June Book Club Wrap Up
It’s Grace here to do a recap of June’s book club at the Oxford Exchange.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. I actually work at Oxford Exchange, so I have loads of affection for my GORGEOUS workplace. Also, Oxford Exchange recently launched a lifestyle blog, which I occasionally contribute to!Last month, we read The Hound of the Baskervilles, a Sherlock Holmes mystery. In May, I didn't actually have time to wrap up book club on here (I had just gotten back from BookExpo America and was fully immersed into studying for exams, which were the week after.) But writing it out is one of my favorite parts so here goes.Book club has settled into a generally similar group of people but we always have some fresh faces which is so lovely. They contribute to the conversation brilliantly, and I love hearing about their schools and favorite books and all of that. If you're in the Tampa area, I would love to host you! Unfortunately, you have to be a teen - but even then, I'd love to hear from you.June book club was a bit more relaxed than normal; everyone's on summer, so we had a tiny group. Even then, I loved hearing their thoughts on the book.I'll be honest in saying that I couldn't reread The Bell Jar. I haven't struggled with severe depression or anything, but that book holds a few triggers for me. So I couldn't put myself through that again. I encourage everyone to read it at least once because it's the sort of harrowing, mental experience that changes you. However, it does put you in a bit of a small funk, which is really hard to get over.So I read the SparkNotes and headed off to book club, determined to hear about everyone's summers. I wasn't expecting us to be super focused this month (spoiler alert: we weren't) but was expecting maybe a bit of book focus and a lot of small talk.One of the best parts of book club is that although the people in it are my friends, I rarely get to talk to them as in-depth as during book club. Book club has a way of just constantly stimulating conversation, whether it's a deep conversation or about memes (see the superlatives below - Madison's to blame for this one) or simply catching up with them. It's a balance of insight and casual interest that makes me wholeheartedly love the fact that there are people there.We just had a few kids from my high school, so it was smaller than normal but it was all the regulars. Ironically, they're also the punks - and I love them for it. They always show up in pleated skirts and dark lipstick and these funky sunglasses, and read books like Lolita and reference Tumblr. It's pretty epic honestly. I'm a shy bookworm who somehow manages to lead parts of the school through clubs and whatnot (no idea how I manage to be peppy when I'm simultaneously terrified of interacting with people but it happens) and I never would have guessed that I'd get to be so close with such a vibrant group.This month, we lingered in the bookstore for the beginning. I haven't worked much this summer because I've been in and out of town, plus they've been training new bookstore workers. (Shoutout to Mike! You're awesome.) The new guy kept making me laugh and despite how excited I was to run book club, it was hard to drag myself away from my coworkers. So we hung out in the bookstore and picked our book for next month.We honestly spent a lot of book club catching up with everyone and their current reads. We joked about Sylvia Plath throughout, and talked about our reactions. It wasn't as much of what our book club usually is - bringing in other related articles, ideas, or perceptions - but it was personal, and great.And one of the best parts of having fewer people because of summer? We got the BEST Tea for Tots leftovers. They had chocolate strawberries, scones, tea sandwiches, fruit spears, and tea. It was absolutely delicious and we each got a ton. My favorite waitress - she may be a busboy actually, I get confused, but IN ANY CASE she's awesome - Carly brought in our teas and all of that, which we all really appreciated.Kassadie had the brilliant idea to do superlatives partway through since technically, it was our last book club of the year. I'll be in Canada throughout July and then at camp to be a junior counselor, so I wouldn't be there to moderate. Instead, we're starting off again in August.I rushed off to the Commerce Club closet to get a piece of paper and spent about five minutes debating the merits of each superlative I wanted to award. Some were easy and others were difficult. (I struggled over Kyle's for ages!) When I was done, I awarded them and they came up for one for ME, based on an inside joke we'd had earlier in the year.So it was a successful book club. I had a great time, I loved hearing about everyone's summers, and I adored getting to see them. Sylvia Plath was a good pick too - those who finished the book had some eloquent opinions about it. Everyone left and I said goodbye and then my car died, so I just hung around Oxford for about an hour and a half. It happens. Needless to say, not fun in 98 degree heat.Next book club? Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote. As usual, you can see all these bookish photos on my Instagram and keep up with book club announcements on my Twitter.Hint: If you buy the book of the month through OE, you get a discount on the pretty editions we have in right now.
Teen Classics Book Club
Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote | GoodreadsAugust 30, 2015 at 3 P.M.Commerce Club, Oxford ExchangeFree – tea and treats may be provided