Reading is always in season, right? Or do you find yourself to be a beach blanket reader or maybe you’re a curled up under the comforter reader? I used to be a star summertime reader, saving up all my book picks until the warmest months of the year and then devouring them during my college break. I would read like it was my job. If I wasn’t at work, my days including nothing but sipping tea, lathering on suntan lotion and reading up a storm. Those days have passed, but only because my life no longer consists of only two seasons: college and summer. Now that I don’t have mounds of required reading, I can read all the books I want. Yipee! I know you’re fist pumping right now or raisin’ the roof with two books in your hands, well let me give you something else to cheer about. Two words: book club.
That’s right my friends, Katie and I are taking our books to the blog. We want to open up a little dialogue about the great books that are out there and we sincerely hope you’ll join us. I always hear people say, “I don’t have the time” or “I don’t know what book to read.” Let us suggest a book for you and come onnn, you don’t have the time? When was the last time you watched a really dumb TV show or checked your email, facebook, pinterest, blah, blah, blah. You do have the time! Once you start reading I promise time will pop up out of nowhere and beg you to pick up your book. So just do it, commit to reading one (yep, only one!) book per season with us. We promise you’ll have a good time and you might even learn something along the way. Have you seen this vocabulary test by the way? If that left you feeling a little deflated (I’m talking about me here) then check out Free Rice where you can take vocabulary quizzes among a bunch of other subjects, my favorite being geography. It’s run by the United Nations World Food Program, which means every correct answer is a donation of 10 grains of rice! I digress, back to our Spring Book Club Pick, drum roll please! (pats hands on thighs in quick succession because I was serious about that drum roll)
For our first ever book club pick, we’ve decided to go with Maria Semple’s, Where’d You Go, Bernadette. Katie and I have heard only great things about this extraordinary fiction novel so we had to see for ourselves what all the praise was about. I knew I recognized the author’s name, but it wasn’t until I read the cover that I realized she wrote one of my favorite sitcoms, Arrested Development. Side note: were you disappointed by the 4th season? I need to know if I’m the only one. Semple also wrote for Mad About You (do you guys remember what a great show that was?!) and Ellen, so be prepared to laugh at the insanity that lies within these pages.
Where’d You Go, Bernadette is a novel about seemingly insane yet all too accurate accounts of growing, parenting, aging and making a life for oneself. You’ll read about personal struggles with both identity and family relationships and while there are some serious undertones, this book will make you smile. It will snap you out of whatever fog you’re in and somehow encourage you to get it together and start living the life you intended for yourself.
Taken from the back of the book: “When fifteen-year-old Bee claims a family trip to Antarctica as a reward for perfect grades, her fiercely intelligent but agoraphobic mother, Bernadette, throws herself into preparations for the trip. Worn down by years of trying to live the Seattle life she never wanted, Bernadette is on the brink of a meltdown. As disaster follows disaster, she disappears, leaving her family to pick up the pieces. Which is exactly what Bee does, weaving together emails, invoices and school memos to reveal the secret past that Bernadette has been hiding for decades. Where’d You Go, Bernadette, is an ingeniously entertaining novel about a family coming to terms with who they are, and the power of a daughter’s love for her imperfect mother.”
Here are some of the rave reviews:
- “In a time when everything is a version of something else, how extraordinary-and exciting- to read a novel that subverts conventions to create an experience that feels so fresh.” –The L Magazine
- “You’ll laugh your pants off, and love the takeaway- that a life gone off the rails can propel you in a bright new direction.” –Redbook
- “A crackingly smart family dramedy.” – Time
There are soooooo many more similarly raving reviews, but I want you guys to decide for yourself and let us know how you think this novel rates. Ok, one last word about how great this book is: Where’d You Go, Bernadette was named one of the year’s best books by the San Francisco Chronicle, Kansas City Star, Entertainment Weekly, Miami Herald, People, Denver Post and Philadelphia Inquirer. I’ve worked in a newsroom (Philadelphia Inquirer) and I’ve seen the dozens of books piled on reviewers’ desks, so it speaks volumes when so many have deemed it one of the year’s best. Ok, I promise I’m done praising it!
Kate and I think it would be super fun if you’d read along with us and then we can all chat about it. Who doesn’t love a good book chitchat? It’s guilt free gossiping. You get to flex those judgment muscles (which we hope you don’t do too often!) and talk about fictional characters with us and hey, you might even learn something about yourself along the way. Sometimes I buy the kindle version, but because of the unorthodox formatting of this novel, I suggest buying the paperback. Oh, and don’t forget about the library option! That was my plan, but both times I went all three copies were checked out! Probably because this book is all the rage right now, now READ ON! (Head bangs and raises book to the sky)