I can be a fairly voracious reader, mostly of crap books. In efforts to broaden my reading horizons (ie; read something other than smut) I have been yearning to start a book club for a least a year or two. However, anyone who knows me understands that I am more of an “idea person”, and not so much a “follow through” kind of lady. This drives my husband INSANE, as he refuses to start a project with me unless he gets a signed promise of completion in advance. It really is that bad. I lose focus, I lose energy and I usually just want a nap.
BUT last month, I STARTED A BOOK CLUB! For real. We have a name (Boozy Bookworms), members, a book and even deadlines! You gotta love Facebook. There is a button that says “Start a Group”. It could literally not get any easier. Click to add some friends, find an appropriately irreverent yet classy picture, welcome everyone, and pick a group name. Voila! Book Club started. Now, for the arduous task of picking a likeable, yet thought provoking book that not everyone has read, but that has come highly recommended…
WILD, by Cheryl Strayed.
These are the actual Facebook reviews for WILD from real-life friends:
“Wild was really good. A little different because it wasn’t fiction.”
“I read Wild and it was really good. Definitely a must read!”
I am sure there were a couple more reviews, but I can’t seem to find them. Anyways, the point: The response was overwhelmingly in favor for WILD. Hell, even Oprah recommend this book.
OK! Let’s get our read on!
Yikes. A few days in and a couple BB’s have already given up, citing Cheryl as “whiney and annoying”. A couple more ladies are still reading but not entirely enjoying our first selection. At this point I have yet to read it, but to my credit, it had been downloaded onto my Nook. Don’t worry; I am not bailing on my own group. I will read the damn book, it was sort of my suggestion.
2 days until book club, I am about a quarter of the way through and decide its go time:
Man, this book is seriously all about hiking. I don’t care about hiking. If I had a mental break down, heroin and hiking would not be my solution. I don’t think I can relate at all. Wait, she legally changed her last name to Strayed? I wonder what I would change my last name to. We had considered Awesome. (Have you met the Awesomes? I still think that would have been cool) She brought a dozen condoms with her on the trail…that’s a lot of (literally) dirty sex. Oh, shit, she got rid of the condoms; they were unnecessary and weighing down her backpack. I guess there will be no love story. More hiking. Damn, if my feet hurt that bad, I think I would quit. I don’t want to lose 6 toenails. Another night with no dinner? I guess dried tuna flakes would lose their appeal pretty quickly, but I am pretty confident that I could eat ramen for a while. I would have to carry Tabasco with me in my pack. That could be heavy, I would have to omit something else…maybe a couple books? But then she burned the parts she had read and made a little fire every night. I wish they had had Nooks in the early nineties; she would have saved some serious weight. But, then she would have had to carry solar chargers and such. Oh, well, then she could have tweeted about it or Instagramed the sunsets. I wonder if there is cell reception out there? I wonder if I could have hiked 1100 miles without a cell phone? Kind of makes hikers now sound like wimps with their GPS and fancy devices. Can anyone even follow a guidebook map anymore? I don’t think I could. That damn bear would have eaten me, only if I didn’t die of fright first when hundreds of black frogs attacked me while I was sleeping by the pond. That might have done me in. Fucking frogs. She sure hitchhikes a lot. When do we get to the part where someone kidnaps her? Or assaults her? I don’t wish her harm, but she is alone in the middle of nowhere…anything can happen. She doesn’t have a gun. I am not really pro-gun, but by myself in the wilderness? I think I would reconsider my stance on firearms. Is she going to sleep with Doug? A handsome young lad hiking along the PCT? Sounds like a love affair under the stars…she saved one condom. Is it for him? No? Never? Oh, ok. I really thought that was going to happen. More hiking. More hiking. Finally has sex with some dude that she just met at a bar…after he takes her back to his tent on an organic farm that he helps at in exchange for a free place to live. Makes sense. At least he doesn’t do heroin. More hiking. Reaches destination and sums up the rest of her life in 3 sentences. Seriously?? That’s it? I get 200 pages of hiking information, and just three sentences about what happens after her 4 month spirit quest in the middle of nowhere? Alright. The end.
A friend offered to host our first Boozy Bookworms discussion group and cocktail gathering. Damn, this woman out did herself. We had wine glass shaped cookies, a charcuterie spread, and even a gorgeous aqua-blue vodka cocktail, reminiscent of the Crater Lake in the book with the crystal clear blue water. Her husband had even set out little bottles of tequila and Jack just in case we were into shots that evening. Maybe next time! That’s an interesting idea; a book club drinking game…then it would need to become a book club and sleep over.
The verdict: None of us where overwhelmed with WILD. We found it interesting, but not earth shattering. It did open up a great dialogue about what we would do or where we would go to start over- no husbands, no kids, and very little money. I said Europe. A friend said Maine, and then reconsidered the fact that she doesn’t like seafood. One woman said England, and another said a cabin in the woods somewhere. All decent ideas…but no one said “Hike the Pacific Crest Trail”. No one. That was intense.
Until next month, happy reading!
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