Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Book 'em, Danno

In an effort to further my escapism from reality literary knowledge, and to get out of my comfort zone (a.k.a. my living room) and meet new people, I’m joining a book club for the first time in my life. I'm both excited and nervous about this since it's going to be the first time I leave Little Mister for longer than an hour alone with Big Mister. It's not that I don't trust Big Mister- he's a phenomenal dad; it's the fact that I suffer from a very acute yet crippling bout of separation anxiety just thinking that I won't be near him for that amount of time. I swear- Big Mister and I are never going to go on a date ever again and Little Mister is never going to school and he's going to remain my Little Baby Boy forever and ever and if he even thinks about getting married, I may have to pull out my crochet nunchucks once again. HI-YA!

Yeah. Maybe getting out of the house for a couple hours and having grown-up talk might not be such a bad thing after all...

The first book we’ll be reading is The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I have no idea what it’s about, even though I have already ordered it and currently have it sitting right beside me as I type. Read the dust jacket, you say? Stop pressuring me and get off my back monkeys! I’ll read it when I’m good and ready to!!

Ahem. I am sorry for calling you monkeys.*

The truth is I’m unsure how this venture is going to go. On the one hand, I’m excited to find new books to read and it’ll be nice to once again get on a reading binge. Lord knows I need to stop it with the yarn-buying binge already. On the other hand, I can’t shake the feeling that this is going to be an awful lot like homework. Reading a book for pleasure is one of my very favorite things to do instead of cleaning my house. However, reading a book because I need to discuss it with a bunch of people (many of whom I’ve yet to meet…I missed the first meeting. Oops.) kinda puts the pressure on to write a good report so I’ll get an “A” on my analysis.

Should I take notes? Use a highlighter? Will they think me uncouth for dog-earing my pages? Do I have to look for a deeper meaning in a book that may just simply be a novel? What does, “It was a dark and stormy night,” really mean? OOOO! It means they’re constipated, doesn’t it!

Truth be told, I’ve never been good at finding the “deeper meaning” of various books. Let me rephrase that: I was never good at finding the deeper meaning when reading for and by myself. Mainly because I’m devouring the book for the wonderful story that is unfolding before my eyes. Why ruin it with trying to find all the symbolism that may or may not be there? It’s not like finding an Easter Egg on a DVD where you feel proud of yourself and are treated with some cool, funny, or sometimes stupid behind the scenes stuff. It’s usually very frustrating and headache inducing “seeing” things where the author may or may not have intended something to be seen. I remember reading The Great Gatsby in high school and being all, “What the heck are they talking about?? What symbolism? That eyes and glasses billboard was just a detail seen on the road by an obviously non-ADD person, not some creepy symbolism for being watched by Big Brother,” or whatever the heck they said it was supposed to mean. (Note to self: re-read The Great Gatsby.)

However, once I knew what they expected me to see in between the lines, I was able to “see” symbolism everywhere. I nailed all the symbolism in every novel thrown my way and did indeed ace my book reports. Didn’t mean I agreed with it or even really got the full meaning, but I was able to find it none-the-less. (Sorry Mrs. Pittard!)

One such book was A Tale of Two Cities. I remember I really liked it but I don’t remember too much about it since it’s been at least five years since I read it in high school. (Ahem). I remember Madame Defarge knit people’s names in her longest-scarf-in-the-whole-world (or whatever the heck it was) and now that I know about double knitting, I do wonder if that was the method she employed. Or was it simply purling on a knit row? If that’s the case, she wasn’t very devious. I could even do that.

The exciting thing is that A Tale of Two Cities will be the second book we’ll be reading, so I get to revisit any symbolism I may have already identified and have subsequently forgotten in the mrfmrfmrf years since high school. And, I’ll get to really pay attention to the knitting part which, of course, would be even more awesome if it was crochet. However, a fiber lover is a fiber lover, no matter how insane and duplicitous she may be. I love you, Madame Defarge, you crazy old bitty, you.

I was informed that a book discussed as a possibility for inclusion in our reading syllabus is Fifty Shades of Grey. I must confess I had never heard of it because I am not a pervert. I don’t know if we will end up reading it, but egads. The symbolism that must be in that book, right? I mean, sometimes a sexual deviant really is a symbol for constipation, no two ways about it. Heck, I know I turn at least 30 shades of grey when things aren’t moving along as they should in that department. He could save 20 shades of grey by simply taking some Metamucil.

Heehee. This is going to be fun.





*No I’m not. That’s a lie.

(Btw: I'm going to be tweaking things on the blog for the next few days....sorry about any seizures this may cause you.)

4 comments:

  1. Monkey! I'm no stinking monkey!

    (hmmmm, if you take out the k, that would be money which I'm VERY happy to engage!)

    Have fun at the book club!

    And try for a date. Really.

    kuddles

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  2. Ah memories--I could get an A on every high school English test without ever reading the books. Just listen in class and memorize the symbolism that the teacher mentions, and you're good to go! Have fun and I hope you meet some cool people.

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  3. In my experience with book clubs (attending, facilitating, working with a librarian who does two a month) deeper meanings are not a discussion topic. You talk about the book, what you liked, what you didn't like, how things made you feel, if you liked the book overall. And you go on a million tangents that may or may not be related in any way to the book.

    Don't worry about taking notes unless there's something you want to remember to talk about or you think you might need help remembering characters or events. If you come across a reference that intrigues you or you don't get, look it up. It'll give you something to bring up at the discussion. But do it because it's fun and you're curious. If you totally miss things, no one will look down on you.

    If you feel any need or desire to see read 50 Shades of Grey, read Jennifer Armintrout's reactions to it instead. Start here with Chapter 1 http://jenniferarmintrout.blogspot.com/2012/04/50-shades-of-grey-chapter-one-or-why.html She's up to Chapter 9 and it's awesomely hilarious.

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  4. Kuddles- we *hope* to go on a date later this month for our anniversary... I'm getting a panic attack just thinking about it. ;)

    Julie- EXACTLY! You don't have to understand crap- just regurgitate whatever the teacher said and you're golden.

    Devi- oh thank goodness. I can handle tangents. That's my comfort zone. I just pulled up that website and read the first two paragraphs. I can already tell I'm going to fall in love with Miss Armintrout. Thanks for that!

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