Thursday, April 24, 2014

Book Club Update

Hi folks! If you're in the northern hemisphere like me, I hope you are enjoying the lovely spring weather we've been having lately (better late than never, right?). All the farm critters are busy being born into this world this time of year and things are busy, so let's all take a moment to admire this cria, which is the term for a baby llama or alpaca:
In my professional veterinary opinion, I think they look like Muppets. Cute Muppets for sure, but Muppets nonetheless.

Some of you faithful readers may remember that I started a book club at work a little less than a year ago. I'd like to take a moment and give you an update.

The book club update is: ARG! My subversive means of controlling the reading material is not going well. In fact, I'm falling out of control at a very fast rate. My reading minions are not attune to my literary whims. This is not good.

The past two meetings have only been me with one other person (a different person each time). The first time this happened, I blamed the weather, since the meeting was during one of those late winter snows. The most recent meeting, however, had no such excuse. Hmrph.

OK, so dismal attendance is a problem. This might be due to the "new" having worn off and people's incompatible schedules. But it might also be due to my book choices.

Some of the books we've read over the past few months have been animal-related books. We've recently read Temple Grandin's Animals Make Us Human (which I enjoyed) and Ted Kerasote's Merle's Door (which I did not enjoy).

Turns out, I do not particularly like most animal books. I've posted before about how I'm probably the only animal lover on the planet who doesn't like James Herriot books and I loathed Marley and Me. I suspect this book club is being pulled toward animal books because our jobs are veterinary-related and I'm trying to resist forcing this club into that button hole. But am I losing members because of this? What's more important: having members and reading crap (OK, a little harsh, but stay with me here) or losing members and reading good books?

Ah, but wait. I'm falling into a trap that I suspect many book clubs fall into: who gets to decide what a "good book" is?

I've had a member request not once, but twice for the club to read Dewey the Library Cat. No. No. No. I refuse. Don't make me shut this thing down.

I really need to read this
And so here we are. At the last meeting, we read (we being two of us) The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman. Then I sent out an email asking folks for recommendations on future books. I received a small, odd assortment of suggestions that didn't make choosing any easier. Suggestions ranged from Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman to, you guessed it, Dewey.

For next month I settled on The Goldfinch, the recent Pulitzer prize winner. Someone actually did suggest this one, it wasn't just me wielding my iron book club fist. We'll see how many people show up. In the mean time I think I need to re-think my book club strategy and maybe scout other blogs to see if anyone's complaining about a certain book club leader who is totally against Dewey that Damn Library Cat.