9 Things Never to Say in a Book Club
Every book club organizer wants to hear this. It's just that as soon as someone says it, everyone starts passionately describing the other best book in the world...which is never the same book for everyone.
6. "I don't think someone like you could fully appreciate the hero's situation."
This comment is pretty much a put-down in semi-polite language (even if it's not meant that way). It might not seem that, say, a rich, successful, Southern chef would understand the plight of a fictional starving girl from Africa. But maybe she too grew up without enough to eat, or maybe she just doesn't let herself eat, or maybe she just has a lot of empathy—one of mankind greatest, least examined traits.
7. "Who picked this book, anyway?!"
This is almost always delivered after a long rant during which most of the group explained that they disliked the story, characters, themes and writing style. Not to mention the cover. Oh, and also, the font. Naturally, the person who did pick the book will feel humiliated, defensive and nervous about making another choice in the future—all feelings that might lead to her quitting or just sitting very quietly for a long time.
8. "This one's just over my head."
Odds are, the person who says this is pretending to be less insightful that she really is, to avoid offending people. Or she's afraid to stand up for what she thinks—which, by the way, is what we really want to hear.
9. "What I really want to talk about is...opening another bottle of wine."
Actually—wait—we're absolutely in favor of this comment. Utter it as many times as needed.
More on Book Clubs