Friday, November 13, 2015

My Mother-Daughter Book Club Idea

Not strictly library-related, but I had an interesting book-related project that I thought I would share.

For some background on me, I moved to Seattle, WA from Dallas, TX a year and a half ago. My parents still live in Texas and the separation has been pretty rough. I miss them and all of my friends and family that still live there. As I contemplated my mother's birthday gift this year, inspiration struck.

I had just tried out the monthly book delivery service, Uppercase. While I liked the idea of it, I found that for the two months I had the subscription I didn't read the book they delivered. I think that the problem was that, while strangers with Instagram accounts were reading the same book as me, no one I knew personally was reading it. I needed accountability and companionship in my reading habits.

This is when I decided to give my mom a year subscription to the 'Mother-Daughter Book Club'. Every month (I shoot for the first of the month) I send her a new book for us to read and discuss at the end of the month. I find my copies at the library, of course. :)

Here are the books I have chosen so far:

I have kept every month a surprise to my mom. This has led to mixed reviews. We started strong with The Martian. We both loved the book and went to go see the movie as well. This was a no-brainier seeing as we both love Science Fiction. 

Big Little Lies was not something either of us typically read, but we both liked it for what it was. This book was a fluffy murder mystery with a side of gossipy Australian moms. The ending was a bit of a shock, but also felt extremely gratifying.

Everything I Never Told you was a selection I thought about, but dismissed initially. My mom doesn't like depressing books and I don't like realistic historical fiction. But my husband read it and said it was really good. One of the points of the book club was to push the boundaries on what we normally read, so I went forward with it. Both of us had a hard time reading it. Once I got into it, I really got into it. This book has a story that needs to be told about often marginalized people in American culture. My mom, who raised two teenage daughters, however, could not get passed the emotional stress that slaps you in the face on the first page. She never finished it.

I decided for November to go with a new title from one of mom's favorite authors. I had to do some sleuthing to make sure she hadn't read it already, but I have a good feeling about this one. Dean Koontz to the rescue!

So far this project has been pretty successful. I love that I get to have this bond with my mom. It makes me incredibly happy to know that I am reading the same book as her and that, soon, we get to talk about this shared experience. Even if we don't finish the book, we are still able to discuss what we have read and make that 2,123 miles seem just a little closer.

Any suggestions for titles going forward? Any popular titles coming out in paperback that you enjoyed reading? Let me know.

Amanda Hua

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