real life book club

You know about #familybookclub already, but let me tell you about this real life book club I went to last weekend. It was at Word, a local bookstore in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and it was really fun! We talked about Safe as Houses by Marie Helene-Bertino. It is a short story collection, and I very much enjoyed its surrealism and wit. I had a lot of thoughts about this book on my own, but book club helped me see how all the stories worked together. We talked about themes, what we liked and didn’t like, and what we thought was good and bad about the book. And to my surprise, there were a few stories that seriously divided the room. It was so great to hear why others loved the stories I didn’t like as much. Here are my notes from our discussion.

book club notes

I absolutely recommend this book, especially if you’re into surreal/absurd/magical realism. My favorite story was “Sometimes You Break Their Hearts, Sometimes They Break Yours.” I thought it was hilarious and sweet–I underlined almost every line. My next favorite was “Carry Me Home, Sisters of Saint Joseph.” I loved how the characters interacted, and it hit some emotional notes that I adored.

Next month is on Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward. I haven’t started it yet, but I am already looking forward to the discussion. It will be on March 2 at noon at Word. And don’t forget about #familybookclub! You have until March 30 (well, probably a little bit later even) to read Middlesex (paperback here, Kindle version here).

(I bought these books on my own and am not being paid to write about them. But I am a part of the Amazon Affiliates program, so if you buy it through my links on Amazon, I’ll receive a little bit of money for it. I am not affiliated with Word; I’m just a fan.) 


  1. Jill says:

    I am part of a real life book group too. When I (and a number of others) left my last workplace we decided to get together once a month and chat about a book we read – its great fun and, as you say, fascinating to hear how different people interpret what we read. Hope you enjoy your next book – ours is Bright Young Things by Scarlett Thomas.

    1. rclnudson says:

      Thank you! That’s such a cool way to keep in touch. Have fun with Bright Young Things! I’ll have to check it out.

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