Tomorrow at my book club we are discussing our hundredth book.
We have been reading together since the summer of 2001, when we got started with Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.
Since then we’ve been through an awful lot, including the flooding of our city as well as the death of our founder. But we’re still going, stronger than ever in fact.
We select our books by a simple method: Each person takes a turn selecting three books on a theme. Given the current size of our group, two years or more may elapse between turns.
This club is perhaps the single most enjoyable and completely stress-free activity I’ve had over the past decade. That’s why I’ve stuck with it, I suppose.
Actually it’s no longer as stress-free as it once was. It is more difficult to carve out that monthly time-slot since becoming a father; I feel a little guilty sometimes; and despite my repeated pleadings Xy doesn’t seem to respect my desire to have this one little bit of “me” time held sacred and inviolate. As a result, I’ve had to bring my daughter along to a couple recent club meetings, with varying degrees of success.
Yet still I persist. I’ll extract my revenge on Xy some day.
Here’s a spreadsheet listing all the books we’ve read, in order.
I see I’ve failed to mention one defining fact: We are a science fiction club. We read science fiction almost exclusively. I say almost exclusively because we have veered into fantasy occasionally, and we have read some books which many people, including our club members, would not consider science fiction. We have had many interesting conversations — I almost said “debates” — on the definition of the genre. In fact our very first meeting started with that question and it still comes up almost every month. I’m happy to report that we don’t appear to be in any danger of discovering a definitive answer.
If you’re interested in science fiction you should join us. We meet on the second Saturday of every month at 10:30 AM. (Except, obviously, this time; we’re meeting on a Sunday because of Carnival.) Location: Octavia Books. (Speaking of Octavia, our most-frequently read author to date is Octavia Butler.) You don’t have to be some kind of hardcore science fiction fan to attend. You don’t even have to know what science fiction is. Just bring an open mind.
Oh — our hundredth title? The Transmigration of Timothy Archer by Philip K. Dick.
It was OK. But I wouldn’t call it science fiction.