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There are some authors whose books I’m always going to read—no matter what. If Jonathan Franzen’s next novel is a kitschy romantic comedy between a cat lover and a bird lover, I’m going to read it. If Louise Erdrich decides to abandon psychological literary fiction to write a slapstick western, sign me up! I may not like everything by these authors, but I’m such a fan of their writing that I’m always willing to try. Jeanette Winterson is one such author for me.
I discovered Emily Bronte in 1992. I wasn’t the first to discover her and I won’t be the last, but my initial reading of Wuthering Heights during my 17th year was as marvelous a discovery as any. See, Wuthering Heights was written for me. Sure, you’ve read it, too, but I daresay it’s a different book for me than it is for you and that’s why people continue to read it and
I want to talk about book clubs. I’ve been involved with several over the years and have found them to be deeply rewarding—each in their own ways. There are a few dangerous pitfalls that book clubs have to strive to avoid, though. In no particular order, here they are:
1) The book club becomes a wine club
2) The book club becomes a whine club
3) Not everyone reads the book
4) One individual (who typically has not read the entire book) dominates discussion
5) The same person selects titles each month
As a readers’ advisory librarian, I normally don’t push books I’ve read onto others who might not share my reading interests and preferences. Normally. But, I’m not immune to book evangelism—the need to convince others that the book that has changed your life will undoubtedly change theirs, too.