Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Typical Book Exchange

Last night, The Typical Book Group got together to exchange books, and talk about The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce.  There were 10 of us there, which was great.  Each December, we clean our closets of the books that we are prepared to part with, and trade them with each other.  This year, I got a little aggressive, and gave away two of my unread books from the Off the Shelf Challenge, We Were the Mulvaneys and Death Comes to Pemberly.  The Mulvaneys had been sitting in my night stand for at least 4 years, and I have always dreaded reading it, but felt that I should because it was written by Joyce Carol Oates.  And we all know about Joyce Carol Oates.  Hello??  She was one of Jonathan Safran Foer's professors in college, and she helped him get started writing.  When I was Googling the connection to support this claim, I came across this article that I hadn't seen before.  Not much about JCO, but it talks about almost everything JSF has ever written.

So, anyhow, back to the Typical Book Group.  We usually pick numbers from a hat or a bowl or whatever to decide who gets to choose first, second, etc.  This year, I got 9th.  Did you notice that I said that there were 10 people there?  So, I was surprised that a copy of The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling was still available for me to snag.  I also got a book called The Tudors by G. J. Meyer, which I hadn't heard anything about, and two cookbooks. 

After the exchange, we talked about Harold Fry.  There was quite a lot to say.  We all pretty much agreed that Harold seemed like a nice enough guy, but not anyone who we were dying to meet.  We talked about his journey, and Queenie, and about the effect his journey had on his wife, Maureen.  Our host, Kim had printed out some discussion questions that she had found online, and we thought it was odd that none of them dealt with the subject of alcoholism.  We all had ideas of what we thought would happen, which actually didn't happen, but in the end we felt that Joyce found the right ending.  Rachel Joyce, I mean.  I'm not exactly on a first name basis with JCO.

In the spirit of the season, I offered the Typical Book Groupers the opportunity to review Joyce's new book, Perfect, which is coming out next month.  Kim took me up on it.  Kim has a blog of her own, where she claims to review books, but she keeps her blog private.  I can only guess what she writes about me there . . . So, stay tuned, and we should soon have a guest blogger, or at least opinions dictated by Kim, and transcribed by yours truly.

We didn't decide on a book to read next month, so that will be a surprise as well. 

Still Reading:  The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer.  I am loving this book so far, and only wish that I had more time to read it!

Still Listening to:  Winter of the World by Ken Follett

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