May 3, 2017

Our Future

Life is busy; I get it. But with only three people at the meetings the past couple of months, I'm wondering if we need to make some changes. I'm wondering if everyone is still interested in being a book club. 

One change we'll definitely be making is a change in venue. As you all know by know, Upstream will be closing the end of June. We've got two months left of having our own room with comfy furniture and our favorite bartender. Then where do we go? Cheryl and I have been talking about it; Cheryl's been asking everyone we meet if they have any suggestions. What about you guys - any idea where we might go that might work at least somewhat as well? Is it time to go back to hosting in our homes?

While we're at it, we've been the Omaha Bookworms for a long time. The reason we're the Omaha Bookworms was so that we could get free books from publishers. Our original founder felt that publishers wouldn't be as likely to send free books to groups with cute names or names with alcohol in the name. But since we're no longer beholden to read the books a publisher thinks we'll like, we can be whatever we want to be. If we're going to stay together going forward, what do you think about a new name to go with our new venue?

**Assuming we're going forward, you'll see that in September we're reading George Saunders' Lincoln In The Bardo. If you're a library person, you'll want to get your request in now to make sure you have a chance to read it by September.

Last, but not least, I've been leaning us heavily on literary fiction critic favorites. We're going to shake things up a bit in the next few months - some nonfiction that should be not too heavy, a mystery, I'm looking at something light for the summer, and we'll have a movie night in December. That may be in a theater or we may rent something and watch in someone's house. Where we can drink for less and eat real food.

March and April - My Brilliant Friend and The Turner House

So we're kind of back to where we were a couple of years ago with book club. There were only three of us at the meetings in March and April.

In March, it kind of worked because all three of us had read the book and it was nice to be able to discuss everything about the book, start to finish. My Brilliant Friend was a hit right up to the point where we found out it ended with a cliffhanger, ala an hour-long t.v. drama. We want to know what happens with the two friends whose friendship we'd just spent hours reading about and more than the usual amount of time discussing. Which one was the brilliant friend? How do you keep up a friendship when there jealousy and secrets are a part of your relationship? We loved learning about Naples, we were startled by the matter-of-fact violence of the neighborhood. In short, we might well have been happy reading the next three books in the series for the next three months of book club.

But...we didn't. In April we read The Turner House. And by "we," I mean two of the three of us that made the meeting. One of us couldn't stay long and didn't like the book. She had been expecting more about the house itself. The other one of us did enjoy the book but didn't necessarily think it was one of the best books of the last year, even though it found itself on many of the best-of lists. We did talk about how, through the story of one family, we see the rise and fall of Detroit and how we enjoy when a city or setting of a book becomes one of the characters.