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A Better Book Club
Look, it’s hard enough just convincing people to go out. You can’t hastily arrange a box of Franzia, a bowl of Pirate’s Booty, and eight copies of The Help and hope everything will just come together.
First, why do people join book clubs?
a) To say they are in a book club.
b) To enjoy the benefits of having a social life without having to stand around with a glass of lukewarm rosé wishing they had a date and/or their dress had pockets.
c) To stave off the existential horror of their brief lives.
d) To talk about books with their friends.
You need, essentially, to bombard your book club with the appearance of cleverness while masking your fundamental shallowness. The easiest way to achieve this? Classy book, secretly-less-classy paired film. And then themed snacks.
“What’s your book club reading, Amy?”
“Oh, Kim Philby’s autobiography. He was one of the Cambridge Five? A Soviet spy? Fascinating stuff, like a real-life John Le Carré.”
“Oh, wow! Gosh. My book club just finished that Stephenie Meyer book that ISN’T about vampires, so you seem like a very intelligent person.”
Then, right, you get to your book club, and the hostess is screening the 1984 classic Another Country, which is sort of about boys who will become the Cambridge Five, but mostly about an incredibly young Rupert Everett and Colin Firth and Cary Elwes having sexual tension together. And then you eat little cucumber sandwiches and drink Pimm’s Cups.
It’s really easy, when you think about it. I mean, just continuing on the same theme, you can read Billy Budd, Sailor, which is by a Famous Author, and then rent Beau Travail, which is a French art film loosely based on said novel consisting entirely of buff, shirtless members of the French Foreign Legion working out, and then eventually dancing to “Rhythm of the Night.” With that, you should probably serve really gloppy lobster rolls, or croque monsieurs, if you decide to go French with it.
I’m going to give you one more concept, and then you’re encouraged to go forth and make it happen.
We’ve made some great progress here today. And, when in doubt, you can always opt for the Ultimate Book/Movie/Snack Triumvirate: Fried. Green. Tomatoes.
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