A year ago I was invited to join a book club. I’d never really joined a book club before.
This might seem unusual, but I’ve rarely lacked for people to talk books with. Growing up in a large-ish family with a librarian for a mother? Pretty much a constant book club. Also, studying children’s literature at a Master’s level? Three years of an academic book club. Most of my friends in Boston are readers, my coworkers are readers, and I have perfected the art of tricking my husband into reading the books I love so we can talk about them. My life = big fat book club.
I was a little nervous about it at first – because I am a little nervous about… oh… EVERYTHING at first – but then I showed up and all my grad school friends were already there. My book club is a bunch of ChL survivors, now working in libraries, for review journals, for publishing houses and in schools. We read children’s and YA. We talk about the book for at least fifteen minutes before digressing, usually to other industry-gossip.
It’s a good time, good to keep in touch with folks who aren’t related to me or married to me or who are contractually or financially obliged to show up and work in the same office as me. I don’t know if you’ve had the chance to meet Children’s Lit People in real life, but a vast majority of those I know are exceptionally bright, funny, and not afraid to dig deep into a book. They make for excellent company. I also appreciate the opportunity to inject a little variety into my reading life, especially during the months when my reading life is a bit less out of my hands. Here’s a short list of our book club picks so far for 2014.