It’s Grace, a few days late to do a recap of April’s book club at the Oxford Exchange.
I love love love book club. I love the conversation – and highly encourage you to come if you like what you’ve read – and love to write about it afterwards. The tea and the people are pretty great too, and there’s just nothing more I love than being around people who want to talk about the books we read, or the thoughts we have that relate to them. It’s a pretty wonderful feeling.
For those of you who haven’t heard of this before, I was asked by my local indie bookstores, the Oxford Exchange and Inkwood Books, to run teen-based book clubs. You can read my original announcements and explanations here and here.
Last month, we read For Whom the Bell Tolls – which admittedly I STILL haven’t finished (I’m about halfway through, and if you’ve read the book, you know it still gave me a lot to talk about) – and I absolutely loved it. March was a really great book club, even though it was after prom and we were all a little tired!
Despite my absolute adoration for my regulars, we’ve had some new faces recently which is so refreshing and rewarding! It makes me so happy when people come in – whether they’re people I know trying it out for the first time or people who simply heard about it through Oxford. It makes me a little nervous because admittedly, I’m a people-pleaser and want everyone to love talking about the book as much as I do, but the past few months’ book clubs have gone really well and I couldn’t be happier.
April book club was a little nerve-wracking for another reason: it was the end of lacrosse season and I didn’t even start the book until the morning of book club. I had another prom the night before and realized at the dance that hey, book club’s tomorrow. We chose Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger, which I already had in paperback. I had read about halfway through it before, but I had never finished the book just because I never had the time.
So Sunday morning, I camped out in my bed and simply read. It’d been ages since I’d done that: simply stayed in bed and read until I finished a book, but I devoured Franny and Zooey so quickly. It was a book that left me changed. I did the same thing with The Catcher in the Rye, a one-sitting book, and both left me in absolute awe of Salinger’s writing ability and how thought-provoking each characters’ mental breakdowns were. Those books made me think.
When I got to book club, we were absolutely spoiled by the Tea for Tots leftovers. Because we have book club right after, we get the leftover tea and sandwiches, and we had such a bounty. This month, we had these yummy almond-butter sandwiches and macaroons and four different types of tea. I felt absolutely spoiled.
We had more newbies this month, one of whom I chatted with for ages before the conversation started. We always start out with a cheesy, round-table style introduction (name-school-favorite-book-if-you-have-one) and it’s always fun, especially as you get to know people who come. I love the variety of people we have: the kids I know from my school, the kids from the IB program, the kids who commute from St. Pete. It’s definitely an interesting mix, and people have such fascinating perspective. One of my friends stubbornly insists on being flat-out in love with Zooey, who I actually couldn’t stand. So it differs, and we have good talk, and it’s such a glorious hour or so of conversation.
This month, the book was fantastic and the people were wonderful and I had such a good time. We hesitantly nailed down a title to start off the summer (The Bell Jar, anybody?) and I told them about next month’s book The Hound of the Baskervilles. I’ve already read it thanks to eighth grade English but it’s a great book and a perfect introduction to the classic Sherlock Holmes for those who haven’t previously been exposed.
If you’re a teen around the area, I would LOVE to host you at book club. I love meeting new people – and talking books with them – and although we have a steadfast group of regulars, we’re really welcoming to new perspectives and have a different mix of people every time. The conversation flows from the book of the month to other books we’re excited about to deep/personal conversations and back again depending on the month, and the ability everybody has to relate literature to their lives is truly fascinating to me.
I don’t have the flyer yet – our rocking social media girl, Sarah, recently switched up the template and it’s BEAUTIFUL, but not in my hands yet. But if you’re interested in book club next month, I still have all the information! Hint: If you buy the book of the month through OE, you get a discount on the pretty paperbacks we have in right now. Book club is actually the day after I get back from BookExpo America (!!!), so I bet we’ll have a lot to talk about. I’ll post the flyer here (as well as on my social media accounts) when I get it and post continual reminders.
Teen Classics Book Club
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle | Goodreads
May 31, 2015 at 3 P.M.
Commerce Club, Oxford Exchange
Free – tea and treats may be provided