Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Welcome Summer!!! And the Novella Book Group's 7th year!!!

It is hard to believe we just kicked off the 7th year of the Novella Book Group on Sunday at Resi's.  It all started with me wanting a book group during the summer when we take a break at Newberry.  Plus I wanted to read shorter books so my friends could finish them and I wanted to explore the meaning of Stepford Wife - so that is why we began with "The Stepford Wives".

I went to a book group discussion at Women & Children First a few months ago.  I explained to the attendees that I pick all the books for the Novella group.  My friends have been asking for funny and for current titles.  So the owner of Women & Children First asked if I had read "Treasure Island!!!" which also had the bonus of being by a local author. 

I'm glad that Resi's was not too crowded when we showed up on Sunday.  Holy cow - there were some weird phrases being uttered about parrots, lesbians, slackers, soft boyfriends, etc., etc.  I don't want to give too much away.  But let's just say we also had someone in our midst who once got a D on an AP English assignment about Robert Louis Stevenson. 

I like books with unlikeable main characters.  If you don't like "Confederacy of Dunces" it's a strike against you.  I think it takes a very talented writer to keep a reader interested when you find the main character despicable.  But did my friends dislike the main character since most of us are in our 40s and are maybe working with these people?  I'm honest enough to admit that at 25 I thought I knew it all and was often frustrated at work because I was not allowed to share my brilliance.  No, I never committed an overbold act or bought a parrot but who didn't do some crazy things when they were young?  Or found a book, or song, or idea that they pulled out the parts they liked best in order to guide their life?  (I love that she completely ignores the pirates!)

Book groups also reinforce what you know about your friends.  Some tried to find one scrap of decency in the main character.  Forget it.  Some just hated her.  It's because you don't like lazy people.  It was a great discussion and so much fun.  I am going to suggest this one for Newberry for the 2013-2014 season so I may end up reading it again.

I can't wait to read what Sara Levine releases next.  I really hope she writes another novel.  I found an interview online with her about "Treasure Island!!!" that blew my mind because it was conducted by Adam Curry of MTV fame from the time in my life when I would not babysit for someone unless they had cable. 

(Note that the YouTube link spells her name incorrectly and I said that, personally, there is always kind of a Sarah v. Sara tension and Kristen said there is also one for Kristen v. Kristin.  Who knew?).

This summer looks to be a strong one for the Novella Group.  We sure came out of the gate fast.  Even the bartender at Resi's was surprised we had been meeting for so many years.  Time flies when you are having fun!  

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