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Scottsdale Book Club Meetup Group Message Board › Newsletter for July 21, 2011

Newsletter for July 21, 2011

Group Organizer
Scottsdale, AZ
Post #: 529
Another sunny Sunday morning book club meeting in Scottsdale. I walked into B&N thrilled to see that we had a table reserved for us. BUT. There’s always a but. Sometimes a big BUTT.* But in this case, it was a group of guys who saw the spot was a nice place and camped there despite not being there for our book club. Shooo! We got the big guns from customer service to lay down the law. I should have remembered to try our usual extermination technique. Sit at the same table and INVITE the squatters to join our book discussion. We are inevitably so annoying that they eventually voluntarily leave. Sometimes they even look sheepish as though they are embarrassed that they didn’t want to stay. One such guy hung around for almost 15 minutes … which set a new record, but that was a while back when we were at Borders. Speaking of which, I posted a relevant article on the discussion board about the demise of Borders, the diminishing availability of paper books, and the precarious future of community book browsing and bookstore congregating. Yowsa.

If you’ve been keeping track of the discussions, e-mails, and the calendar, you’ll know that I’ve been trying to make some adjustments to the group schedule that will promote the needs of the many at the hands of the few. I’m thinking once we enamor ourselves to the Desert Ridge Barnes and Noble staff (and why wouldn’t we?), we can maneuver to our monthly night there to a Tuesday or a Thursday. Until then, we will try out the odd Monday night. Let’s just say it’s another life experience. In the end, there are conclusions that we will be able to draw in time… and so this is where I leave you.

Yes. This is Where I Leave You. We met to discuss this book by Jonathan Tropper on Sunday morning. We were fortunate enough to be met by two new members, Evva and Don. The book was fairly light and humorous, but also dealt with complicated issues of family relationships and personal growth amidst tragedy. But of course, (see there’s always a big BUT?) we weren’t just dealing with a dysfunctional family in a book… we were dealing with our own book club dysfunctional family. Let me give you a few examples…
One of our members is “the one who is always late.” Yet she showed tremendous personal growth this last Sunday by coming ON TIME. Our own dysfunctional family responded by starting the meeting LATE for no good reason. Way to validate that positive behavior.

Another person politely asked if he could pose a few questions. We directly told him, “NO.”
And yet when another person offered to start talking about her reaction to the book, she was also told, “No. No you may not.”
We keep this book club on a tight leash. And we believe in any behavioral conditioning that results in confusion. We figure that will create the kind of vulnerability requiring return attendance.

And speaking of behaviors, one of our members wanted to talk extensively about the problematic institution of monogamy. Or America’s obsessions with monogamy. Or Europe’s free attitude about monogamy. Or the way monogamy violations are only excused if one of the partners is terminally ill or ends up falling for a same sex paramour. And so we are left befuddled. Does the reader protest too much or is he simply hyper-focused on this issue? Time and gentle (or not so gentle) probing will tell us what we want, no, what we must know.

Was the book funny or trite? Was it fresh or in the end tedious? Is it literature? What is literature? Is an older mom who wears stilettos and shows copious amounts of cleavage at her husband’s funeral better played by Bette Midler, Jessica Walters, or Samantha from Sex in the City? Casting calls are next week. These are just some of the questions we attempted to answer. By the way I just remembered the Sex in the City actress’ name is Kim Cattrall. I call this phenomenon “delayed name recall syndrome.”
Next time we will meet at B&N Desert Ridge to discuss 36 Arguments for the Existence of God which ranges from fascinating to tedious to delightful to infuriating. You may place an “X” on the spot on the spectrum which best matches your response.

By the way major BLAST from the PAST. Elder Book Club member Gretchen (referring to status not age) now lives in Seattle. And guess where I'm going tomorrow? Guess? Ok, yes, it's Seattle. Man you are good. So we are having a mini-book club discussion in Book Club Road Show type fashion. We will be discussing So This is How I Leave You. I will update you with updates. I love using verb nouns.
Adieu to you and you and you**

*Reference to a line from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. Watch it if you don’t believe me. I especially like the part when Pee Wee is in the truck with the female truck driver and her eyes do an EXTREME bug out. I also, of course, like the white platforms he dons when dancing on the surface of the bar in order to mezmorize the biker gang.

**This phrase alludes to a line in a song from Sound of Music. I still think Christopher Plummer is hot. And way to go Von Trapp girl who starred in Lost in Space. Who says brunettes don’t have range? But the whistle method of discipline is disturbing if not intriguing. I’m getting some ideas…

Tempe, AZ
Post #: 33
I could have taken those interlopers. I'm just sayin'.

I met Gretchen at my first SBC meeting. It will be interesting to see how much younger and more dashing she thinks I look when we meet her in Seattle this weekend.

Finally, nice letter, Steph. Keep 'em comin'. (No pressure, BUT ...)
user 7756919
Glendale, AZ
Post #: 8
Since you think Mr. Plummer is hot, you'll enjoy Beginners, currently at Camelview. Your Mr. P decides to live it up in his elderhood (age not seniority). He posts a personals ad wherein he describes himself as "78, attractive, and horny." For myself, I call dibs on the French actress, recently of Inglorious Basterds. Yes, dibs is still a thing. It's about to launch as the next feature on Facebook.
user 3075743
Campbell, CA
Post #: 56
It was a lovely mini book club. I do love the personal service of you flying out here to discuss! If only everything was so wonderfully convenient. Thanks Stephany and Andrew!
Peoria, AZ
Post #: 213
If only I'd been in Seattle on Sunday morning instead of later in the day, Gretchen and I could have called in.

What is with everyone traveling to the same places, but at different times? Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego...I think we need to coordinate our travel calendars.

Christopher Plummer - new movie? Must see.
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