Sooo... you've picked a stinker of a book for book club, now what?
Created By: Reese
How timely a topic! I picked "The Year of the Flood" for our November BB Book Pick, and well... I did not like it. As soon as I was about 50 pages in I started getting REALLY nervous. Had I just picked the ultimate stink bomb of a book? Am I now forcing several people to labor through this reading when they could be doing something else? What have I done? Are they going to kick me out of Book Club? Or just dread the next time I have to pick the book and suddenly all have plans for the night I am suppose to host? Agghhh!!
Not only have I maybe forced people to choke down a mind blowingly pointless book, but worse yet - I just kicked myself out of the running for our book club's "Best Book Pick of the Year" contest!!! Darn it! Darn it! Darn it!! WHY did I have to listen to the "experts"?
Choosing a book that you have never read before, and asking your closest book club pals to all read it with you, is a daunting task to say the least. The pressure is on and believe me, you WILL hear about it at the next get together! That is for sure!.... unless you have an unbelievably polite group.... or one that doesn't drink wine. (It's amazing how that vino can loosen the tongues.)
Sure, you could fool proof yourself and read the book BEFORE you pick it. It is always safer to do that, but if your book club likes to keep up on current books - unless you are a speed reader - that can be hard to do. So what's a Clubie to do?
Do your homework and take the plunge with your pick. If that doesn't work...
Here are some hints and tips to use in case you pick a stinker book:
1. Remain calm
Don't show your disappointment right away. Let other people speak up before you bash it. Some people might actually have liked it! That's the beauty of discussing books at book clubs. The multiple perspectives. And you don't want to set the conversation to "bash mode" before absolutely necessary.
Sam actually said, "I loved figuring out Atwood’s new terminology, and thought that it really completed the story. I loved this book..."
Loved figuring out the terminology? I hated that part!
2. Keep an open mind
I really did not like "The Year of the Flood" but the conversations were so good and the points people brought up made me truly appreciate and get something out of the book.
Have you seen some of the great points made on the discussion forum? Seriously, the comments and posts have made me look at the book with a whole new light. (Thanks Alice_Wonder for some GREAT insights.)
If no one liked it...
3. Go with it!
If it is clear no one is liking it - flip into "bash mode." Let the insults fly! Sometimes the WORST books can lead to the best discussion. Plus, discussing how bad it is can actually be MORE fun than if you liked it.
I had to COMPLETELY agree with Nick when he said, "But bring the wine to book club too, as you will need to shed the depressing heebie and jeebie you get from the book and get your laugh on instead." I'll drink to that! (FYI- Check out our wine pairings from the wine guy for some good wines to compliment the book.)
4. Preempt the strike!
Make a vow that you promise never to put your club through a "dystopic masterpiece" again! Have an action plan on how you plan to choose your book next time. Raise your right hand and say, "Next time I will read at the minimum 10 reviews from real readers. Not just take the word of the 'experts' and think that applies to the rest of us."
And stick to that vow! Unless you have found a reviewer that always steers you right, sometimes the best way to pick a book is to trust the opinions of the masses. Read the reviews from your fellow Clubies and weigh them. We are not saying to just follow the masses, but look at the reasons why someone rated something high or low. The very reason they did not like it might be the reason you do.
If the situation is bleak beyond hope...
5. Be like a magician and distract
If you are scared no one will show to your hosting, because NO ONE could possibly have liked or read your book pick - PROMISE EXTRA YUMMY FOOD! Razzle dazzle them, baby! Trance and entice them with a big shiny platter of chocolate goo. Dangle a watch in front of each of their eyes and instruct them to...
"Look at the big plate of brownies I made! You love brownies. You want to eat brownies and talk about how good they are. You want to think since the brownies are good, so is the book pick. From now on when you think of 'The Year of the Flood' you are going to think of yummy brownies. You are going to vote for Reese's book as the best book pick of the year."
What is most important is getting together, exploring new books and expanding your mind. And remember:
"You've got to read the bad, so you know the good when you find it."
"Those who don't take risks, also don't make great discoveries."
Explore, risk and reap the praise when you get it!
SIDE NOTE: A Plea for reviews...
And please give YOUR opinions on the book. Save your fellow BookBundlz Clubies from making the same mistake you did. Tell us why the book you choose is worth reading or not!!