So I'm notorious with our book club for being rather last minute. I very rarely arrive on time (although, in my defense, I usually have to wait until John gets home then drive over an hour to whomever's house where we're meeting), and I almost never get my book until a few days before we meet. Then I have to speed through it, most often finishing it the day of book club. The first time I came, I was invited by Melanie on a Tuesday afternoon, I went to the library that evening, found a copy of Rebecca by Daphne DeMaurier, and joined the ladies I'd soon come to know and love the following evening after reading the whole book. I read fast, ok?
This month, I decided to break out of my pattern, and do things totally differently. I went to the library two days after January's meeting and got my book. I took my time to read through it. It was depressing, and sucked my will to live right out of my soul (it seems a lot of our books have been
Book club is tonight. I was on the phone with Melanie (the precious gal who not only started our book club, but also helped me buy the lovely house where I live) yesterday afternoon, and we were talking about our book, The Girls. I asked her if any of the books on our list for the year were happy ones, and she said, 'I know! What's with all the sad lit lately?' We kept talking for a while. She said, '...and then I saw that thing on conjoined twins the other morning on the Today Show. What a coincidence!'
I thought, 'Huh. That's nice. I think one of the characters in the book had cousins that were twins, but they were only mentioned in passing. Were they even conjoined? Maybe that part really stuck with her.'
Then she said, 'Yeah, I have a hard time reading anything where someone dies horribly in a car crash, because of my mom and everything.'
Again I thought, 'Huh. Did I skip over a whole part about a car crash? I mean, I remember when she killed her husband, and it turned out that all her friends had slept with him at one point or another, and that one friend had cancer, but I really don't remember a wreck.'
We talked and wondered if our book club was going to be able to keep up much conversation about the book, and whether we'd all have to drink the Kool-Aid afterward to escape the depression we'd all be going through, because of how non-uplifting this book was.
Then she brought up conjoined twins again. I had to stop her. 'Melanie, I'm sorry, but I don't remember any twins. Who were the twins?'
There was a long pause.
'BREA! For the love of Xenu, what book did you read?'
'Well, I read The Girls. The one where those five girls grow up together, and then one of them kills her husband after they'd all lost touch, and everyone came back to their hometown for his funeral, and no one else realized what a total asshat the guy was, and how awful he had been ...'
'BREA! Stop! That's not the book we're reading. Did you get the title right?'
'Well ... I think so. It said "the girls" in big blue letters on the front cover, so I assumed that was the title ...'
'Brea, our book is a novel about the oldest living conjoined twins; they're attached at the head, and they decide to write their memoirs.'
'Really? I didn't read that book.'
... I READ THE WRONG BOOK!!!! Apparently, there are TWO horribly depressing books called The Girls, and I didn't check the author when I got the book from my library; I just checked out the only book they had called The Girls.
And I have no car until John gets home, when I leave for book club. He didn't get home until after 8:30 last night, or I totally would have made a really late trip to one of the book stores in Austin to buy the book. I already have a complex about book club; all the gals there are smart and pretty and professional, and I feel so much younger than all of them (ok, I am so much younger than some of them, but that's besides the point), and they drink wine (I can't stand wine, and it makes me feel like such a little kid), and I worry that I'm constantly on the edge of doing something totally embarrassing, like making my drink come out my nose, or having to tell them I'm knocked up again, or spitting food, or falling down as I am fairly prone to do from time to time.
So ... the moral of the story is this: ALWAYS CHECK THE AUTHOR OF THE BOOK YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE READING, OR OTHERWISE YOU'RE GOING TO LOOK LIKE A BLOOMIN' IDIOT IN FRONT OF ALL YOUR SMART, SOPHISTICATED, WELL-READ FRIENDS.