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?
I 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 🙂