Work Book Club:
I had my first work book club last night. As you all know, I don’t read a TON or that fast, so I was mostly just pleased that I actually had finished the darn book!! 😄
We read The Sentence by Louise Erdrich.
Everything was okay. 🙃
I thought the book was just okay, and the book club was okay+. Maybe that’s not fair- the book club was probably a bit better than okay. Let’s say, good.
The book: Definitely just mostly okay for me. I didn’t know anything about it going in, and I found it to be a bit… “different”. I was actually enjoying it quite a bit until it got to the end 1/3 of the book and the COVID-19 pandemic and George Floyd murder became MAJOR storylines. I literally groaned inwardly when that happened.
I just flat out do not like fiction books that intertwine real life, current events in with fictional stories and characters. I feel very strongly about this!! If it’s events that happened way in the past, like before I was born (e.g. WWII books, Great Depression, etc.), that’s totally fine. Doesn’t bother me at all; I didn’t personally live through those periods, and it’s interesting to hear about.
But when real life stuff that I’m already being bombarded with on the news every day, and also, you know, just lived through personally (pandemic), I’m just NOT interested in reading more about it in my novel. I like my fiction reading to be an escape from reality.
We actually had a pretty lengthy discussion in book club about how we all feel about pandemic novels (and there will probably be more and more coming out, I might guess). There were some mixed feelings, but the general consensus seemed to agree with me.
The book club: Overall, it was nice! It’s a virtual book club, so I sat with my laptop by the downstairs fireplace in my slippers with a cup of tea and enjoyed 1.5 hours to myself on the meeting.
It is a fairly….rigid book club, though. Maybe it was just because it was the first meeting, but I felt a little bit like I was in a college discussion section for a Lit class and I hadn’t fully prepared for the discussion questions. 😬 The host had sent some questions out in advance, which I, uh, didn’t actually bother to look at…. but then we went around in a circle, alphabetically, to each answer the questions. (There were only I think 6-7 of us total.) I wasn’t really expecting that, and I did not have fantastic answers for all of the questions, let’s just say, but I did okay thinking on my feet. lol.
It was also the type of book club where the host had passages marked and we did a fair amount of “turning to pg 146” type thing. I am not opposed to any of that, honestly, and I mostly enjoyed it. But it definitely is a BOOK CLUB and not really a “Social/ Chit Chat About Other Stuff and the Book Book Club”.
Also, most of the other attendees were at least ~10 years older than I am (which is fine!), but it just isn’t really the “girlfriend gab fest” type book club that might be more “fun”. (I am guessing, because I’ve never been a member of that type of book club, either, or any other book club, for that matter. But based on hearsay and movies, they look fun.)
🔷 Ethan got his bottom braces put on yesterday. (He got his top braces done in August.) So now he is fully braced up, and, the cherry on top- he got headgear yesterday. Hahaha. FUN TIMES.
I didn’t get a picture of his fully braced mouth yet. 🙂 The doctor says everything is going well and he’s making good progress! I told him he will be sooooo glad when this is all over and he has straight, beautiful teeth. He is very mature about it all and never really complains at all and just does whatever they tell him to. His mouth was a little sore this morning, but he just took some Ibuprofen and had yogurt for breakfast.
🔷 Still going on my macro tracking! I don’t really feel like I’m seeing drastic results, though, so I’m not totally sure what to think. I think the scale isn’t changing a lot, but I definitely am getting more muscle tone and definition with the increased protein and very consistent strength workouts. I think things are “tightening up” some. We’ll see. For now, just trying to continue on for the full month. (These are also higher macros/calories than I’ve ever “dieted” on before, so part of me wonders if I’m maybe closer to being at my maintenance calories instead of in a deficit… not sure. I will wait a little longer and see. It doesn’t matter that much anyway; not like I’m trying to lose a ton of weight or anything.)
Dinner was our tried-and-true favorite- lean ground turkey with potatoes, pinto beans, zucchini in salsa verde. (*This is where a bunch of my carbs went! Potatoes + beans…)
🔷 We started watching the series Manifest on Netflix last night. Has anyone seen it? About an airplane that takes off, hits some super weird crazy turbulence, and then eventually lands….and 5 years have passed in the blink of an eye. Except all the people on the plane haven’t aged a day (the rest of the world has continued normally, and thought the plane was missing for 5 years!). All sorts of odd things then start happening to these people who survived this weird phenomenon. We only watched 1 episode so far, but it seems good! Exciting/ mysterious/ etc.
I am grateful for zucchini. 🙂
9 thoughts on “First book club and other misc.”
That Netflix show sounds like something Phil and I would like – and it sounds like it is based on a book that I heard a lot of buzz about (Anomaly) in 2022 but I googled it and the show is not based on a book.
