I am the world's single WORST book clubber. Yes. I totally made "book club" a verb, deal with it. I am the absolute worst. I struggle with group activities. I can't play games either. You're usually doing it wrong, and I don't want anyone other than Oprah telling me what to read. Wait. No. Just kidding. I'm being all Midwestern and polite again. Gross. What I really want to tell you is I am the very best, and I can't deal with anyone trying to control me. It's fine. You're the worst and it's finally time someone told you. Hi. I was clearly an only child until it was far too late for anyone to rein in my WILD INDEPENDENCE (oppositional defiant disorder).
I hate book clubs. Somebody has to be cute and pretend they're your teacher and read notes and discussion questions. There's a reading deadline that I probably can't meet. It's stressful and nobody wants to read that 900 page book that we were all supposed to read in high school. I mean I already have a Masters Degree, dude. So ... everybody chill. Also, as much as I love to read, I really only want to chat about the book for about 10 minutes and then have a bottle of bourbon and eat cheese. Except that I kinda don't want to do that either because I don't want to clean my house for you to come over and drink my bourbon.
Wait. Maybe I am the worst. Whatever. I read a lot. Here are a few of the books I've read lately that I have really enjoyed. You should read these books too. You know. At home. Alone. In your own time, with no questions OR bourbon. Maybe if I ever see you with my eyes we can talk about them for a hot minute and then get Manhattans and talk about our favorite cheese (and the latest episode of Girls).
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
You need to read this book immediately. It's about 3 seconds from being turned into your favorite movie, but you're a grown up and you read SO GET THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW. It's the story of Starr Carter who moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. Starr's world gets a jolt when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend. That sounds heavy BECAUSE IT IS ... it's really everything that's happening around you right now. You'll fall in love with Starr as she takes you through what it's like to live in her world, and you might even walk away thinking a little more about your privilege. GET ON IT. Seriously. RIGHT NOW.
Dear Ijeawele by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This book is not revolutionary, you already know what feminism is. I mean, you do, right? Don't answer that question. I'm not trying to make you feel bad about yourself, though probably you should know. Dear Ijeawele is basically a letter from Adichie to a friend (and new mother). It breaks feminism into a sort of how to teaching guide in 15 suggestions. The idea is ... how do I teach my daughter to be a feminist. It's a quick read (only 65 pages). We know what feminism is, BUT I also like being reminded. This tiny little book is a great gift for the baby feminist in your life, but could also be a nice pocket guide for you. We all need a reminder now and again, and its size makes it easy to carry around. Take it with you everywhere and meditate on the importance of equality, and how to talk about feminism without sounding like a professor at Yale. Buy it, read it, use it, love it and then buy it for your friends.
All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg
I don't really want to tell you a single thing about this book. I just want you to read it. It follows Andrea Bern as she works through what it means to be a grown up woman today. I love this book so much that I'm going to stop typing now and read it again. It's short you can read it in an afternoon. It left me breathless.