We had an excellent meeting last night discussing The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell.
I love this book group and noted that we will begin our 8th year together in 2015, as last night was our 7th anniversary. I remember that first meeting. I had been working with another book group at my library workplace for about 7 months at that time. Asked my manager if I could begin a second group and focus on mysteries, my favorite genre. She said yes and off I went. That first meeting had about 25 people attending and scared me to death! How would it work with that many people for discussion? Well, it turned out that not all returned for the second meeting. Don't recall the number, but it was more like 7 or 8 of us. We still have 2 members in the group, besides myself, that attended that first meeting! We're a good group and the attendance has fluctuated between 10 and 18 or so. It's a lot of fun. When I left the library job, I continued on for a while as the leader and then another library colleague took over. She moved away this last year and I have stepped back up to ramrod things. I love it and hope we continue for many years to come.
OK, last night was a cold night here in Central Texas. We had 12 members that attended and our discussion of the 1920's book, The Other Typist, was vigorous. Just a little info about the book.
Rose is a typist at a New York police precinct. She goes into the interview room with detectives and functions as a stenographer as they question and solicit confessions from individuals. The time is the 1920's and the book has speakeasies, Prohibition, bobbed hair, Gatsby-like rich people and estates, bootleggers and the Charleston. Rose is fascinated by the new typist that has been hired, Odalie, a mysterious woman who introduces her to an underground world Rose has only heard about in the interview room. And Odalie is really something else...odd, compelling, twisted.
Honestly, we didn't like this book all that much. There were parts that were intriguing, but it was not a traditional mystery by any means. A psychological study perhaps. The blurb on the front of one of the copies compared it to Gone Girl (really?). That was a clue for many members as our book group may be the only one in existence that did not love Gone Girl. (Ask me why if you'd like to know.) We talked a lot about the ending and debated what we thought about it. We talked about the two women, Rose and Odalie, and what some of their actions meant. We felt that it might have been better edited and also could have included more of the 1920's culture. We found one reference to someone being like "Lady Diana", which seemed an editing miss as Princess Di wasn't alive for quite a few more years. We did have a couple of members who liked it more than others. We had a couple who would have liked to throw it across the room. It was a fun debate and comment free-for-all. We gave it a thumbs-to-the-side, OK but not rushing to tell people about it, rating.
Next month, we will be discussing Louise Penny's new book, The Long Way Home. I can't wait!
So good to see you last night, and I'm glad to see you back at blogging! I'm curious to see whether anyone else comments about the book... Hope to see you soon.ReplyDelete
Well, Monica, here you are. Yes, we'll see if we get some more opinions. I didn't want to share too much about the book or discussion in order not to spoil for those who haven't read it and might.Delete
Seven years and going strong. :-) What a wonderful group! The one you started at work sounds like a nice one too. I tried an in-person group for a short while, but my daughter's soccer lessons are at the same time and so I stopped going. I enjoyed the discussions I did participate in.ReplyDelete
Someone had suggested I try to start a group at work given so many people I work with like to read, but given our varying schedules and most, if not all, not able to meet off work time, it never left the idea stage. So, I stick with my online reading groups and have to be happy with that for now.
Anyhow, I am sorry The Other Typist wasn't better. It sounds like it was a good discussion book though!
Wendy, this one is actually the same one I started at work. It's an official library program, but at that time, I was working for the library. I remain as leader and a library volunteer. Your life is so busy right now with working and mothering, etc. One day you might have time for a face-to-face book group. Your Mouse will get older and have her own pursuits. I always enjoy talking books with you and online groups are great. Hope you are doing OK this week. :-)Delete
Well, you're not alone in disliking Gone Girl, and I was bored silly by The Other Typist until the end when it was intriguing to think about the ambivalence. Anyway, you MUST read The Secret Place by Tana French. I'm crazy about it, haven't moved from my chair since 8 this morning and it's now almost 2. Now that's a good book!ReplyDelete
Good to know that we are not alone in our disdain for Gone Girl. :-)Delete
What is going on with this cold front? I'm secretly hoping the roads will be slick tomorrow so I won't have to go to work! I'm so bad :)ReplyDelete
I kind of like it when our reading group doesn't agree on the book. Those are usually the most lively discussions aren't they? I would like to read The Other Typist one of these days.
Well, it seems a little warmer this morning but will the ice come? We'll see.Delete
Yes, the discussion are definitely better when we don't all agree.
I enjoy book club very much. Thank you for all of the suggestions. Looking forward to seeing you next month and keeping up with you on your blog.ReplyDelete
Thanks Casey for stopping by here. See you in February!Delete
First of all, I'm so glad to see you back in the book blogging world. I love your header picture and the clean look of your blog.ReplyDelete
Just yesterday I pulled down The Other Typist off my shelf. I've forgotten why I got it, but now I'm going to tentatively start reading it. Your book club sounds so good. I'd love to belong to one devoted to mysteries. Louise Penny is one of my favorites. I'm curious to see what you think of this latest novel. Have you read the previous nine?
Hey Margot! Nice to see you. The header picture was taken in Kerrville, TX - middle of the Hill Country. My area looks much the same.Delete
Yes, I've read all of Louise Penny's books. In my opinion, she just keep getting better.
I've resisted reading Gone Girl and have not seen the movie, but I did enjoy The Other Typist. Part of that enjoyment came from the audio production... the reader was excellent and perfectly projected the overall tone and mood of the novel. Sounds like your group has been very successful!ReplyDelete
JoAnn, might have enjoyed it a bit more on audio. Yes, we have a good time.Delete
I picked up Gone Girl, began reading, got about 25 pages in, and listed the book on Paperback Swap with no regrets. It took me that long to decide-- no matter how intriguing the story-- I just didn't want to spend another second in the lives of those two people.ReplyDelete
Denis and I went to see the movie version, and we both enjoyed it although neither of us found it to be a movie we'd rave about. I sat there and thought, "I was right. This makes a better movie than it does a book because you can distract yourself a bit from time to time with the cinematography, etc. I am SO glad I stopped reading the book!"
Cathy, a couple of our group members have seen the movie and they said it was a good representation of the book. We just found it hard to read about 2 people with no redeeming qualities or so we thought. I have to have someone I like in books I read or I can't go on. :-)Delete
I listened to The Other Typist rather than read it. I think that helped me love the book because I was forced to pay attention to every nuance of the story. Gretchen Mol, the actress, was the narrator, and she did an amazing job. It is one of those novels I wanted to discuss with everyone and anyone, so I can only imagine how lively your book club conversation was.ReplyDelete
I love that your book club has been together for so long. That really means something in this world of short attention spans.
I've heard that the audio was good. I definitely agree that reading this book makes the reader want to talk about to others. There was a lot of "what do you think happened in the end" at our group. :-)Delete
I read this book last year, and I have to agree with your book club's thoughts. I love novels set in the 1920s, and I wish this book had highlighted more of that vibrant decade, though there were some intriguing parts. I did not like the ending at all! Very confusing.ReplyDelete
The ending...ah, well...we debated that part quite a bit. :-)Delete
I was all excited to see that you had read this because I had it checked out, tried half-heartedly to read it, and then returned it without getting very far. I am thankful to know I don't have to feel guilty for not reading it and I don't need to make a point of going and checking it out again at the library.ReplyDelete
No, Tina, I wouldn't worry too much about it. It wasn't awful, but I think it could have been better.Delete
I love that your group has been intact so long! I liked Gone Girl, but did feel like I needed a shower afterward to wash off all of the ugliness!ReplyDelete