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Monday, October 18, 2010

Would you like a little wine with that book club?

Okay, so it's past noon and I'm just getting my blog up, which is totally lame but I'll say it's not all my fault--Blogger consistently refused to acknowledge I'd tried to sign in, all morning long, until the last half hour or so. (and then took that half hour to load my compose window, but I wasn't about to try closing and re-opening after all that!)

It's one of those Get Things Done days for me--so far going well except for a dead-end trip to the Tire and Lube Express, which is a whole other gripe for a whole other day, but I would like to vent and put this out there: Walmart, you suck. Wow, I feel better already...

So. This past Saturday night was the first-ever meeting for a new book club.

We read Water for Elephants this month, and got together with a few bottles of wine, six or eight different types of appetizers and one really big cheesecake with a yummy raspberry sauce... ostensibly to talk over the book. Sometime about 3 hours in, we did discuss the book a little. LOL. With some pretty impressive, quite deep questions, actually.

Let me just say, I'm the ancient one in this club. Quite a lot older than the other mommies, and my kids are quite older than theirs, and they get together often for playgroup, so I'm not just old, but the old outsider somebody dragged along. I'd intended to do a really comprehensive blog with everybody's reactions to the book. But... when a bunch of mommies get together minus their little ones, they have social needs. Like wine, and relaxing with food they don't have to share with munchkins, and dishing, about husbands and in-laws, and kids and schools, and teams from other towns, and... Yeah. So it's only natural the book club part take a back burner.

We did learn some interesting stuff, though. Like, one pediatrician's office in the valley tells moms to put Meat Tenderizer on bee stings... (I got no idea. I'm just the messenger here!) And one hilarious bookclubber keeps a packet of dry Koolaid in her car's glove compartment (she's remaining nameless because she also stows $40 cash there for emergencies, and I've got dibs on following her around til she leaves that puppy unlocked one day! :) ). The Koolaid is for in case she breaks down or crashes in winter conditions... so she can mix it with water and write HELP in the snow with it. She gets the award for Plan-Ahead-er. LOL.

I learned something else, too. There's nothing really new going into child-rearing books. It's just recycled ideas, maybe compiled in different combinations. Which kinda made me feel old, and also made me wonder whether my mom and her friends felt the same way when my pals and I were trying to navigate the waters of toddler-parenting. Like we really thought we were re-inventing the wheel. Somehow things like sending kids to their room for misbehaving, and using "Wait til your father gets home" (a la June Cleaver) have become new. Go figure! But hey, if fashion manias can make comebacks, so can child-rearing tactics, right?

Yeah, I'm old.

So back to this book, Water for Elephants... I really loved it. It's not something I'd probably have ever picked up on my own to read. But it was a really nice change. Written from the perspective of a 90 (or 93, he can't remember for sure and it really aggravates him)-year-old man who worked in the circus when he was younger, our Jacob recalls his adventurous Depression-Era stint in a circus, when a circus comes to the neighborhood near his nursing home. The portion of the book in present-day interested me as much as the past that Jacob relived for us. I think this was because his curmudgeonly attitude, punctuated by contrition and apology, reminded me of my mom's uncle during his last couple years. Sara Gruen did a great job with Jacob's voice, in my opinion. Also, I dearly love elephants, so the Rosie storyline hooked me and kept me. We had awful villains (the best!), and super conflict, too. I give this story a Get Your Own Copy (my copy is somewhat hideous, as it was a library cast-off, damaged and all, plus once I peeled off the shiny library cover, it's just an ugly 2-tone maroon book, but I intend to keep it).

As for the book club, it'll be interesting to see whether this group gets more comfortable with the idea of discussing books, or remains an awesome excuse for a mom's night out (and believe me, either way, kudos to this group of ladies, because there is No Way I'd have gotten the little Mister to watch my wee ones so I could go discuss books, when our kids were tiny). Hell, I could barely even read books back in those days!

Next month it looks like we're doing The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Which is good. I mean, I probably should try to read it before it becomes a movie, or three.

But first I think I'm going to buy Clan of the Cave Bear in Epub from Borders to read next... Jean M. Auel has her next installment coming out in March, and I'm kinda in the mood to read about Ayla and Jondalar again.... plus it's only $1.99 at!

So, The Girl will have to wait.

Happy reading!

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

Sounds like a great read...I will have to add it to my TBR pile on Goodreads!

I have a monthly Girls Night In..and we all bring food that coordinates with the theme and some kind of fun beverage (last month was margaritas, this month I have fun martini mixes). I can't imagine even trying to discuss a book...too many other things to bitch, I mean talk about. ;)