to talk about the men in our lives (sorry, but this is just what happens when women get together–it’s just so fun!)
4. It makes me go outside my comfort zone of books that I would pick, so that I read things I normally wouldn’t read–ok, some of them are dumb, like Twilight and anything by Rosamunde Pilcher, but others I probably wouldn’t have picked up have been great.

So I think The Heretic’s Daughter falls somewhere in the middle. I think it has moments of brilliance and absolute pathos, but other times it seems contrived and steeped in bathos. The Salem Witch trials are completely horrifying (especially to me, who would certainly have been hanged–I definitely need more social capital!) I think Kent started out really well telling the story from the point of view of Martha Carrier’s daughter, but ultimately, there wasn’t a true climax. Yes, she’s in jail and her mother is hanged, but that was obvious. What else was there at stake? Her relationship with her cousin as the crux seems strained, as does the idea that her father was the King’s executioner in England. It just didn’t pack the punch that I was expecting (and I expect a great deal from literature!)

So I will go and try not to bully everyone else, and try not to be too irritating when I point out that “ass” was not used as a word for the posterior until the 19th century (even though this was supposedly written in the 18th), and try to be nice if somebody says something I don’t agree with (I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.)

And I hope there is something chocolate!

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8 responses to “My book groups

  1. a. If I lived in the same town as you, I would probably try to piggyback onto your book groups, just for the sake of your own wit and take on the books, as well as the entertainment value of seeing those “conservative” friends of yours struggling with literary asses.

    b. Why would you be burned? Have you been cursing your neighbors’ livestock lately?

    c. for your sake, I also hope there’s some good chocolate.

  2. There wasn’t chocolate, but something just as good called “grape dessert”–basically grapes, sour cream, cream cheese, brown sugar and chopped pecans all mixed together. Heavenly. As good as chocolate. A calorie bomb.

  3. That sounds kinda good, the same idea as the Snickers Salad we had at a family event last week. Chopped up mini Snickers bars, chopped green apples, and *cool whip*. Actually, my kids wouldn’t eat it. That stuff has such a greasy texture.

    • Salad??? Reminds me of “faculty salad”–cool whip, pckg of pistachio pudding mix, and a big can of fruit cocktail! I love eating healthy!

  4. This guy in my ward was supposed to bring a salad to a dinner event, and he brought a “salad” of chopped up fudge stripe cookies, vanilla pudding, cool whip, and various canned fruits. I have to admit, though, that I heart frog-eye salad.

  5. I do enjoy the odd “salad” of various unlikely salad ingredients, but I wish there were a different name for it. So that, when someone is assigned to bring a salad, they don’t get confused and bring something made with faux cream and candy and/or pasta, and there’s an actual vegetable at the gathering. I would be irked enough with the above dude that I would not be likely to want him at another gathering. Especially if he did it to be funny.

  6. I’m sad I missed book group, both for the refreshments and for the witty conversation. Although I’m a little dubious about those “salads.” Chocolate definitely has more appeal 🙂

    That’s definitely a book that’s outside my typical comfort zone. Probably one I will skip, too, based on your reaction.

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