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Where the boys aren't

Roswell Book Club, Roswell, GA
I love book clubs. Actually, I love the idea of book clubs since I’m not actually in one. But, trust me, if there were a book club where guys could all read Band of Brothers and eat hot-wings––I’d be in there. (If you know of one in my area, by all means––hook a brother up).

The closest I get to being in a book club is having a collective of guy friends that read. We swap books like power tools. We sometimes even return them. That’s how I came to read The Road, Peace Like a River, V for Vendetta, Live from New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live and the DaVinci Code, just to name a few. We have water-cooler conversations about books, but that’s about it. Guys will go sit in a bar and watch golf reruns, but somehow this half of the species can’t figure out how to do the book-club thing––at least not in my neighborhood.

Why am I riffing on this?

Because my more literate half just got a free book in the mail from the Random House Reader’s Circle book club. They sent her a copy of Lisa See’s Peony in Love, just for being the leader of “Leesha’s Hotties”––ahem, evidently they let you choose your club name. You sign up online, get free book catalogs, can schedule phone chats with authors––it’s pretty cool.

What do I get? Dog-eared copies of Sports Illustrated and half-price nachos.

Are you in a book club?

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Reader Comments (11)

I'm having trouble focusing after seeing that photo...what was the question? Oh,um, no I'm not in a book club. None of my friends are readers. Plus, with two little kids I wouldn't have time to go to meetings. I like the Idea though.
April 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMike F.
Nominally I've run the book club on Wordtrip (which has gone into an unannounced and apparently unnoticed hiatus this year), and done some "guy" book clubs before, but none of them have ever stuck around for more than a book or two. I did the local library's summer read thing a few years back and won a little essay thing that garnered me, and a dozen other people, dinner with the author. I do tend to read books with a friend, either at the same time or share books back and forth. Something about the reading process is wonderfully solitary and communal at the same time.

On a side note, I live near Roswell... and that book club scares me.
April 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCharlesP
Not a member of a book club. Might be interested in a "targeted" club, of sorts. Maybe. Suggestions?
April 3, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdavid
I was so scared my mother-in-law was going to be in that Roswell photo.

I've never been good with book clubs, although I think they must be really fun, especially if wine is involved. But I've tried a few online and I never get the book or read it or I read it five years ago and I don't want to read it again. So I end up slinking away.
April 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKatie Alender
Okay, so I know you're going to say it's chick lit, but I just watched The Jane Austen Book Club(which FYI my husband enjoyed too). Of course the book is better, but that goes without saying. It's a quick read. I like to call it "mind candy" but it just might inspire you to pop open a bottle of vino and get clubbing.
April 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKate
Hi Jamie! Found your blog through a comment on Katie Alender's.

Just thought you'd like confirmation that math in Arkansas is taught in schools exactly the same as in every other state in the nation. In fact, I taught a National Merit Scholar last year. ;)
April 4, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjemima bean
Hey--way to represent! I know, I shouldn't dish too hard on Arkansas--but sometimes I feel I can--my mom was born there in Witt Springs. I floated the Buffalo River and got caught in a flash flood. Ah, good times...

Charles--I kinda forgot about online book clubs. I guess those count in this day and age. And I do have a guy friend in town that's in a book club of sorts. They're a bunch of lawyers that buy non-fiction (non-legal) books in bulk, but they don't really get together and talk about the books over bottles of scotch or anything.

Kate--thanks or the tip. I'll check it out.
April 4, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjamie
I did one online book club thingee run by MotherTalk. There was an added incentive because the book was free for participating.

A few of my girlfriends are in book clubs, but, no, I don't know any guys who participate in any.

I love talking about books, especially books I love, but I'm not great about reading for a deadline.

I wonder if, perhaps, the "book club" model might be perceived by some men as rather forced. My male coworkers and I share book recs frequently and do a lot of book/movie Water Cooler talk. Technically, it's the same as what I did in the online book club I was in. It's just not given a name, or a predetermined date and time. :)
April 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPS
My friend Brad has threatened to start a guys' book club a few times...maybe we can get him to do the legwork if you're interested.

And I think you still have my copy of Harry Crews' "A Childhood." The late fees are going against your book advance, my friend.
April 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEric
I nominate Jamie to do the legwork!

Count me in.
April 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGeeGuy
No. But I think it is a great way of getting to appreciate books that you might otherwise miss. I mean, it might just involve a simple clue about what the writer is really getting at, and the book falls into place ..
April 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEamon

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