Well, I have been through countless phases in my reading career, and I had to break that promise to myself about reading only things I wanted to read. I became part of a book club. I have read books I never would have selected on my own. Some I have not enjoyed, some I have liked, and some I have loved. Now, no one in my book club should be offended by my remarks, because we all know I, myself, have chosen some real challenges to enjoy. I actually persuaded a group of middle aged women, who are not wildly exotic in their reading tastes, to read Running with Scissors. Not that it was not a well-written book—but scandalous for our group. I will say that it did provide us with quite the book club discussion at my house and I probably haven’t laughed that hard before or since. I just finished Magical Thinking by the same author at the suggestion of my daughter. I was reluctant, but it turned out to be a good read and reassuring that he, the author, had not been damaged forever by his childhood, as remembered in Scissors.
What are my best book club picks? Well, there’re two of them—no, three, and for very different reasons. First, The Kite Runner. That book opened my eyes to such a different world than the one I live in. I felt such empathy for the characters in it, and hatred for some of the others. That book made a difference in my life. Second, The Thirteenth Tale. I chose this one because it is one I never would have picked it on my own, and I ended up just being entranced by the story and the writing style of the author. Third, My Sister’s Keeper. I selected this one, not because of the book, but because of the author, Jodi Picoult. I have read every book—with the exception of one (saving it)—that she has written. Her books take me on emotional journeys with every story. She is an author who does her research, and it is very clear in her writing that she knows what she is talking about. So, Jodi Picoult, thanks for being one of the best friends I’ve had since Nancy Drew went out of my life.