The Book Club
I’ve always had an appreciation for words. And no, I’m not just talking about reading the latest gossip blogs or tabloid mags—although those have a special place in my heart as well, don’t judge. But seriously, ever since I was I was a kid, I loved words. You know those students that get excited at the thought of vocabulary lists and spelling tests? That was me. My love for words runs so deep that I was even led to become a creative writing major (that’s another story for another day). The words of my favorites—Octavia Butler, Wally Lamb, Ramon Carver, Jamaica Kincaid, and California Cooper inspired me that much. Now, it’s safe to say that life has taken me on a different path, but that has never stifled my thirst for the written word.
Words are important. I feel like that has never been a more necessary statement than right now. But they are. They mean things. What you say, how you say it, and even the feeling behind your words have the power to change lives.
Which brings me to: The Book Club. You know the only thing more satisfying than daydreaming about being a renowned author (I told you, this love was real) is reading a good book and discussing it with a group of friends. You see, unlike movies where we’re all pretty much watching the same thing, with a book everyone has a different perspective. We see things differently, we imagine scenes differently, we conjure up our own images of characters. Sitting down with a glass of wine and listening to each other’s experience with the book is always a good time.
That’s why my girlfriend Jocelyn and I decided to start our own book club. It one of those things that was in the back of our minds for awhile with us both being women that could appreciate a good book and a discussion. Took us awhile before we got it together and made it happen but now there’s nine of us dedicated to the club. All about the same age—28 of course, don’t ask questions—with about 10 years difference between us all. We open the floor for book recommendations and go with the popular vote. This is book club ladies…not an election…no need to complicate things.
We’re about three books in and here’s what covered so far:
Homegoing – We started with this read by Yaa Gyasi. It was the first time I read about pre-colonization in this light. Africa was portrayed as every day life, an existence we could all relate to. It felt as familiar as discussing living in Harlem.
Ordinary Light – Next up was a story by Tracy K. Smith that dug into the relationship between a mother and her daughter. Transparent moment: it was painfully boring. It had layers but lacked depth. Just my perspective.
Behold the Dreamers – Our most recent book was an immigrants’ story by Imbolo Mbue. Well written, simple, and relatable, I found myself lost in this one. While the context provided a voyeuristic view of African culture, it also let you ponder on your dreams. What they are and they price you pay for them.
The next book is…well, I guess you gotta check out the next blog update. Here’s a hint, the author is coming!! Join us? And drop us your book recommendations as well! Sharing is caring sis.