Book club update

Science fiction, contemporary classic play, children’s horror, and noir. How’s that for some variety?

Our book club has had a great season of discussible reading. Here’s how it went…

Wild Seed by Octavia Butler

Discussibility Score:

Because: Octavia Butler is one of the best at creating compelling characters and putting them into intriguing situations that are outside our normal realm. In this book, a woman has the ability to shape-shift and gender-shift, and she’s immortal. Unusual things happen. Discuss!

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry 

Discussibility Score: 5

Because: We knew it was a classic, and none of us had seen or read this play–so we made that right. While reading the play doesn’t take much time, it requires some serious emotional energy because the issues are tough ones, the characters are sympathetic, and the answers aren’t clear. 


Bonus: format discussion! We all have different takes on reading plays. Personally, I love them, but also feel a bit irritated by the stage directions. (I prefer “show, don’t tell,” but in this format: impossible. So I get why it’s necessary, but I’m still annoyed by being told how a character reacts. See also: my hatred of adverbs.)

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Discussibility Score: 4

Because: This book is intended for children, but my friends… it’s seriously creepy and disturbing. (The one night I read it before bed? Unsettling dreams.) Coraline faces every child’s nightmare: her parents are replaced by sinister clone parents who intend her harm. And it all happens under her own roof. That girl’s all on her own, which is both terrifying and empowering. 

The Postman Always Rings Twice by James C. Cain

Discussibility Score:

Because: Much of our discussion consisted of our voicing our distaste for this book, which we all agreed made us feel dirty. The first-person unrepentant criminal narrator is disturbing, nearly all of the characters are detestable, and the plot is sordid. But we also agreed: that last paragraph made it all worthwhile. 


Next up: When the English Fall by David Williams. Because who doesn’t love a good post-apocalyptic book about the Amish? 


What book have you most wanted to discuss with someone lately?