October 5, 2008

Book club

Our latest book club meeting was last night. It was another great gathering, though the books this time around didn't inspire a whole lot of discussion, though they were both good reads. We read A Wolf at the Table by Augusten Burroughs and When you are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris.

A Wolf at the Table is a memoir of growing up with a crazy mother and distant/alcoholic/cruel father. The author has also written Running with Scissors which covered the period in his life when he was given up for adoption as a teenager to his mothers therapist. "Wolf" deals with his childhood leading up to that point. It is well written, but we have read a few "my childhood was tough because my parents were crazy" books, so it wasn't as enjoyable as it might otherwise have been. We had also read a book written by Augusten's brother (Look Me in the Eye) so it was interesting to see the same household seen through two sets of eyes.

When you are Engulfed in Flames was much more enjoyable. It is a set of short, funny essays about the author's life and observations similar in style to Bill Bryson. We all enjoyed the book, but the style of book didn't lend itself to any in-depth discussion.

I heard on NPR on Friday that a couple of polls have shown that 25% of adults did not read a book in the last year. Some explainations were other forms of entertainment competing for time, more time spent reading online, and the shortening of attention span (attributed to internet use by some). I have to say that participating in this book club and discussing our reads has made reading even more enjoyable.

Next up - Grapes of Wrath and The Art of Racing in the Rain.

1 comment:

jennifer said...

I might have been a candidate for one of that 25%. For the past 10 years, the only time I have read any books has been while on business travel (that's when I would read: while on the plane). Now that I'm not traveling anymore as part of my job, I wonder when I'm going to read?