Last week, I visited a book club who had read A Few Kinds of Wrong and invited me to come by and talk with them about it. Although the host didn’t know me when she chose my book, one of the other members recognized me as our children go to the same school. So, she asked me if I would come and I said yes, thinking that it was a month away and maybe I wouldn’t be nervous by the time I got there. So when the night came, I was wondering what I had gotten myself into and, I have to say, I was quite nervous. I don’t like being the centre of attention or talking much about myself to people I don’t know. And I was afraid people might not like the book (doubt-filled as per last week’s post) and even though I knew they wouldn’t invite me to their book club to shred the book, I felt I would know if they didn’t like it. Luckily there wasn’t any such response (or they hid it very well) and they seemed to really love the book. It was so interesting to sit down with people I don’t know and to listen to them talk about my book. They had really great insights and comments and questions that made us all think about the book and the characters. It made me realize how people could see something that I didn’t, or how something I tried to do subtly in the book actually came across to people. Sometimes someone would ask a question and someone else would answer it because she remembered some minute detail or knew the characters well enough that she could answer it. I loved that. It was like the people in the book actually had their own lives and that’s how I feel about them, not that I created them but that I just wrote down the stuff that happened to them. I loved hearing how certain parts touched the readers and affected them. It turns out I was not the centre of attention at all. The book was, as well as the women in the group since the meeting was about their opinions and questions.
I’ve heard of so many book clubs in Newfoundland lately (and everywhere else but I tend to hear about the ones here) and it really makes me happy that we’re reading lots of books and then talking about them. And I think most of them, as with the one I attended last week, have people taking turns choosing the books so you might end up reading something you wouldn’t have thought of reading yourself, thereby expanding your reading horizons. If you’re in a book club and are interested in reading A Few Kinds of Wrong, check out the suggested book club questions included on the A Few Kinds of Wrong page (best for after you read the book as there are a couple of spoilers), and feel free to contact me. If you’re not in a book club, but love to read, consider joining one or creating your own. The reasons to join a book club, I heard the other night, were things like to have adult company and conversation, and to motivate you to read a book when it’s so hard to find time to do so. I’m glad Newfoundland and Labrador seems to have a burgeoning book club scene. The more people who are reading and discussing books, the better, I say, especially if they include local books in the mix.