For years I have been in a book club. I joined in the late 90′s, took a break for a couple years while working on my Doctorate, and most recently rejoined. The sad part for me is most of the women that were in the club when I first joined are gone. In fact there are only three women from the original group left. I guess that isn’t bad for a group that has been together for 10 years.
Last month the book that was selected was Belle de Jour. The book was difficult to find and the only way I could get the book was on-line. As I began to read the book I was totally shocked. It was pure porn, not anything like our book club would normally read. It was poorly written, no real story line and just pure smut. I was very disappointed in the book, however the agreement in the book club is no matter what you think of the book you finish it.
When I met my friend Jill to car pool to book club I started to express my concern about the types of books we were reading in book club. I started talking about the book and Jill just gave me a funny look. She held up a copy of her book and said, “Is this the book you read.” OMG it wasn’t. I had read the wrong book. There are two books by the same name.
Luckily for me one of the other members of the club read the same book I had read. It actually turned out to be a lively discussion as the original Belle de Jour by Joseph Kessel was based on a similar topic, Prostitution, but was much less graphic than the book I read written by Anonymous. It was a great comparison as to how our society has changed. The original book was written in the 1920′s but was banned from the United States until the 1960′s because of the subject matter (although the original book contained no sex scenes or curse words). The new book is extremely explicit, sex scenes galore and language to make a sailor blush. This anonymous author was and still is a blogger, blogging along on the internet where anyone can read what they are writing. It is a vast difference from the book that was written in the 1920′s considered very racy but without any of the explicits. Times have changed.
Although Marci and I read the wrong book it made for one of the best book clubs we have had in a long time. Yes there was lots of jokes and comments, and also a very in-depth discussion about the changes in the last few decades and if they have all been for the best.
Oddly enough the book we selected for this month also had the same issue. There were two books by the same name. The book we were suppose to read was the Power of the Dog by Thomas Salvage. There is another book by the same name and two of the members read that book. However figured out their mistake before book club and read the correct book. I cannot recommend the book from last month, the correct book club book which I didn’t read (and it wasn’t much liked by the members of the club) or the Porn version I read. However I would highly recommend The Power of the Dog by Thomas Savage. It was an amazingly well written book. Savage writes with such detail I felt like I was right there experiencing each moment. It was by far one of the best books I have read in book club in a long time. You can check out my review of the book on Amazon.
Regardless if you read the right book or not, the good news is your read. So many people don’t – research shows about 80% of American’s haven’t read a book in the last five years. Do yourself a favor and read. Reading opens up so many new experiences and takes you to places you may never be able to physically go.
Here’s to taking action