I went back to Monday Night Book Group last night. I haven't been there in a few months — okay, like, nine months. Whatever.
A friend of a friend knows the woman who wrote the book that was selected for October, and the author was actually going to be at the book discussion. So, I made plans to go with the FoaF, and requested Waiting for the World to End from the library.
I got a few pages into it, and then lost track of it for a few weeks. I ended up doing what I usually do when I'm in a book group, and read it all in one sitting on the Saturday before the meeting.
I liked the book, overall. One reviewer said that if you like Anne Tyler, you'll probably like Nicole Hunter, and I agree with that assessment. Two things bothered me, though: The fact that the main character threw away a letter from an old girlfriend without reading it, and the vague ending. There are other things to chew on, but those were the biggies for me.
It turned out that the FoaF didn't get past page 14, so I had to give her the Cliffs Notes on the drive over. I must have provided an excellent synopsis, because she was able to follow the discussion. She claims she's going to read the rest of the book, but we'll see.
It was a pretty good turnout — about a dozen of us, plus the author and the librarian who runs the discussion. It was nice to have Nicole Hunter there, because then we could ask her directly why she had the character throw away the letter or why the ending was such a letdown. She gave the usual spiel about how it was a choice she made, a risk she took, and she knew that readers might not like it, but she appreciates our opinions, etc. and so on.
Apparently she's working on another book, so she's taking note of readers' comments and feedback to help her revise the novel in progress. For example, one person last night mentioned that it was hard for her to picture the main character because there wasn't enough physical description at the beginning of the novel. Nicole said she'd heard that type of comment from a few people, so she was trying to do a better job of providing descriptions in the second book.
I don't know if I'll read the second book — I think she gave a brief description of the plot, but I can't remember it offhand. I'm not sure I'm going to read next month's selection, either. Well, re-read. The book for November is Plainsong by Kent Haruf, which we read in that same group a few years ago. I really loved that book, and its sequel, Eventide. I'm not much of a re-reader, though. Well, not of things that I read recently. Maybe once I finish re-reading the Trixie Belden series, which I haven't read for at least fifteen years, I'll look at some of Haruf's other books.
I just found Trixie Belden fan fiction.
And a site devoted to photos of & commentary on urinals.
Oh, you wacky interwebs!