The Book Club

Where do I start. At the end perhaps.

I was walking quickly towards my car. Down the one way street.

The man standing on the patio, smoking his cigarette called out to me, “You look cold.”

“Yes, I am but I suppose it’s winter!”

“True,” he responded and I kept on marching.

I was shivering, I was cold even though my feet continued to sweat from being in my boots and indoors for two hours, having participated in a book club.

I can’t quite say I actively participated. I participated to the point of laughing when things were funny, shared small talk with the person on my right and on my left, when appropriate (only pre-book club, during break and post-book club) and typed tidbits on my iPad.

I was the only one typing and I am sure that was obvious. I noticed other people jotting things down in their note pads, but no typing. Just me. Typing, smiling, laughing, sometimes looking serious (or at least in my head I was serious) and enjoying my time in a circle full of strangers.

Strange. I know.

The discussion around the book was lively with many different ideas and insights shared. I particularly enjoyed the diversity of the group. This is not a “group think” club. At times it was so academically informed that I was having difficulty keeping up with the concepts that, thankfully, were then followed by light-hearted jokes.

And real funny jokes. I always got the jokes!

I arrived a few minutes early. There was a small group of people waiting outside of the auditorium. The librarian was rustling with the keys, finding the one that fit the lock to open the door. Inside the room I sat down on a chair in the circle and willed myself NOT to pull out my phone. The point of a book club is to be social, no place for my phone. It felt awkward (really, I know) so I rationalized with myself that my iPad would be acceptable – I needed access to Google Books in any event!

The man two seats away leaned over towards me.

“DId you read the book?”

“Part of it,” I replied

“It didn’t like the book. I don’t know who picked this book. Look how big it is,” and he pointed to another book club member who had brought along a library copy.

I nodded towards him not sure what to say to keep the conversation going, but no worry, he continued, “They could have at least picked a book about relationships and marriage. EVERYONE likes reading about THAT,” he emphasized.

I didn’t know how to respond. I clammed up. Of course everyone likes talking about relationships and I imagined in my head what the next bits of conversation would be like and I shyly turned away to my open iPad. All of a sudden I couldn’t bring myself to be social.

Shortly after a second gentleman arrived and sat between us. It didn’t take long before the two strangers were talking up a storm.

“There is a woman I know,” the first man was saying, “She met a Canadian man and moved to Canada. She’s a widow now.”

“Oh yes,” replied the second gentleman

“I can, you know, set up a date for you but she’s older,” and then he stated her age.

The second gentleman nodded and I didn’t catch his reply but I’d like to think he said yes to a set-up to the man who likes talking about relationships and marriage!

🙂

Favourite lines of the night:

  1. “Life is random.”
  2. “We tend to blow things out of proportion.”
  3. “If you want to be happy, join a book club don’t buy a fancy car.”

I enjoyed my night and recommend joining a book club even if only to be a smiling typist.

Fifty Shades of what?!

Fifty Shades of what?!

I know, I know. This trilogy has been beat over the head, it’s laying on the ground withering. Why oh why am I wasting time and space talking about it?

We have all heard about Fifty Shades of Grey, the trilogy. We all know someone who is raving about one or all of the books. They can’t get enough, wishes there were a fourth, fifth, sixth book…? I don’t want to pass judgement on who has/has not decided to read this trilogy and their reasoning behind their decisions but I have decided to dedicate one post on my blog to the series.

Why?

Because it keeps coming up in conversation and some of the comments I hear from women have had me bent over in laughter. Really this post is about the women I have met and their many comments.

What I find most amusing is the difficulty with which I’ve had to extract any great juicy comments from the women who really are enjoying the books. Their only comments are usually “I just can’t wait to get to the third one…” Done. No descriptions. I am dying to hear something along the lines of…”I really like the part where he whips her with his belt…” but so far, I have been disappointed!

So instead I’ve had to rely on Wikipedia and the more pessimistic verbal reviews to really get an idea of what is going on in these books! I could of course just read one, but that would take all the fun and mystery out of what, I can only imagine, is a literary train wreck. 🙂

For anyone who is just coming up from under a rock, the trilogy is saving Barnes and Nobles bacon and is loosely based off of the teen Twilight series. From what I’ve read on my favourite, mostly true facts website Wikipedia, the main female character sounds a little like a boring dud – but that is just my take. The male lead is an egotistical, sexually damaged man who enjoys torturing his ladies with his belt and getting them involved in BDSM – which again according to Wikipedia is a catch-all acronym for Bondage, Discipline, Dominance, Submission and Sadomasochism.

Enough of the books and on to my, so far, favourite reviews of the book from every day women:

“If I read one more time how ‘his pants sit on his hips’, I am going to send the book through the shredder.”

“There is absolutely no imagination and tons of repetition. Does the author not have a better imagination? Granted there is S&M, but honestly watch a porno!

“It reminds me of the Emperor’s New Clothes. Everyone is whispering, giggling and talking about it, so it must be good right?! Wrong!”

“I read the first book and I am stopping there. If I am going to spend my time reading a book it better be something good not a literary disaster.”

“Fifty Shades of Grey – it is Harlequin Romance on steroids gone Mad.”

“It’s a girl’s version of Penthouse from the 70’s!”

“I want to give the girl a shake, doesn’t she know ‘men never change’. If he was whipping her with a belt in the first book I can’t imagine him not whipping her in the second and third book. I am done reading.”

“In my opinion, you never really know a man in the first year anyhow.”

And my all-time favourite is:

“I read the first book. On reflection, I must have had a boring life because I was never invited to orgies in my 20’s, 30’s or 40’s!”

What’s your best review?!

A Rainy Monday Morning

A Rainy Monday Morning

Photo from Photobotos, titled: Edge of the world Faroe island town.

The coffee shop this morning is teeming with people. I can’t believe my luck!

There is nothing greater than traipsing through drizzling cool weather to the coffee shop, book in hand only to find when I arrive that the only seat available is bar table in the back of the shop.

The coffee shop is alive and not to be dramatic it makes me want to cry, a happy little cry.

It feels great to sit here with background chatter of strangers I do not know, read my book and savour my cup of coffee.

One group of women are discussing life, positive change, living a healthy life and success. Another group is practising their interview skills. There is a gentleman quietly reading a hard covered book as thick as mine and I am curious if he hears the conversations around him.

This is living.