Books I Read in June

Another one of my new year’s resolutions this year was to read more books. Last year, I was so swamped with work and school that I was lucky if I read a book a month. This year, I have made sure to carve out time for reading every day, and I am pleasantly surprised at just how many more books I’ve been able to read! Here are the books I’ve read in June, in no particular order:

Edith Wharton’s Ethan Frome: I thought this would be a nice and short introduction to Edith Wharton. Ethan Frome is written as a series of flashbacks from the point of view of a visitor who sees an old and decrepit Ethan Frome. He slowly finds out more about Ethan’s unfortunate background from neighbors and Ethan himself. The book is depressing, but has some lovely descriptions of winter and snow. There is a heated debate online about whether Edith Wharton was a feminist or an anti-feminist. I haven’t read anything else by Wharton, but I’ll be perusing these discussions and adding more of Wharton’s books to my to-read list to try to come to a conclusion for myself. Have you read anything by Edith Wharton? What do you think: feminist or anti-feminist?

Anne Carson’s Autobiography of Red: I’ve already written a little about this book in an earlier post here. One of my favorite passages is:
“Geryon was a monster everything about him was red
Put his snout out of the covers in the morning it was red
How stiff the red landscape where his cattle scraped against
Their hobbles in the red wind
Burrowed himself down in the red dawn jelly of Geryon’s
Dream.”

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Honey Pot Book Club: Starting a Book Club

One of my New Year’s Resolutions this year was to join a book club, but I wasn’t sure where to start. A lot of googling later, I sent out an email proposing a book club to twenty girlfriends and waited to see if anyone would bite. Half a year later, we just had our very first book club meeting! I’m still getting the hang of it, but I wanted to document and share the journey with y’all. I’ll be posting little tips and ideas, stories and anecdotes along the away.

First up, here are few things that I think are worth discussing at your very first book club meeting.

  • How often will you meet? We decided on once every two months.
    • Pros – people in New York City are so busy, and it’s always hard to try to find dates that work for everyone.
    • Cons – if you read the book earlier, it may be hard to remember all the details two months later! There may be a bit of strategic planning and timing involved.
  • What kinds of books will you read? We decided on mostly new fiction, with a mix of other things thrown in!
    • Pros – reading new fiction makes it easier to guarantee that no one’s read the book yet
    • Cons – new fiction means hardcover books and that can get so expensive! Our solution was to try to do a combination of new fiction and old plays and nonfiction – afterall, we are a group of girls that don’t read a ton of plays and nonfiction. How much fun is it going to be to read plays out loud with your best girlfriends?
  • Who’s going to lead the discussion? Who’s picking the next book?
    • I think these go together – the person who picked the book can lead the discussion! We decided on the next book at the end of our first meeting as well as determined an order of who will be picking next. (Next up is Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant.)

And a few tidbits I’ve been thinking about:

  • One of the girls mentioned that she loves trivia and so we may try to find some fun trivia questions and facts to kick off our next meeting.
  • Is it just me or are so many people bad at following through? Of the ten girls that seemed excited and committed, it was ultimately only four of us. I’m trying not to let things like that bother me, because we ended up having a great discussion and time regardless. At our next meeting, we probably won’t even bother to invite the people who didn’t show up the first time. After all, you can lead a horse to water… right?

Our next meeting will be in two months – do you want to read along with us? I might try to start an online read-along book club to go with our in-person club. I’m going to call it the Honey Pot Book Club! Are you in a book club? Do you have any tips for me?

Photo Credit: WeeWonderfuls