I love chatting with women here in Oregon and all over the country. If you would like me to visit your group, either at your home or through your library’s book group, or via SKYPE, email me at CathyLamb@frontier.com.
These are some of the more amusing comments I’ve heard over the years at book groups:
“My husband is an asshole. He’s like Slick Dick in The Last Time I Was Me.'”
“My husband gets irritated sometimes with how much time I spend with the kids but I say to him, ‘The kids hug me and want me to read them stories but you always want to have sex. Of course I’d rather read stories.'”
“The guys from the fire department came to take care of my husband, AGAIN, but I knew they thought he was crazy. He thought he was having another heart attack. His third that week. They didn’t say it, but I heard it: My husband is anxious about his anxiety. That’s what causes his heart to beat too fast.”
“My daughter shaves her legs too much. Is that weird?”
“Should we take off our tops like they did in Julia’s Chocolates?”
“Pot is now legal in Oregon. Do you think we should get a joint for the next book club meeting?”
“Did you run naked by a river, Cathy, like Jeanne in The Last Time I Was Me?”
“Oh, my gosh. We finished ANOTHER bottle of wine!”
“You know that sex therapist in your book, Cathy? How did you learn all that?”
I visit many book groups during the year. If they’re within twenty minutes of my home, I go to their home. If not, we skype or chat via speaker phone.
Here’s what I’ve learned: All books groups are fantastically, mightily different from one another.
They all have different goals. Some book groups are very intellectual/literary. I have sat and been drilled about everything from character and plot development, to tone, symbolism, metaphors, pacing, structure, who are my favorite literary writers and why, etc.
Then there are groups who talk about the book half the time and chat and laugh the other half of the time.
There are other groups who read the book, talk about it for fifteen minutes, then dive into their lives. Their book group is a social group. Period. Some of ’em don’t even hide that anymore.
Then there are groups of women who simply want to meet me, don’t want to talk a whole lot about the book, and did I want more wine? How about a couple more glasses? Beer? Vodka? They have that, too. (I don’t drink, but they do their best to make me happy.)
One of my favorite groups only wanted to sit down and have dinner with me. They came in laughing and drank a whole ton of wine. It was a neighborhood book group, no one drove, and they stumbled home singing and chatting. They wanted a nice girlfriend sort of visit. I did not envy them their Book Group Hangovers.
Another book group was the Laughing Book Group. My stomach hurt when I left we laughed so hard. They were all fifty – plus and life was fun.
I once went to a book group that was very, very quiet, almost somber. No one laughed. Not once. They took their reading seriously. I could tell that my book, Julia’s Chocolates, was a wee bit too wild for a few of them. Perhaps they had not liked, Breast Power Psychic Night? Perhaps, Your Hormones and You: Taking Cover, Taking Charge, was a little much? Love scenes too graphic? I don’t know.
Some groups are small, only four or so women, others are thirty – plus. The age range in most of the groups varies from women in their twenties to women in their seventies.
They want to know how I come up with my ideas, (wild imagination) how I write the book, (carefully, obsessively) what my daily life is like (just like theirs), are my characters based on real people (no), etc.
Anyhow, ladies, I’m happy to attend your book groups. Email me at CathyLamb@frontier.com, and we’ll set up a time.