the sweet bee sting

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

On Reading and a Book Club
7:53 PM

As an avid reader, I find it endlessly fascinating to see what books capture [and more pointedly, don’t] others’ interest. The end of the semester is nigh, and instead of spending quality time studying for exams like any good girl would be with the small bit of time I have before them, I’ve spent it reading and watching movies. This past week alone I’ve finished Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, started and completed The Reader and Water For Elephants, and also began a biography on Lucrezia Borgia and am halfway through This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen. I have a notebook with pages filled of books I'd like to get my hands on one day! Fortunately, my friends are of a similar mind and we all swap books with each other.

Don’t frown at me, Mom, I’ll study sooner or later. I just really like reading, okay? There's nothing quite as calming as swaddling oneself in a blanket and hunkering down with a book and a hot cup of tea.

tea 3

Which brings me now to the topic of our book club! Consisting of we-three-old-maids of the Bee Sting and a lovely variety of friends and family, last September we finally cracked down and drew up a schedule and rules for our monthly meetings. We try to read one book a month, and everyone gets to pick in order by birthday. We also try not to be picky about what we read, and so far we’ve had some pretty interesting works go though out hands. Meetings last around two hours and we usually come together over brunch or coffee. I have to admit that gossiping takes a more prevalent role than actually discussing what we read, but that’s okay. Several of us readily admit at times that we haven’t even read the books assigned [cough-MOM-cough]. The point is, we’re doing something together every month; something fun and social and entertaining for our gaggle of friends.


The end of the summer started with the giant and solemn Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham, which has been made into three films (but I say go for the one from ’34 with Bette Davis and Leslie Howard). For October we read the completely eerie Let the Right One In by Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist, which has also been made into a film and is being recreated yet again sometime this year.

November and December sort of became one, what with the holidays and all, so our dear Mary chose the fluffy, funny Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie. January fell into February due to an illness and found us sipping cups upon cups of tea and pondering Dickens’ last and unfinished novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood. March held our interest with Geraldine Brooks' People of the Book, a story of a book conservationist unraveling the history of a rare and ancient manuscript in post-war Sarajevo.

Last month brought us Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, another eerie and entirely melancholic story of a woman looking back on her strangely secretive childhood. Our next meeting is May 7th, where we will discuss Ishiguro’s work.

So what good books have you read lately? Any recommendations or food for thought would be mighty welcome.

Happy spring, my dears!
Liebe, Cristina