How To Fake That You Read the Book Club Book

Vivienne Woodward


Vivienne Woodward lives in Philly and works as the events coordinator for an indie bookstore. She can often be found drinking too much coffee in the sunny spot on her couch and over-identifying with fictional characters. She enjoys collecting hobbies, dancing to radio pop, and rearranging the book stacks on her side tables.

Hello, friends!!!! (Follow my lead.) Can’t wait to discuss this month’s book club book! The reason for the season, the thing that brings us together today (Princess Bride voice). You know, before we get started, I just want to say how much it means to me that literature brings us all together every single month. I mean, not only do we get the privilege of reading a book alongside our friends, but then it gives us a reason to congregate and drink wine. Hey! Who brought the wine this week? I’ll take some. Before we get started, who can I pour for? (Maybe you spill, maybe you don’t.) Now that we all have some wine — sorry again, Mabel, for the spill!!! Butter fingers!!! I would like to propose a toast. Here’s a toast to this amazing book. I won’t say yet whether or not I liked it — save it for the discussion amiright — but I just want to take a moment to acknowledge the author’s hard work and the miracle of printing, book binding, shipping, and distribution. We don’t often talk about those aspects of the book, but they’re always present, no? What an amazing thing. Okay, cheers.

Now, back to the business of book binding. What did everyone think of the end papers? I know that’s kind of silly, but they really add something to the sensory experience for me. I could really SEE the map, I could really IMAGINE the journey. And how about that font?? Decent spacing too. I like a bit of white space on the page. Hat tip to the typesetter! Those little white space breaks really give you a moment to reflect, even if you’re not fully aware of it.

I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention the cover design. It’s not every day you get a cover designed with sort of amorphous colorful blobs roughly in the shape of a….uterus? No? You saw a goat? I guess it’s really a Rorschach effect, huh? Anyway, I liked it. Anyone else? No? Oh, you thought it didn’t do the subject matter justice? Hm….I guess I could see that….the subject matter was pretty…morphous, after all.

Anyway, anyway, don’t let me steal all of the airtime!!!! What did others think? What burning questions do others have???

(Listen very very carefully.)

Oh, me? Hmmm, I mean, aren’t you all a little bit tired of hearing from me? (You should have made them tired of hearing from you as early as possible.) I mean, let someone else get the mic, right?? No, still me? Okay, hmm….what did I think of the symbolism of the bird eating the apple in the second to last paragraph and how did I think it connected to the overall theme and Gemma’s untimely end? Hm… I mean, first of all, it’s a great, insightful question. I can’t say I noodled that exact one over, but let’s see. I thought it was very interesting, very interesting that the bird would eat the apple. Especially considering Gemma’s untimely end. (Repeat as much of the question as possible. Use the word interesting with reckless abandon.) I’m not sure how I felt about it, and truthfully, I thought it was an interesting way to connect to the theme. I mean, didn’t you? Think it was interesting? You might even say unexpected? Or sure, totally expected, all things considered, but you don’t see a bird eating an apple everyday. Oh, right, I mean, sure, we did see it several times throughout the book but I’m not seeing that on the streets of Brooklyn every day, let me tell you!

What did I think of the trapeze artist landing on and killing the apple-eating bird in part two? I thought it was very interesting indeed. Interesting how the apple and the bird seem to appear around violence. What do other people think about that? Birds are usually symbols of freedom (try to make use of your background knowledge of literature) and apples should symbolize health and wellbeing, no?

Did I read the book? Of course I did. Did you not hear what I said at the beginning about being hashtag grateful we all get to use our shared love of literature to bond and imbibe? There was no trapeze artist? Hmmm, that’s really quite strange. Perhaps I am getting this book confused with another book I read recently. I read so often, who can keep track!!!!!!! Yes, I do understand that that’s kind of the point of being in a book club. Maybe I had a misprint in my book re trapeze artist? Damn you, book binders!!! How could this have happened?

Anyway, let’s not dwell on anyone’s mistakes. Who needs more wine? Mabel?