Book Club

My Book Club

posted by 22/09/2015 11 Comments
Last week was exciting.
Tuesday night was my inaugural Book Club Night. 
I was in a bookclub back home and I loved it. I love to read, and being part of a bookclub gives you the motivation to find those few minutes each day to read a few pages. Life just gets so busy and you often forget to set aside that time to just chill out and step away from the chaos. For me, reading a good book has always been a big part of that.  
Moving here I was excited to find a bookclub to fulfil that need but to also be a social conduit for meeting like minded people who I could form relationships with. I had not had much luck finding one. The timing of meetings never suited my life. Held during the day, I could not go as I do not have a Yaya to take care of the children and make sure they are picked up from school. I also found the ‘serious’ nature of some clubs to be a little off putting. 
So, I approached my friend who I shall call B-Bug and laid out my bookclub concept to her and she loved it. So together we have created ‘Reading Between the Wines’. A bookclub focused more on the social side than the book. The idea is simple really; we are all busy so members just need make a little effort with the book so we can have some discussion that is bookclub related. That is all that is required. Guests bring a bottle of wine to the Hostess on the night and we sit around, have a few drinks, some food and have a good old girls night. 
We selected our initial members carefully, ensuring the right mix of personalities. We created our Facebook page which looks pretty awesome, and we started the engagement. The lead up to the night was getting worrisome. A number of the girls were pulling out as they felt they had not read enough of the book. My heart was deflating, as I was so looking forward to having a proper, real, girl’s night in someone’s living room. So I took drastic action and I wrote a letter to this group, who aside from the one person I recruited, at this stage were virtual strangers I was yet to have any form of dialogue with. I laid it bare with what this bookclub meant to me. 
“…I have been here for six months. Back home I have the most incredible circle of friends and I am really missing the physical social contact with them. I miss the way they smell with their perfume, I miss the way their hair feels on my face when we hug hello and goodbye. I miss the sound of their footsteps on my floor, their laughter, and I miss our crass, lowbrow, wine-fuelled girl talk. I really miss how girls just talk over each other when in a group and it is that amazing loud happiness sound.
Book Club was always another great excuse for girls to get together, leave the kids, the husbands and the work behind and just have a few hours to squish on a couch, drink, talk shit and hold books in our laps like we were serious.
I am really looking forward to creating some new rituals here; I hope this Book Club becomes one of them…”
Bookclub was always another great excuse for girls to get together, leave the kids, the husbands and the work behind and just have a few hours to squish on a couch, drink, talk shit and hold books in our laps like we were serious.
I am really looking forward to creating some new rituals here, I hope this bookclub becomes one of them. Bonnie and I are happy to discuss the night of the week it falls on. We really don’t mind if you haven’t read or finished the book. I haven’t finished the book. I skim read the last chapter last night. I might get to read more tonight. Either way I don’t actually mind. At the moment I have a bunch of other things to manage into my time – as you all do too. I just really hope you find the time to come on Tuesday night to Bonnie’s. It will be great and Bonnie may even have party tricks up her sleeve
My message got through; as did some coaxing by my friend B-Bug and we had a great turn out. 
We talked over each other as girls do. We laughed, consoled, compared stories and all agreed that our first book ‘Go Set a Watchman’ by Harper Lee was just not a good read. Most of us had read To Kill a Mockingbird and for us it is one of the greatest novels ever written. The narrative is sublime. Throughout Watchman there were sparkles of Lee’s amazing ability to tell a story, but the story was weak, inconsistent and lacked fine tuning. It was supposed to be Lee’s first draft and I used the words of Anne Lamott and called it Lee’s ‘shitty first draft’. 
I have one favourite line from the book though. One line of narrative that simply took my breath away; a line that shows how amazing a writer Lee really is. It saddens me that she did not keep writing throughout her life.
The morning after Scout had witnessed a distressing scene, she was outside thinking and the line says ‘she touched yesterday cautiously, but withdrew‘.  To me, this line is simply perfection.  
So, our next ‘book’ is selected, actually it’s a podcast called ‘Serial’ which if you have not heard of it I urge you to download and get started. It is simply riveting. We are all so engaged with it we have started discussing it six weeks out of our next meeting. We all agreed we had a great night, and we will continue this gathering. I am so excited and feel even more of a sense of belonging here, in this new city of mine. 
Are you a member of a Book Club or something like it? Does it have a crazy name? Have you read ‘Go Set a Watchman’? What did you think?  

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Corinne Rodrigues 22/09/2015 at 8:14 pm

Now you've done it! Gone and got me excited about starting a book club too. Yours sounds like so much fun! 🙂

Salty Bug 22/09/2015 at 8:23 pm

Oh it is! I think you should start one, it's good for the soul.

D Vampire 22/09/2015 at 9:24 pm

nice post

David Hall 22/09/2015 at 9:28 pm

Loved the blog. I have never been part of a book club but this really appeals. I adore the name 'Reading between the wines' – hilarious, and actually dangerously close to the title of my first short story (Love Between the Lines later changes to Love Line) – how about that for a coincidence.
I love the fact that you have fun and I also find the thought of stuffy folks a little off putting – I mean there's a time and a place for reading the finer points of classical lit but I know that's not my bag.
Anyway, I'm rambling – I look forward to hearing more stories of your club lol
And naturally if you fancy a bit of a romcom come suspense to giggle over a glass of wine then Love Line might be just the book for you (shameless plug:*Version*=1&*entries*=0)

Salty Bug 22/09/2015 at 9:29 pm


Salty Bug 22/09/2015 at 9:33 pm

Hi David, thanks for your comment and I will happily check out your very groovily named book. You have to have fun at these things, otherwise it's a drag. We have rules on the number of pages of the books, and if it is a classic there are a few off the list like Ulysses and The Hobbit! We just want to enjoy ourselves. Thanks for stopping by.

Marie Loerzel 26/09/2015 at 4:57 am

Yay for book clubs! And I love the name 🙂

Salty Bug 26/09/2015 at 7:38 am


Janine Ripper 30/09/2015 at 4:12 pm

Hey Sarah – I nominated you for the Sunshine Blogger Award 🙂 No pressure to pass it on. Just wanted to thank you xxx

Salty Bug 09/10/2015 at 6:53 am

Aww thanks Janine!

Expat Survival Guide - Part 3 - A Bit About Transitions - SaltyBug 28/07/2016 at 12:44 pm

[…] Now I am settled in I look for interesting things that I can do, that are affordable. There are craft workshops all over the place which are so much fun for a few hours. There are weekly painting sessions and I started a bookclub.  […]


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