Monday, August 7, 2017

My Name Is Lucy Barton, and I Joined a BookClub

Several months ago, I saw a post on my Neighbor Next Door thing- actually I think I got an email- about a new book club forming by a lady in a neighboring neighborhood.  I said "YES!" I wanted to join, but was traveling and unable to attend the first several meetings.

But fortunately, I stayed on the email list.

This month, the book they read was My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Stout. I got it from the library a few weeks ago thinking that yes, I would probably read it and if I did, then I would probably go to the book club.
My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Stout
Just a couple of days ago, I got an email reminder about the book club.  So I read ...Lucy... over the last day and a half.  I just finished it up this afternoon.  And although it was okay, and I wasn't dying to talk about it, I was planning to go ahead to the book club.

Until about an hour beforehand.  I got a little nervous and nearly talked myself out of going.  I didn't know any of the women in this group.  And although I had read the book, maybe I didn't read it deeply enough to contribute to a discussion.

But I took a breath.  And I thought:  This is a book club.  I'm a book reader.  And I always wish I had people to talk books with. So I decided that I was going.

And I am SO glad I went. The book club consisted of about ten women.  I think I was the youngest one there.  (At least, I like to think I was.  I often think I'm the youngest tho, even when I'm not.  But one lady actually told me she was 70, so I know I was at least quite a bit younger than her!)  A couple of the ladies there were English/Reading teachers, so they were great about keeping the conversation about the book.  Although few of us gave the book a thumbs up, we all had things to say about it and it made for a great discussion.  It actually made me like the book even better because we discussed it.  Honestly, I hadn't even quite processed the question of "Did I like that book?" since I had only just finished reading it today.

my Lucy- who better to pose with My Name Is Lucy Barton
The basic premise of the story is that while Lucy Barton is in the hospital for some illness (we never know quite what it is), her estranged mother visits her.  It's narrated by Lucy, in a very stream-of-concious form.  She had a sad upbringing- from a poor family with parents that didn't express much love, and even bordered on abusive.  It's one of those stories that isn't told sequentially.  In fact, it's not even so much a story-  But I did like the way it was written, and it was thought provoking. It was short, and I read it in three sittings.  I think that is the best way to read this one- fast.  There are quite a few unanswered questions in the book, but I sorta liked that style.  Like I said- thought provoking.

And also, as I previously said, I liked it even better because I discussed it with these ladies in the book club.  Usually, I would read a book like this and just move on to the next. And I would probably soon forgot all about it. But this discussion forced me to think a little more critically about what I had just read.  Discussing the the book, and us having different opinions about the story and the characters, made me think about things I might have glossed over otherwise.  I think I understand what I read better, because for about 45 minutes, we talked all about it.


I feel so lucky that I stumbled upon this book club.  As I told Fermin as I walked in the door after coming home from the meeting, "That was a goldmine."  I can just tell, I'm going to love going to these meetings.

I am mediating, or whatever you call it, the next book club meeting.  I didn't volunteer for the job, but they asked me to do it.  I didn't really want to, because I don't feel confident I'll do a great job with it.  I warned them of my ADD ways and told them I was a little apprehensive, but the ladies who had wanted that role had already done it at previous meetings and they just wanted someone else to do it.  So, I got the job.  But I'm excited to step up to the challenge and keep the discussion going next month.

The book that was selected for August is Rising Strong by Brene Brown.  Coincidentally, I had downloaded that on Audible months ago based on a friend's recommendation, but have never gotten around to listening to it.  I also went ahead and placed a hold for a hard copy at the library as well, just in case I have trouble listening to the audio version- sometimes, I have trouble focusing when it's just audio.  So I'm all set.

I'm finally in a book club! Yay.

1 comment:

Valerie said...

Sounds fun! I'm glad you had a good experience. How does the group select what to read?