I’ve gone ahead and done it: I’ve joined a book club. It was a spur of the moment decision bolstered by the fact that I had nearly completed the first book that the club will discuss. I’d be lying if I didn’t feel some trepidation at entering the realm of all things middlebrow.
Why the worry? Mostly because reading is such a personal exercise. Without discrediting all those known and unknown who have recommended books to me, the books I’ve found most enjoyable have been the ones I’ve discovered at my own leisure using my own methods. Gift books are pleasant enough and 50/50 in terms of me actually enjoying them. Summer reading for school took all the fun out of reading in the summer.
Nonetheless, it’s been a good year for books. You might have seen my Reading List for 2006. I had to write the books down because I realized that my memory of them began fading as soon as I turned the last page. Of them all, it was the ultimate novel, the one that I managed to read bouncing around the roads of Sikkim and while freezing under blankets and hot water bottles, that found its way to the top of my list. Half of a Yellow Sun was the kind of novel set around historical events that moves you to wonder about places you’ve never considered. Biafra, the late 60’s, and hidden in the background the kind of history lessons about colonial powers that are still relevant today.
Up with reading. Onward to book club glory.