I joined a book club!
I’ve talked about it before, but one of my goals this year has been to read more. I’ve been so busy with my full-time job and freelance projects that I just kind of stopped reading, which probably hasn’t been the best for my mental health. Books are one of my favorite ways to relax. There are few feelings I love as much as that of finishing a book, when you flip the final page and can be left alone with your thoughts. Especially if the ending is really good!
Anyway, I knew I wanted to prioritize reading this year and I knew a little push might be what I needed, so I joined a book club!
My coworker Colleen had been talking up a book club that she used to participate in, but then her work schedule changed and the day and the time just weren’t convenient. (Our schedules are almost the same, so it wouldn’t have worked for me either.)
Her book club was a Meetup group, so I surfed the site to find something similar, and stumbled upon this group. It looked really promising! The past locations were all good picks, and a lot of the books on the list were ones I’d either read, or wanted to read.
So, I went to my first meeting last month at Bites Tapas, and my second meeting at El Mariachi this past Wednesday. The meetings themselves were a blast. The guys were at little outnumbered (OK, a lot outnumbered – there were two guys and about 20 girls this past Wednesday!) and a lot of the members were women my age that I got along with really well.
Of course, we didn’t talk about the books too much at either meeting, but the books weren’t the greatest, so I’m not too upset about it. Here’s what we read:
Noah Hawley’s “Before the Fall” immediately hooked me in the beginning. One of the characters is a journalist (me!) from Michigan (also me!) with parents that worked in the auto industry (still me, so uncanny!) and I knew I was going to love this book.
But sadly that wasn’t the case. I thought the plot development was a little weird, so by the time you got to the end you forgot about the back stories of the characters in the beginning. The book was also unnecessarily wordy at times, and I found my eyes glazing over after two pages of descriptions that seemed to exist only as generic page filler. Also, the ending was really unsatisfactory. I felt like it was written how it was in order to give the reader an unexpected twist rather than the twist that was expected, and I much would have preferred the expected twist. Does that make sense?
There was also a glaring plot hole in the end of the book that just completely bothered me, and there were some parts of the book that just didn’t really seem necessary to the plot of the novel, so I’m not sure why they were even in there.
I really loved “Girl on the Train” when I read it a few years ago, so I was really excited when I finally got my hands on a library loan of “Into the Water,” the latest from Paula Hawkins.
This book was also mediocre. It was written from so many different perspectives, but each perspective sounds the same as the last because there’s no variety in the writing. Plus, some were first person and some were third person. It was so hard to keep up with what was going on because the narrator would switch between a dozen or so people every three pages.
I also wasn’t too excited about the ending. It didn’t come to a mind-blowing conclusion — it just kind of slowly crawled to an end.
What have you read lately? Any suggestions? I’d love to pick up some new novels this fall!
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my disclosure policy.