2019,  Book Club

Musings: Hello, Sunshine!

I joined a REAL book club.

Unlike when Mel and I tried to have a book club. I mean a two-person book club was really us enjoying a sushi dinner and talking about the book for five minutes, then just a hangout sesh. While it was a great time, I am excited to really try the whole ‘book club’ thing out. I’ve always wanted to be in one.

My new-ish co-worker, JJ, invited me to her book club — kinda out of the blue. I don’t even know if she knows how much I enjoy reading. Anywho, despite my go-go personality and loving all the things, a book club leaves me apprehensive for a couple reasons. One, I’m worried I won’t finish the book in time. Two, I will read the book too soon and not be able to have a coherent conversation about it when we said book club happens. Three, I didn’t want to interfere with my gym schedule.

But, I know trying things that scare me and that happens to be out of the norm are good for me. Or at least my therapist tells me this. So, I originally told JJ probably no. But then I went on Amazon and ordered the book and told her I’d do it. Or at least I’d try it out for the first month. Why not?

ICYMI I’ve been sharing my current reads for awhile. Check out the tab above >> What I’m Reading.

The weekend I received the book, The Dry, I powered through the entire thing, in a very obsessive manner. We weren’t meeting for weeks, but I started to read it and then I got into it. Like, really into the book. Every chance I had that weekend, I spent reading and even late into the wee hours of the morning.

JJ’s book club consists of a group of female friends who use the Reese Witherspoon, Hello Sunshine Book Club reads. They meet once a month to snack on apps, drink wine, and talk about the book they previously voted on. To be fair, I was a little hazy on how they pick the books, but I did know they vote on it together. But as I was looking through the full list of pics, I didn’t see The Dry, so I was a little confused. I did see it on the Interwebs that she recommended it, but it didn’t match up with the current month. If you know me, then you know I like to know all the details, so it was bugging me on how they came to chose this book for December. But I’d soon come to find out, I just had to wait for our day.

Post gym, not too sweaty, book in tow, with some hummus, pita chips, and wine, I showed up to meet JJ and the rest of the book club gals. I had no expectations. I was showing up sweaty, post Midtown. This is a big thing for me to have adopted over the last six months. I used to either skip the gym and go to an event or rush home to shower before every event. My fear of being stinky was off the charts. Now, I just don’t care. Or my self-talk reminds me not to care. The gym is important. Social activities are important. I needed to find a solution that would allow for both in my life and NOT be dictated by my obsessive showering habits 😉

I oddly felt nostalgic as I drove around the Grid to get to the gal’s house who was hosting. It was near my old job and neighborhood, it made me remember the feeling of living in this neighborhood for almost a decade. A little sadness and a little joy, but probably more apprhension of what I was getting myself into. Questioning whether I’d be able to hold my own in convo with other women I didn’t know. I’m annoyed that I’d question myself like that, but I did. I knew it would be fine, even fun, but I was apprehensive for sure.

There ended up being seven of us gathered to talk about the book. I came to see they were really relaxed about how they run their book club, which was nice. JJ prefaced that that’s how they were, but until I saw it first hand, I was slightly nervous. I’m more of a structured person, but I completely appreciated how relaxed they keep it. Some versions of the book have questions in the back, mine did not. Two girls skimmed them and picked a couple they thought would be good to discuss.

The conversation was fluid and lovely. I contributed as if I’d known these gals before. They were open and super kind, which made fitting in feel normal. Even at thirty-five, I still have those jitters of meeting new groups of women. However, everyone was kind and it was a fairly diverse group of women. Maybe not in skin tone, but in age, perspective, and jobs it sure was.

Then we discussed the next book. Me being a rule follower thought we should go with the current Reese Witherspoon pick. One gal looked into it and it is only available in hardcover. So, they agreed to all wait a couple months and then read that one. I didn’t out myself as a lover and only hardcover buyer. I just went with the flow, knowing I’d buy the hardcover version of whatever we chose. We looked at Reese’s older selections and found a few that no one had read as of yet. I was surprised at how many people have read so many from her list already. We read the synopses aloud and then did a quick vote on what would be next: Exotic Stories for Punjabi Women: A Novel.

You know I sat there and ordered my copy on my Amazon app as we finalized what book we’d be reading. Other, more fiscally fit ways different gals sourced the book are from a library, paperback, audio book, or borrowing it from someone else. I find joy in growing my book collection, even if doesn’t fit in the KonMari methond 😉

As we picked the date for February, we decided to make it a Galentine’s book club night that I would host. Yay, two of my fave things = hosting + reading! I’m so glad JJ folded me into her book club. I enjoyed the first month and I’m looking forward to next month. The group is really nice and I look forward to learning more about each of them. We didn’t spend much time doing that this month, but I see it happening more as we become more familiar with one another.

I’m loving this new addition to my calendar!

Leave a Reply