One of the best choices I’ve made over the past year has been to join a book club. Every few weeks, I take a night for myself to join The Wine & Cackle Book Club. Though the places we meet and the choice of book changes each time, there’s always a wonderful group of fine ladies and fascinating, thought provoking discussions.
Recently, we met in the lovely, approximately century old - with I'd say a Victorian feel - home of this month’s hostess. We pulled a hodge-podge assortment of chairs into a circular formation in her inviting living room bearing a full wall of books and loaded our hostess’s collection of pink depression era glass plates with cheeses, fruit, crackers and sweets. With the addition of the resident pooch made honorary book club mascot, Bruno (a big name for his small breed, shih tzu), we launched into our group conversation.
We began with broadening most club members’ vocabulary.
“So, has anyone been to dirty bingo? When you get bingo, you shout out terms like
.” Eiffel Tower
dirty?” Eiffel Tower
“Look it up in the Urban Dictionary”
“I learn a new word a day. Is it like that?”
Someone had access to the internet and we learned some new terms including “Santorum” which was definitely created by a person that is not a fan of the Republican delegate and “Dirty Sanchez”. Let’s just say, I abruptly downed my wine and gave up on snacking until the subject changed.
Next, we conceded that although we are a book club, we’re not continually reading. Sometimes we do engage in televised programs. We discussed the finer points of American Idol and
. After acknowledging LA Ink’s series finale, we learned more about the members of the group with a lovely break-the-ice type question. Jersey Shore
“Who here has a tattoo and where is it?”
Our hostess’s husband had the unfortunate timing of walking through the room. We learned that he had branded himself while overseas in the navy with “USA Grade A Meat” on his left (or was it his right) butt cheek. We never found out for sure, since he sprinted from the room and never returned!
Eventually, after a second refill of my wine glass, we did discuss the book. What book? Oh yeah, Room by Emma Donoghue.
Here’s a mini-review derived from our discussion:
“I’m glad it was told from the five year-old’s perspective. Otherwise it would have been too much to take.”
“It was too much for me. I hated it and couldn’t finish.”
“I loved it and thought it was fascinating.”
“What was with the mom?”
“She was amazing when they were trapped in the room and then, the second half …”
“Post traumatic stress?”
Eventually we broke into mini conversations. It was nice to catch up with an old friend (to clarify: she’s not old, I just knew her for over ten years) and with another book club member, I learned about the fascinating cyber world of Pinterest.
Before saying our good-byes, we picked a new host out of names of those in attendance written on little squares of paper.
“If you get picked, do you have a book in mind?”
“Actually, no. I’m not good at making decisions.”
“It wasn’t you.”
So, no hosting duties for me next round of book club. But, hopefully as long as life doesn’t get in the way, I’ll be attending and partaking in the many, varied, never dull conversations! (I just might share it all here again!)
I was among the last to leave. Before leaving, we asked, “Is this place haunted?” It had that haunted look that older homes tend to inspire. The hostess informed us that although she personally had had no encounters, her husband and her daughter have sensed a presence. A few years back, they had a medium go through the home. This woman relayed that a child had died here and his lifeless body had been laid out in the same room where we had held our meeting! In addition to the boy’s ghost, there's apparently a spirit of an older woman who looks out for the boy and a ghost of a woman wearing a red dress.
The last two of us left the home a little spooked to say the least.
“Check to see if anyone’s in your backseat.”
“I’m always worried about things like that at night!”
“Now I’m scared too!”
We drove to our respective homes following each other while casting suspicious glances into our vacant back seats.
If you are interested, here’s the link for the Urban Dictionary (disclaimer: this content is not for the young or easily offended):
Find me on Facebook and say “Hi!” or hit the thumbs up icon:
Special thanks to the Wine & Cackle Book Club founder, Jen Hall, for the inspiration of this post and many helpful suggestions.