Monday, November 26, 2018

Stretching Selections

Have I told you how much I love book clubs before? I know. I know. I gush. But there’s a reason for it. More than one. Dozens, actually. My latest spark of elation is steeped in the diverse book choices members opt to read.

People, I’m being stretched. And I love it.

Someday I’ll tell you how my current book club got piecemealed together. We’ve started strong and I’m seriously excited to sit down with the women to discuss one member’s first selection: The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin. In full disclosure, I’m not sure it’s a book I would have picked. I love the concept. A mystical woman shares the dates four young siblings will die. Told from all four perspectives, we encounter how each sibling wrestles with this heavy information as they age. I’ve entertained the idea of writing a novel with a similar premise before. Some of the perspectives take me out of my comfort zone. But something kept happening as I got deeper into the pages. I kept wanting to talk about it. I babbled to my mom about it. I broached the theme of the book with my husband, which launched an intriguing conversation.

This book is masterfully written and it is an excellent book club selection. Why? Because I’m dying to talk about it—to discuss the tension between nature vs. nurture, fate vs. free will. I’m eager to hear what the other members of my book club think about the characters, their decisions, and how their lives unfolded.

The Immortalists might not have been the first book I’d gravitate toward when it comes to choosing our next read, but I’m so glad it was someone else’s first go-to. Because it’s doing what all my favorite books do—it’s growing me. I think of life differently because of this read. And that is just one of the bounties of book club.

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