Ever have trouble deciding what you’re going to read next? Yup, me too. But imagine if every time you had to choose a book, seven of your best friends had to agree that they wanted to read it that week, too. If you are or have ever been in a book group you will understand my plight. If not, then I will try to elaborate.
I am in two book groups. One, the ‘grown-up’ group, exists mostly to allow five erstwhile devoted mothers/wives/girlfriends to eat way too many Pringles and moan about what their husband/partner/child has done that week. We talk about a ‘grown-up’ book for about three minutes (once we made it to four but that was mainly because we were waiting for Pappadums, and Deborah, to arrive before we could start serious gossiping).
The other, definitely-not-grown-up, group, exists to allow seven writers, editors, critics and general book obsessives to spend three hours dissecting, defending or destroying the latest children’s or teen novel. Pringle-eating occurs, but purely in between arguing over whether angels are the new vampires and if so, why. All jolly good fun, until it comes to choosing next month’s book. Which is when everyone turns into children, and starts sulking, huffing, and refusing to do their homework, because, like, it’s just NOT FAIR.
And here is why (am using pseudonyms because you know and love these writers, and, I do not want that to change based on their weird fondness for trolls):
K: Books must have feisty heroine. And preferably paranormal romance. And possible death.
Other K: Under no circumstances must anyone die. ESPECIALLY if it is a dog. And DOUBLE ESPECIALLY if it is a Labrador.
L: Must have Vikings. Or trolls. Or, better, a Viking troll.
J: No Vikings or trolls. Also no fairies, elves, vampires, angels, ghosts or anything else MADE UP. Also no books by men writing in voice of girl. Is just weird.
I could go on. But I think you get my drift. So I’m ending with a plea: can someone, ANYONE, come up with a book that is going to satisfy all of us? Or at least not cause one of us to threaten to chew our own arm off if we have to read it. It would save me an awful lot of bother. And Pringles.