Oof, that book club sounds SERIOUS! I would maybe give it another month and then maybe exit the club if it doesn’t feel like a good fit? I will say that I don’t love zoom book clubs. We moved ours to zoom for about 1.5 years during the pandemic and it wasn’t great even though we all knew each other so well. I think people are zoomed out, at least I am since I do a lot of zoom meetings w/ clients and internal partners. I think my book club strikes a good balance of talking about the book and socializing. When we started the club, the 3 founding members each invited friends – so everyone didn’t know each other. It’s since grown w/ people dropping and people getting added. But we’ve been meeting for so long and know each other well so there is always a lot of chit chat/catching up. But our discussions of the book are way less serious. We talk about the plot/what we liked/etc. No one brings the book with and no one references page numbers. Ha. My club read that same book and then met at the restaurant next door to the bookstore the author owns that the book was set in. I think everyone liked the book overall. But the pandemic/George Floyd murder is certainly a prominent theme so it can be hard to read if you aren’t ready to talk about something that is so fresh in our memories. This was the only Erdrich book that I liked. The other 2 were things I forced myself to finish for book club. So I liked that this book was way more accessible than her other books! That said, I know Suzanne of Life of a Doctor’s Wife loves Erdrich!
I was in a book club with my neighborhood pre-pandemic and I had to give it up because it was just too formal. There wasn’t ever any judgment if you didn’t finish or participate quite as much in the discussions, but I came to the conclusion that I deeply dislike being forced to read a book and struggled mightily to finish those books. I did end up reading some that I enjoyed quite a bit (The Overstory, The Roundhouse (another Louise Erdrich one!), Safe from the Sea, Go Set a Watchman) soooo I probably should try again because I can dip in and out as I want, but I can’t bring myself to read anything but romance or fantasy anymore!! Oh well!
As for the pandemic/current events appearing in books, I have mixed feelings about it – it did feel kind of weird in some ways to read a book that was released post 2021 and have the pandemic not at least be referenced – I have read a few books where it was referenced by not a main topic – just little things were mentioned like wearing masks or taking a covid test etc – not anything major. That felt fine to me, but it being a huge portion of the book would be frustrating.
People LOVE that Erlick book. I actually just got it from the library, but I’m not sure I’m ever going to be ready to read about the pandemic, so we’ll see if I actually start it.
I’ve been part of serious book clubs like this one sounds like it is and part of more social book clubs. I think they both serve a purpose and it just sort of depends on your priorities as to what you want from them. My book club is generally a light-hearted romp and rarely more than a handful of people have read the entire book, so it’s less like homework and more like an excuse to get together and eat lots of food and talk smack about our husbands. But sometimes I wish I were part of a book club that took things just a tiny bit more seriously!
Manifest sounds interesting! I will put it on the To Watch list!
Why do beans insist on having so many carbs? I loooooove beans.
Your book club sounds interesting. I wonder if it will mellow out a bit after you get going? Sometimes I think it would be really fun to be in a hard-core book club. I hated that kind of thing in college, but if it were with a group of otherwise nice and chill people, I might enjoy it more. I have only been in one book club and it was the “chat and drink wine” kind of book club, where we discussed the book for maybe 15 minutes and at least half of the members regularly skipped reading the book at all. That was its own kind of fun. And I was glad that it was okay to skip the books because some of them did NOT appeal to me in the least. It will be fun to see how your club evolves!
Is it the kind where one person leads the session each week? Does that person choose the book or do you all vote? How far in advance do you know which book you will read?
Your comment about books too close to current events, reminds me of this time I went to see the musical Company with a friend going through a break up. Company is about relationships and how they fail or don’t and afterwards, my friend said, “I don’t feel like I needed to see that because I’m currently living it. It’s like the show is over… but it’s not.”
I’ve never had a book club, though I used to host a Zoom book discussion with some parents from my mom’s group. We would just gather and discuss what we’ve been reading or watching and we did a book exchange secret Santa at the holidays. I thought that was nice, but then we all got busy.
There used to be a book club in our neighborhood that was described as “an excuse to gather and drink wine” and I thought that sounded pretty chill, but I never could make the meetings. I think if I were to do a virtual book club, I’d want to be pretty invested in the book since I can’t be drinking with my friends in person.
Yay for you for showing up, though!
The book club sounds not as fun as I would like, which is more social than studying. Hahahah… maybe that’s why I never joined one.
Your food looks so yum, I miss zucchini too for some reason never had it since we got to Jakarta. Turkey with vegetables mix looks so comforting and healthy. Will have to try it with chicken as we don’t have Turkey here.
I joined a book club like that once. They were way too serious about it, treating it like an English class. Also I suggested some books to the coordinator who never even entertained my list. Suffice it to say I was gone after 2 meetings!
How did you find this book club? I always dream of the type of book club that you describe (a girls’ get-together with some book talk, but also chit-chat), but I don’t know how to find this. I belonged to a book club before but it was a very heterogeneous group and the “girlfriends” -vibe didn’t really transpire.
I am grateful for zucchini, too. I love zucchini! 🙂
I would love to have a more social online book club… but not sure where I could start. I can see someone like your leader for this one maybe making it more structured since it was the first meeting? And maybe they were worried about people (not) participating?