I feel like a failure when it comes to book clubs.
After joining a few months ago with high hopes, I finally dropped out of the neighborhood book club. I love discussing books and, after reading about so many awesome book clubs online, I've been looking for a book club to call my very own. None of the bookstores in the area host book clubs, so I was happy when one of my neighbors put out the word that she'd like to start a book club.
We met at her house one day to discuss possibilities. It sounded promising, as she brought up how we would choose the monthly reads and even mentioned having a moderator to keep us on track. We chose the first book and one of the ladies volunteered to hold it at her house. The book sounded interesting although outside my usual genre, but I didn't really expect these ladies to read urban fantasy so I was okay with the thought of general fiction. Unfortunately, I got terribly sick and had to miss the first meeting.
They kept me informed via email and let me know the next title and location. Another title outside my comfort zone, but I actually enjoyed this one and was looking forward to discussing it with everyone. Much to my disappointment, no one wanted to talk about the book and kept changing the subject to other topics. Felt like I was at a coffee klatch, which made me a little uncomfortable as I didn't have anything to add to the discussion.
Rather than choosing the next book, the hostess suggested we think about it and do a group email to discuss other choices. The only email I received said they had decided to attend an author event instead of having it at someones house. Where was the discussion email? Got the impression that they had met in person to make this decision, so guess I'm out of the loop. I've never really been to a reading luncheon and decided to attend, even though it cost $25 and was for an $80 art book.
The reading itself went well and I was pleasantly surprised by how charismatic the artist was. Lunch wasn't worth the money in my opinion, but thought it was a unique experience and I enjoyed myself. The sponsor hosts monthly luncheons/readings, so one of the ladies suggested we attend the next month's event and everyone else agreed. The book looked interesting and the restaurant was actually one I've heard of, so I reluctantly agreed.
We carpooled to the luncheon. Despite assurances that we would discuss the book during the drive, the book was never mentioned. The author was amusing and the food was better than last time, but at $25 a pop, this wasn't something I wanted to make a habit.
We skipped December because of the holidays and one of the ladies volunteered to host in January. Rather than discussing options, one of the ladies recommended a title and everyone else agreed. I'm on the shy side with people I don't know well, so tend to keep my mouth shut in situations like this. I know that's shocking to people who know me, but I kept feeling like a kid at my mother's book club. The ladies kept bringing up what I consider "old lady" topics, so I kept my mouth shut.
January was a tough one for me as I wasn't interested in the book one bit, but the nosy part of me really wanted to see the hostess's house. So I went, book unread, confident that it wouldn't matter because we've never actually discussed the book before. Naturally, they all wanted to discuss the book this time. *sigh*
The majority decided to attend another author event for February, this one for $35, so I politely declined.
Just received an email for next month, announcing that the next selection will be a self-published book by a friend of one of the women. Seriously? Between not having a voice in the choice of books, too many expensive author events, feeling like a third wheel at a coffee klatch, and then being told I not only had to buy a self-published book but also pay to take the author out to lunch, I emailed my regrets and stated that I wouldn't be attending future events.
Don't get me wrong, as they are all very nice women who have been nothing but pleasant to me. I guess we just have different ideas about what a book club should be. I want to actually discuss books, not talk about what the neighbor down the road did to their backyard (although really...what were they thinking? ha!).
I know it just wasn't the right fit for me, but can't help feeling like I flunked out. *sigh*