Since I used to work in publishing, I’ve always wanted to start a book club. Over the years, various friends have told me that they would also love to find a reason to read more, so I’ve toyed with the idea many times, but it wasn’t until recently that I finally decided to make it happen. The book club was one of the “personal projects” I wanted to prioritize when I started freelancing, and while it was a little slow to get off the ground, we finally had our first meeting this past Tuesday!
The book club includes a small group of friends, most of whom live right here in Brooklyn. When I first put everything together, I thought it would be a great opportunity to bring together multiple friend groups and to get to know a few friends of friends who I don’t get to see as much as I would like.
We chose our first book back in mid-November when we were all feeling very fired up about the election results (although, to be honest, I’m more fired up now), so we chose How to Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran. Given the concerns we all had around issues of respect for women, we thought our first book club meeting would be a great opportunity to read something powerful and feminist, so we chose a book from Emma Watson’s book list.
Almost three months later (I know, I know, we dragged our feet a little), we finally had a chance to meet and discuss the book this week. The whole group was more or less in agreement — while the author had some funny observations and an interesting voice, we didn’t love the fact that she tried to position the book as some sort of feminist manifesto or universal rule book on how forward-thinking women should act.
Personally, I thought the most interesting takeaway was Moran’s musings on all of the things that women overthink or analyze or worry about — and that men don’t. It’s definitely changed my perspective on a few things, especially when it comes to sending professional e-mails! I’m working hard at not getting myself all worked up over asking questions or asserting myself, because I think that most men in the working world do those things without a second thought. As strong women, I think this is something that we could all keep in mind!
Even better than the book talk (which was great, because I do miss that about my publishing job!) was the chance to hang out with some of my creative, funny, interesting, and compassionate gal pals. Of course, I already knew how lucky I was to have such great friends, but I genuinely believe there’s something about discussing a book that really brings out people’s smartest and feistiest sides. Plus, we got to eat some really good snacks and drink plenty of wine on a Tuesday night, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that : )
I’m already excited for our next meeting in mid-March! We decided to read The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, which I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about.
Do any of you belong to book clubs? Would you want to read along with ours? Let me know in the comments below!