By September 5, 2008 1 Comments Read More →

Book Club sleeper

I think I’ve found next year’s sleeper title for book clubs.  The Ladies’ Lending Library by Janice Kulyk Keefer.

Novels that use book groups or other novels as part of the story are always especially appealing to me. I like to see how fictional characters deal with their reading and reading habits and then judge the reality of the scenes and dialogue. I haven’t yet found a book that blatantly alters the plot of Pride and Prejudice or presents a book group where every member has read the entire book, on time, and shows up, on time, to discuss the book and nothing else.ladieslibrary

The Ladies’ Lending Library is no different. I haven’t yet finished it (no discussion for me! <gr>), but I couldn’t wait to blog about the way the author describes the book club, how they choose their titles and what they talk about.

First, the women call themselves “The Ladies’ Lending Library” because the moniker has a little more panache than “book club” and implies there’s a little more edification present in their reading. The group admittedly “refrains from any discussion of the literary merits of the books they read” and are just as likely to pass around Jacqueline Susann’s Valley of the Dolls as they are James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

The lady readers like to talk about the characters as real people whom they love and loathe and continue their discussions throughout the week until they next time they meet on a Friday afternoon for “gin and gossip.” Now, there’s verisimilitude for you. A big shout out to Keefer, proudly admitting what all reading groups members have always known, books and booze go together.

Now, excuse me as I continue visiting with this lively bunch of first-generation Ukranian Canadians spending the summer of 1963 on Kalyna Beach. Oh, and I forgot to mention, this book is an import from our Canadian neighbors, who are very good at picking books American book clubs like. It won’t be published until January 2009. But it’ll come out in trade paperback with a reading group guide. We likey.

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About the Author:

Kaite Mediatore Stover refuses to give up her day job as director of readers' services for The Kansas City Public Library to read tarot cards professionally or be the merch girl/roadie for her husband's numerous bands. Follow her on Twitter at @MarianLiberryan.

1 Comment on "Book Club sleeper"

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  1. But Valley of the Dolls is a must-read, even if the literary merits of it aren’t matching that of Joyce’s.

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