Ambassador of Books ~ Book Club Madam ~ Blogger Gal

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Book Club Companion

I started reading The Book Club Companion by Diana Loevy back in February; it's one of those books that is easy to pick up and put down because it is split into 1 to 2 page sections. When I got it from PBS I was on "book club tips" kick, reading all the books I could find with suggestions for book clubs. FYI, I go through spurts like that a lot ... I'll latch onto a topic and read it to death! I really enjoyed reading The Book Club Cookbook by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp and I was hoping that this would give me the same pleasure. Boy, was I wrong!

I really did not enjoy this book. Perhaps that's why it took me so long to complete it. Between the chapters on how to prepare your pet for book club (?!) and those on hand-making invitations for your meetings (like I don't have ENOUGH to do!) I could only take a little of this book at one time.

Each section of the book focused on a genre (Classics, Brit Lit, Black Lit, Memoirs, etc.) and included - among other things - reviews of books in that genre. Even the reviews drove me crazy! Many included discussion questions that were SO leading that you just knew what answer you were SUPPOSED to give, while other questions were just plain stupid. Here are a few examples:
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton: Is Wharton's book as much, if not more, about maturity and satisfaction than about love? I mean really! The question gives you the answer ... how could you possibly have an opposing opinion?!
Lolita by Vladimir Nabakov: Would you let that mediocre mermaid Charlotte Haze into your book club? Who cares?! What kind of a question IS that, really?
Those are just two examples, but there are lots more I could share.

Is there anything good about this book? Why yes there is! There are 111 books reviewed in there, plus literally hundreds more listed yet I only ended up adding 7 titles to my TBR list!

Have you read this book? Maybe you disagree with my assessment, or maybe you think I'm right on. Either way, post a link to your review in the comment section and I'll add it here.

1 comment:

LisaMM said...

I purchased this book last year after starting my book club and had the same basic reaction to it that you had (especially to the part about pets.. what?? put the critters in the backyard or in the garage!)

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