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#55430 - 08/04/05 08:39 AM [Book Bundle] Group Discussion: Books about Book Clubs
deborah Administrator
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Ching Shih


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Group Discussion: Books about Book Clubs

Kate Washington canít tell whether book clubs have lately become trendy again, or if itís just that she's now her motherís age when she was in one. "[B]ooks about talking about books are developing a niche as a definite, if small, subgenre in the larger meta-genre of books about books." Got that straight?

(If anyone knows of other books about book clubs or books about talking about books--as opposed to books about books--please mention them here and I'll make a "further reading" list for the end of this article. I usually find this stuff on my own but I'm swamped today and I want to get the article up...thanks!)

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#55431 - 08/04/05 09:46 AM Re: [Book Bundle] Group Discussion: Books about Book Clubs
betsytacy
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Deborah, The Reading Group by Elizabeth Noble is another book about book groups.
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#55432 - 08/04/05 01:08 PM Re: [Book Bundle] Group Discussion: Books about Book Clubs
TrudyJ
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Very timely for me as I just finished reading Angry Housewives (and have also read Reading Lolita and The Jane Austen Book Club).

I thought all Kate's assessments of the three books I'd read were similar to my own reactions, though there was one point on which I disagreed: I thought the characterization of Skip as a political radical and activist in Angry Housewives wasn't anachronistic at all. As I posted in the "What are you reading right now?" thread, the group of women in this novel reminded me a lot (not as specific individuals, but as a group) of my aunt's group of friends who formed a writing group in the 60s when they were all "angry housewives" with young children, and some of them were even at the time quite outspoken activists. I found this book, though it is written in a determinedly light way, valuable as an insight into what it was like to be a woman married and having her kids in the 60s, being on the cusp of feminism, being a woman at a time when society had such rigid expectations for what women could/should be. I thought the range of politics and level of discontent among the women in the group illustrated well the variety there was in women's responses to that climate -- there were some who just accepted what they were given, and some like Skip (and some of my aunt's friends) who were willing to fight every step of the way.

I WAS disappointed that there was so little discussion about the books in this novel, though!

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#55433 - 08/04/05 03:29 PM Re: [Book Bundle] Group Discussion: Books about Book Clubs
fullmoon
Ching Shih


Registered: 03/09/01
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Heh. I live in Davis and was similarly excited to be reading JABC. Especially when I figured out where certain characters lived by the descriptions. Though I do wonder if the Rocknasium (i.e. the rock-climbing gym the book one is obviously based on) folks have ever read the book and had a seizure during the scene where Allegra goes climbing without a buddy.

That said...I normally am not into book clubs at all, but I liked the execution of JABC. It's odd, but it works. I really like their attitudes towards Jane and snappy little comments. It was so smug at times, it was funny.

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#55434 - 08/10/05 01:24 PM Re: [Book Bundle] Group Discussion: Books about Book Clubs
TrudyJ
Ching Shih


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Deleted post because I said something silly. In the sense that, I recommended added to the "additional reading" list, one of the books that was already in the article. My attention must have wandered for a moment....
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#55435 - 08/22/05 08:47 AM Re: [Book Bundle] Group Discussion: Books about Book Clubs
TraceyB
Ching Shih


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I just started re-reading one of my favorite comfort books and realized that it sort fits in this thread. "...And Ladies of the Club" is a long, discursive novel about life in a small town in Ohio. It begins in the late 1860s and ends in the early 1930s, and concerns the lives of several women who belong to a "literary club." The books the Club reads aren't really part of the story, but the Club itself becomes a character in the book, lasting even as the members change.
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