I am sorry to inform you I will not be joining your book club. Although I fully support reading more, drinking wine, and venting about our husbands, I must decline for the following reasons:
1.) I always pick snacks no one can eat because they’re pregnant and I forgot. Or because when you said “snack,” I heard “pulled-pork slider.” Or because when I bring my famous cherry scones, you’ll go on and on about your diet as if nibbling on one will end the world. I don’t know why the snack process in all girl groups confuses me, but it does.
It is not my job to coach you through chocolate cheesecake. Just indulge and diet later, like the commercials say. Or tell your bookclub attendees that by snack, you mean fruit.
2.) I already read Eat, Pray, Love.
3.) I refuse to read any of the books below. I know you’re going to be hurt when I tell you I don’t want to read books about shopaholics, bored housewives, abused kids, or seductive vampires. I know it wipes out half the books and I am screwing everything up.
So let me be more specific:
Book Club Books I’ll Never Read
1. Fifty Shades of Grey
I won’t read it because this blog about why we shouldn’t read it is probably better than the actual book. I won’t read it because if I wanted to read about heaving bosoms and ripped pantaloons I can get a pile of Harlaquin Romance Novels for $1 each at our Goodwill. I won’t read it because I am amazed that a writer who has their character look in the mirror and describe her “disrespectful hair” got published. If you google “Top mistakes new writers make,” that’s one of them. Also, controversial sex scenes don’t do much for me. They pave a cheap road to success for the self-published.
2. Water for Elephants
I did read the first chapter. But I didn’t believe the protagonist would hop a train to the circus the day after his parents died. No way. Not even during the Great Depression. He doesn’t have an uncle? A cousin? Why not write a story about an old carny-hobo shit shoveler with a bindle and a scruffy mutt? You know – the kind of person who would really join the circus. Oh that’s right – he needed to be a Veterinarian, world’s sexiest job so that he could impress and subsequently get the girl. What a surprising plot twist when the elephant only he can tame dies tragically, or so I’ve been told.
I am just never going to read it. And you should be ok with me not reading it. Why do you want me to read this?
I know the premise: virgin chooses between vampire and werewolf. Written by repressed Mormon.
I never got the whole vampire thing. Dark, pale and brooding isn’t that sexy.
“Hey, we should, go try that new ice cream place”
“I can’t go out in daylight, remember? God, you’re so forgetful”
“Ok, we can go after sunset.”
“I’m a fucking vampire remember? I only eat blood.”
4. Game of Thrones
I MIGHT read this. Everyone I know says it’s fantastic. But as an English major, I suffered through enough Beowulf and Gawain, the Green Knight and roundtable stuff to know I don’t like medievil literature. And I heard it’s a tangle of characters, plots, sub plots, mixed in with spectacular feasts and the occasional torture or rape. No thanks.
5. The Da Vinci Code
For months in 2003, everyone I knew asked, “did you read the Da Vinci Code yet?” And I kept having to say no. And no. And no. I don’t know WHY I never read it, just didn’t get around to it and kept buying other books.
The trend finally petered out and I would look so behind, so provincial reading it now. Sometimes I pretend I read it to avoid this:
You didn’t read that yet? You must not read a lot.
Actually, I read quite a bit. But thanks for your concern.
I’ve been avoiding mysteries since I read those Encyclopedia Brown books and they made me feel like a nimrod for not solving the case of Sally’s Stolen Pencil or whatever. I always assumed it was the bully and skipped to the end. EB taught me two things: I am impatient and I harbor a slight prejudice against jocks.
I assure you, my refusal to join yet another book club does not mean I hate you bitches.
June 26, 2012 at 5:24 pm
That’s why we bibliophiles subscribe to an intelligent book review blog (or two), right? We get suggestions, can have a dialogue through the comments, and can decide we’re not going to read whatever we like without anyone knowing.
June 26, 2012 at 6:25 pm
Agreed. Although I don’t read many reviews, I definitely pick things up on whether I think I’ll like them or have read the author’s work before. I love Dave Eggers and John Updike, so I am more likely to read something they wrote before Hunger Games (even though I will probably read that one too).
Feel free to recommend your favorite books here.
June 26, 2012 at 6:04 pm
Thank you for the shout out! 🙂
Clearly, I’m reading 50 Shades. If it weren’t for the blog, though, I would’ve quit after a couple of chapters and I’ve only quit like 2-3 books, ever.
I’ve never read anything else on you list and the only thing I’m remotely interested in is Game of Thrones. I’ve got to block out like a year of my life to make it through that series, though, and that’s a lot of commitment.
June 26, 2012 at 6:13 pm
Thank you for making me laugh and summarizing the book so I’ll have something to add in those literary criticism water-cooler discussions.
June 27, 2012 at 3:51 pm
I, for one, would happily attend any book club meeting that served pulled pork. You are a misunderstood genius.
Oh, and your takedown of 50 Shades of Grey made me snort.
June 27, 2012 at 5:45 pm
Maybe I am not bringing the wrong snacks, maybe I am going to the wrong book club. Glad I made someone snort – think that’s a first.
June 27, 2012 at 5:49 pm
I doubt it.
And I proudly return your follow.
July 3, 2012 at 12:05 pm
Hi, I love your dark honesty and sense of humor! I have a book club you would love! Required reading is always Winnie the pooh, everyone bricks crackers for snacks, showering is frowned upon, and a bare knuckles brawl starts every meeting! It’s the wave of the future, be hip or bean dip your choice! Thank you for the follow! Always fill a new page with a new idea! Have a great day of writing!
July 20, 2012 at 2:36 pm
Oh, I loved this – have just recently had a rant myself about books I find completely overrated and have been crying over (I mean, over the time I wasted reading them – something in me prevents me from stopping halfway, even if I dislike a book, but I do skip-skim-read).
July 20, 2012 at 5:32 pm
Everyone who has a “refuse to read” list, I have to ask where they stand on “The Best Laid Plans.” Friendships sometimes hang in the balance. Great piece, by the way.
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