Book nerds unite…
Yeah. One of those. You know where book nerds get together and have an enlightening discussion about a recently read book.
Ummm…no not really.
A book club where we (still book nerds) read a book (because we all literally love reading), but we mostly just get together to chat, laugh, share stories and drink adult beverages.
We also talked about the book. Not everyone finished and not everyone loved it (or even liked it).
But what’s that saying about best laid plans??? Probably should just lay them to rest? Wait…did I make that up? Because if I did, I’m a word genius.
I have sneaking suspicion that it’s already been said, so there’s that.
Okay so a quick story:
I’m a control freak.
Wait you didn’t know that?
I’m also a perfectionist. I’ve learned how to let some of that go simply because I grow wiser as I near the infamous 40. And it’s just plain exhausting.
But these characteristics of mine still linger. Actually linger is maybe a bit modest…
So as soon as I started this book club, I started researching books. I mean how do you pick the perfect book that everyone will love? I usually choose cheesy romance novels or dystopian teen novels and I love a good Nicholas Sparks book. I’ve read Harry Potter a bajillion times. As a kid I would read in trees (yes…like climb the tree and hide in it so I could read without anyone bugging me). I loved our trips to Value Village to peruse the book section (which is really gross now thinking about how many people touched those used, yellowed books). But age 10 me was not bothered by that. I would choose all the Nancy Drew books and I’ve always loved mysteries by Mary Higgins Clark. Yes I read 50 Shades of Gray. Interesting. If it’s popular, I’ll read it simply so that I know what all the fuss is about and join the conversations.
I do hate realistic drama books about things like child abuse and divorce and things that make me sad (except those darn Nicholas Sparks books that suck me in every time and then I’m angry because I’m sobbing hysterically and my mascara is most definitely getting ruined). I want a book to make me laugh out loud. And I don’t generally love non-fiction. I go through phases and I will read across the genres and it’s rare that I don’t get into it even if I don’t love the story.
I choose a book to escape from the day to day stress and worry. It’s travel for the mind, escape for the brain. And time to decompress for a bit. To focus on someone else’s story.
So I asked all my book club people for suggestions. Which they gave. And then I chose none of their selections and went rogue with this book:
I started reading immediately. After the prologue, I had a panic and thought “crap I need to choose a different book. Everyone is going to wonder WTF kind of books does this chick pick?” But then it got better as we got into the story. Well, unless you ask a few of us…it actually got worse.
I won’t give too many details because you may want to read the book. But here’s an Amazon excerpt:
When brilliant FBI agent Kendra Donovan stumbles back in time and finds herself in a 19th century English castle under threat from a vicious serial killer, she scrambles to solve the case before it takes her life―200 years before she was even born.
All along I knew that I needed to plan the perfect meeting to go along with my now less than perfect book. I began pinning ideas to a Pinterest board and planning the most perfect meeting ever.
Which didn’t happen.
The meeting happened but it was less than perfect. Here’s why:
We were having our house painted and the weather has not been cooperating so they haven’t finished…so that wasn’t perfect.
My house is always pretty clean, but of course I frantically ran around like a spaz cleaning until midnight the night before (ask my kids, they’ll attest to that)…but then I noticed some dust that I missed…so that wasn’t perfect.
I cooked dinner…attempting a Cinco De Mayo theme, but that was a fail because I didn’t mention “dinner” just “food” so everyone had already ate. It was fine though. Everyone enjoyed the chips and dips and maragaritas in a pitcher…but alas it wasn’t perfect.
Oh and I totally forgot that I put water bottles in the fridge so people would have an alternative to the adult beverages and then I forgot to put those out. So if you were thirsty, sorry. I did have cold water.
Then I was going to be all cutesy and have book questions or something clever…but that didn’t happen….therefore, not perfect.
I did have a cute little door prize with a cute mug, chocolate and an $10 Amazon gift card to go towards their next book club book. So that was pretty perfect.
Finally, I didn’t take very many photos to document this whole thing and isn’t that the point? “If it’s all for the blog?”
No. Nope. Not.
I love writing. It’s been therapeutic and fun. But I’m focused on the wrong things and missing the beauty of these experiences when I go into them thinking “it’s all for the blog”.
I spent a month reading a book I enjoyed. And I spent an evening with my friends. Beautiful women whom I admire and can spend hours talking with.
Want to know my lesson, my pearls of wisdom, the knowledge I’ve gained?
No one cared if my house was all painted or spic and span. I mean they might judge me a little, but they’ll still be my friends.
They don’t care if my theme is perfect or the food was Pinterest worthy.
They don’t care if I came up with questions or a door prize.
These amazing ladies who I get to call my friends, just came to hang out, chat, vent about the week, relate and relax.
And picking the perfect book was silly too. I’d forgotten the point of starting a book club was to read new books. We aren’t all going to love them. That’s the beauty. We are the same in that we love to read, but we are different in the books we are drawn to. And if we are in a book club, we will be challenged to read outside of our comfort zone and try books we never would have chosen to begin with.
To my friends:
I love that you said yes to joining this club. I’m thankful that you don’t care about my ridiculousness and that you came to hang out, laugh and share. Thank you for being my friends and my inspiration to be present in these moments.
I’m excited to continue our book club journey. Especially now that the hosting pressure is off me.
Haha. Baby steps.