Art+Culture Merida

Talkin’ about Book Club

A few months ago I joined my first literary tribe, aka book club. Up until recently, I envied book clubbies from afar, having never been invited into these elite ranks of suave decorum and scintillating intellect. I used to wonder what was wrong with me. Did I hate the right books? Was I reading the wrong ones? Had I become unamusing and flaccid and someone forgot to tell me?

BooksI had to move to Mexico to get welcomed to the inner sanctum and I have to say, Book Club isn’t what I imagined. At least, this book club isn’t. I imagined I’d be prepping my Coles notes the night before, mentally highlighting the particularly poignant passages and phrases in the book that left me verklempt*. And as food is involved, I imagined I’d be planning the menu for days, fretting over the table setting and praying I would not offend the gluten gods.

What I didn’t imagine was ribald laughter, spontaneous dancing and a devil-may-care attitude towards rules and regulations. There are none in my book club (rules and regulations that is), and after this month’s session, I now know all the words to ‘In the year 2525’ (which my sister insists was sung by Burl Ives), that sausage rolls can be elegant and charming, and that 100 Years of Solitude brings people to their knees with both its brilliance and relentlessness.

I love book club.

* What a great word, but not being Yiddish, I could never seem to effortlessly and unselfconsciously slip it into the conversation. Mission accomplished 🙂

In October 2012, I drove 6,800 kms with my artist husband, Ric Kokotovich (, and my dog Iggy, to spend 6 months in our adopted city of Merida. Leaving the fast paced world of Calgary behind, I packed my books, art and entrepreneurial spirit, and set off to explore what lay beyond the borders that had become my life. In October 2013 we hit the road south again, hoping to find out what ‘living the dream’ really means. This is my adventure.

7 comments on “Talkin’ about Book Club

  1. Woohoo! You are no longer a bookclub virgin! Been in a bookclub for 20 years now. We call it drinking club where we read books. The word ‘successful’ doesn’t have a place in our book club but I’ve heard some exist where noses can get out of joint and brows can be high…in other words a subtle form of snobbery. In our current one, renamed ‘The Gumboot Girls’ from ‘Chapter Chicks’, has seen members come and go with a few core ones. We roll in in with much diversity of personality, tastes, dress, beverage choice… from fleece long johns(yours truly) to elegant sweaters, from local micro-brewed beer to cheap red hooch(again yours truly)….oh, and of course united by our love of books and interesting discussion! A group fave? ‘The Red Tent’. ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ was panned big time…though I think that’s cuz’ we were all secretly jealous. Going to load a box of books to take to Pages, where one can get a credit and buy more used books, an addiction really.

    • Yes, I knew you were a book club veteran Boosie. Funny, I didn’t like The Red Tent for some reason, but I’m always open to ones you like so keep ’em coming xo

  2. Mary Paston

    Aha..another convert! We miss our Banff bookckub (the Wine and Cheese and Wine and Oh Yah the BOOK Club)..nearly 25 years old and still going strong. Stay the course,,,the relationships will become priceless. Love Mary

    • I find the biggest ‘pressure’ is when it comes time for me to select the book we are to read…I shall stick with it as these amigos are keepers, and the books thus far have generated lots of discussion 🙂

  3. ok, you convinced me, I just downloaded it and will start it soon!

  4. I just downloaded 100 years, I got through Eat, Pray, but had to call it quits in Love. just didn’t work for me. Red Tent has been recommended before, but I’ve not yet read it either. we’ll see!

    • I’ve joined Goodreads and there are lots of great reviews/recommendations/commentary…you can connect with your book reading friends too 🙂

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