Knitting Club Book Club ’09

friday_night_knittingApril 23 marks a pretty momentous day for me as a reader — and a social butterfly! I’m going to be hosting the first Borders Book Club at my local bookstore — a place I’ve worked, off and on, for more than two years. This month’s selection is Kate Jacobs’s The Friday Night Knitting Club, a book I just finished reading last week.

As you may have seen, I had some pret-ty strong reactions to it! Well, I’ll be honest: I freaked out after finishing it. If you haven’t yet read it, far be it from me to spoil anything for you . . . because I really did enjoy the book. I was just so flat-out flabbergasted by the ending, it tainted much of the story for me. I’m going to leave out any spoilers here, but I’ll just say, again, that I was a little heartbroken and angry.

So yes! Excellent first book club pick! Definitely a book that incited some emotion and fist-punching from me. But I’ve never led a book club in my life . . . in fact, I’ve never even attended a book club. I’ve read plenty of books about them (see: The Jane Austen Book Club; The Reading Group) but have yet to sit with a group of ladies (or gentlemen) with coffee and plenty of novels piled between us. And, to be honest, I’m worried that no one is going to show up! Our Knitting Club Book Club, as I’ve begun to refer to it, is sponsored by Borders — and folks across the country are all meeting at their individual stores to discuss it. I’m in Southern Maryland and our store is usually pretty busy, but I’m going to be so disappointed if we don’t have any attendees! Especially since I have some conversation topics ready to go.

Well, I think I have some conversation topics ready to go. I’m working on it. The back of my novel has a reader’s guide and several pages of additional information, as does the Borders website. And I love that sort of stuff! I’ve never had an occasion to actually bring any of these points up with anyone else, but I love reading the author interviews and checking out the discussion topics. Usually I get a better understanding of what I supposed to “get” from the book . . . and I use them as catalysts for beginning my book reviews.

bookmarks_i_made So I’m excited! Meeting other book-minded people! Expanding my circle of acquaintances! Getting paid to talk about a good book for a few hours! Seeing my friends from the store! Drinking a latte — something I’ve just been depriving myself of while detoxing from caffeine!

In fact, I’m so overzealous about the Knitting Club Book Club that I’ve actually crafted . . . bookmarks for my fellow clubbers. Yes. In all sorts of colors! I’m a pink girl, but I figured not everyone wants a pink paper bookmark shoved in their novel. And you can’t go to a party and not take home a little favor, right? I dig the bookmarks. I was optimistic and made 18 of them, my lucky number! I’m planning on putting this blog address on the back of them, hoping they’ll come visit write meg!

But now that I’ve successfully rambled my way through this post and shared some bookmark eye candy, I ask of you all: Is there anything that I, a total book club newbie, should know about running a successful book discussion? And if you’ve read The Friday Night Knitting Club, is there any awesome question or talking point you could share with me? I’m totally open to suggestions / thoughts /ranting, and I appreciate any feedback! I really want it to be a successful, fun night.

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Book review: ‘The Friday Night Knitting Club’ by Kate Jacobs

friday_night_knittingLet me begin by saying: I AM OUTRAGED.

And let me second that by saying some spoilers may abound in this review, because I’m having a hard time controlling my ire!

So here we have Kate Jacobs’ The Friday Night Knitting Club, the story of self-empowered and bold Georgia Walker, a woman who owns and operates a yarn shop in New York City. With her 12-year-old daughter Dakota, Walker & Daughter has grown from a small upstart to a successful business — and great center of a knitting community. Friends Anita and Peri help Georgia with the business; many other friends come in and out as members of the Friday Night Knitting Club, an impromptu gathering which gained momentum until ladies came to rely upon the club as a great place to relax and forget about the stresses of the week. 

As the story progresses, we’re introduced to a myriad of new characters: K.C., a publishing maven whose life — and career — is at a crossroads; Darwin, a graduate student who comes to the club initially to question the “traditional” aspect of the craft which may or may not bind women to the patriarchy; Lucie, a television producer wondering if, at 42, she’s missed her chance to become a mother; Anita, a spritely widow still finding her place in the world after the death of her beloved husband; Cat, the wife of a philandering dingbat who has plenty of money — but still can’t fill up that gaping hole inside her.

And then we have James — the handsome, successful architect who wooed Georgia in  her 20s only to break her heart. And bring her Dakota, their daughter . . . the daughter James couldn’t be bothered to help beyond the customary support payments he deposited in a bank account for Georgia. So when he reappears on the scene and throws off the balance in Georgia’s efficient life, the results are catastrophic.

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