I joined a book club. I attended my first meeting back in April.
As the cloud of the pandemic (very) slowly disperses, I found myself wanting to connect with people again. These last two years made my general reluctance to interact with people develop into a halting hesitation fraught with perils. I wanted to take steps to combat this fear. To connect with people with mutual cause and interest.
I did try a few online book clubs but I could never commit to them. It was so easy to just not open up the video conference app. I needed to get out and go to a place. To make it an obligation that I put time, energy, and mileage into so I looked at a few book groups at my local library and picked one.
I chose the group based on the book title they were going to discuss. The first ended up being the Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey. It’s a very thought-provoking book that I may talk about in more detail in another post. I was excited to talk about it.
But this was my first ever book group. Outside of school, I never sat down with a group of people to discuss my general thoughts on books so I was very nervous for the first meeting. I’m a bit embarrassed by the number of mini-pep talks I had to give myself before I made my way out the door to the library.
And…it was really fun! No one was more shocked than I was. I love hearing people talk with passion about an experience we all shared. I even shared a thought or two of my own which felt really empowering. I knew I would go again.
This book club is introducing me to titles that I would never pick up on my own. Here are some selections if you’re at all curious. I may talk about each of these at some length in future posts.
I’ve been doing this more than anything this year. I’m challenging myself to read more genres and more widely.
To this end, I recently finished Rebel by Beverly Jenkins. It’s the first book in her Women Who Dare series and my first ever adult romance book. And…I kind of loved it. The book is seeped in the intricate world of Reconstruction era New Orleans with all its racial turbulence and hope for the future all the while showing a love story that I wholeheartedly rooted for. I loved Drake LeVeq with his passionate pirate blood and the hellion of a schoolteacher, Valinda Lacy. They have undeniable chemistry and I was also intrigued how their loved fit in with the historical setting.
Another little chapbook I finished recently was Elizabeth Acevedo’s Beastgirl & Other Origin Myths. I loved every book I’ve touched by this author and this one is no exception. The poetry and verse in this explore Latin American myths and history and gives them a modern resonance especially as it touches on topics of racism, sexism, and the wider diaspora.
As of the current moment, I am reading The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar. It was easy immersing myself in the voice of the main character, Nishat as the book starts out with her coming out as a lesbian to her Bangladeshi parents and their not-so-great reaction to it. I can’t wait to see where this book takes me.
A lot of Community. A coworker turned me on to it a few months back but I only recently got really into it. It’s a comedy show that messes with its form with every episode and I’m absolutely here for it.
I’m rededicating time to my old passion of just sitting and listening to music. I’ve discovered a few artist and albums that I absolutely fell for. I finished the Hadestown Musical soundtrack and loved how it reimagined the Orpheus and Eurydice myth. Imagining the underworld as an industrial wasteland was a pretty interesting take.
Julien Baker released an album called Little Oblivions. I love the album as a whole but my favorite singles are “Faith Healer” and “Heatwave.”
Japanese Breakfast also released the single, Be Sweet, that I’ve been listening to a lot lately. I can’t wait for the album!
This among other things. I’m trying to get my thoughts together and put some organization into them. Hopefully, the fruits of that labor will show itself.