Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Bar Book Club

So here's November 1 when we're supposed to be all crazy, nothing-but-NaNo writing...and I spend the evening at Coopersmiths chatting about a book and hanging out with a bunch of guys. Well...I'd already met my 2k-word goal, gone for a run, done some raking, etc., so I can justify it.

Beer of choice: Horsetooth Stout
Book: My God and I by Lewis Smedes

I admit I was leery about this book. A spiritual memoir? By a theologian? But OK, it was actually a lot more readable than I feared. I wasn't familiar with Smedes, but he grew up not far from where I did and about 15 or so years before my dad (who also grew up there). So it was interesting to get a feel for what that area was like back then. He also went to my alma mater for undergrad and had good things to say about that, which was cool. We agreed that Smedes had a sort of tortured soul quality that made him more approachable than you might think of a theologian. And he's very honest about himself, even about his doubts, which also made the book more accessible for a diverse group (though admittedly I think all of us who were there last night had grown up in some variety of christianity). It was not a dogmatic or preachy book at all, which was what I'd feared when it was selected last month. So I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would.

That said...I was ready for a work of fiction this time around, and it was my turn to bring the choices. I'd say my choices were quite different in many ways... I brought Nabakov's Lolita, The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti, Galapagos by Vonnegut, Lullaby by Chuck Paluhniuk, The Anthologist by Nicholson Baker, and (the book we ultimately chose) The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. All are books I haven't read and would like to read...but they're also all library books that I'll have to return sometime, and I'm thinking I won't have a ton of reading time this month. If I get a chance, though, I'd especially like to read the Nabakov and Vonnegut.

2 comments:

Lauren Michelle said...

The Picture of Dorian Gray is a quick read, and Vonnegut always is, so you shouldn't have much trouble fitting those in.

Had you not read Lolita? There are a few silly plot conveniences, but overall it's stunning.

Daniel Ausema said...

No, I haven't. I read Pale Fire and loved that, but it's the only Nabakov I've read.

Vonnegut is always entertaining, but the last time I read him, I went on a Vonnegut binge and ended up reading too much to want to keep reading more. By now I'm very ready to go back to him.