Wow, we've actually made it to Part 33 and we're still on our journey. People will ask if I'm planning to do this for as long as I live and well, I don't really know. I guess it'll just end when it ends and because it hasn't ended, well—we're carrying on. Today, we're going to discuss why I don't like book clubs and I'll give you some reasons. Now, I don't have a hatred for them because I know that they help a lot of people by reading a book in a group as opposed to reading it by yourself. For reasons of social meetings, motivation, etc. some people prefer book-club style reading. But here are a few reasons why I don't personally like it.
The first reason is that you have to read the book club book even if you don't like the book. Now, I've known a lot of people online to say, "I really didn't like the book this week but I had to push myself through it." Yes, but why? Life is too short to read a book you don't like, let alone spending a week reading it and then having to talk about it in a group situation for an hour. I would prefer choosing my own books not only for the fact that I can choose what I want to read, but also for the fact that even if I don't like it very much—I spent my money on it so I have to try and like it at least. Nobody else to blame there. (To be honest I haven't read a book I don't like in a long time. A very long time).
The second reason is the one book a week thing. Most book clubs focus on one book a week and have a one hour meeting about that book. This is what I don't understand. Why don't you instead set a theme of three books, read them across the week, and come back to cross compare? That would make for a more eventful conversation and the people reading the books don't have to feel like they can only concentrate on one for the entire week.
The third reason I don't personally like bookclubs is that I'm a bit of a book hoarder. I like reading as a solitary activity, not as a group one. Yes, I think it's cool to talk about what you read with other people, but if you're all reading the same thing, then that sounds like a really boring conversation. I want someone to tell me about the book they're reading that I haven't read yet. That's all I'm saying.
Let's get on with this then. Remember I'll never recommend a book I haven't read myself and my personal favourites on the list are marked with an (*). I may talk about one or two throughout the article but I really think you've had enough of me talking on and on now, so let's get into the books! Here's numbers 961-990.
961. Wake Up by Jack Kerouac
962. The Complete Short Stories of Robert Graves
963. To Jerusalem and Back by Saul Bellow
964. The Theory of the Modern Stage by Eric Bentley
965. The Caucasian Chalk Circle by Bertolt Brecht
966. Equus by Peter Schaffer
967. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
968. Glory by Vladimir Nabokov*
969. The Psychology of Love by Sigmund Freud
970. The Essential Groucho by Marx
971. The Victim by Saul Bellow
972. The Old Wives' Tale by Arnold Bennett
973. The Great Wall of China by Franz Kafka
974. The Memoirs of Tennessee Williams
975. Moses Ascending by Sam Selvon
976. The Face of Another by Kobe Abe
977. Caligula and Other Plays by Albert Camus
978. 'Summer Crossing' by Truman Capote
Did you know that this was the first Capote book I ever read? Well, it was. I had heard of Breakfast at Tiffany's and already made up my mind to read this first. Then I read Breakfast at Tiffany's straight after, a few months later—I found In Cold Blood and trust me, if I didn't like Capote that much before, I definitely liked him after reading In Cold Blood. Be that as it may, I always take Summer Crossing to be my introduction to the world of Capote.
979. Rabbit Is Rich by John Updike
980. Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively
981. The Ballad of Peckham Rye by Muriel Spark
982. Penguin's Three Gothic Novels
983. The Penguin Anthology of Simone Weil
984. The Dreams in the Witch House by HP Lovecraft
985. The Go-Between by LP Hartley
986. Americana by Don DeLillo
987. The Collected Poems of Patrick Kavanaugh
988. The Man in the Grey Suit by Sloan Wilson
989. A Death in the Family by James Agee*
990. The Legendary Adventures of Alexander the Great by Richard Stoneman