Last night was the official first meeting of the Lit Flicks Book Club and I couldn’t be more excited! We kicked things off with discussion of our first book, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. The book recounts an old man’s memories of his time spent in a depression-era circus and the love he finds there on circuit. My sister, Sara, was our host for the evening and put together a great circus-themed spread with mini corn dogs, popcorn, peanuts and adult lemonade (inspired by the book). I only wish I’d taken a few pictures of everything!
I must admit I was pleasantly surprised with the discussion unfolded. You never know how groups like these will work themselves out and anytime you get a group of women together, you run the risk of things dissolving into little more than a gab fest. Not that there wasn’t plenty of chit-chat, because there was, and it was wonderful! But there is nothing better than digging in and having deeper conversations with intelligent peers. As we were sitting there discussing the book, I just kept thinking how blessed I am to be able to sit with a room full of smart, articulate, thoughtful women! It was truly inspiring, thought-provoking conversation.
Initially my enthusiasm about this book selection was a little, well, lacking BUT I’m so glad we read it. It was a quick and entertaining read that I would recommend to anyone looking for such a book. On the surface, it seems a little “light” but, as we peeled back more and more layers, I must say my appreciation for the story grew and it made me look at things in my own life with fresh perspective. There was some great commentary on how we treat the elderly in this country, what little credence we give to what they’ve lived through, the history they’ve witnessed firsthand. We also looked at our society’s approach to business and how, so often, people do become little more than expendable commodities to companies. But the overarching theme was loyalty and love and how those elements really play a role in the path each of us travels down.
As I said, we had some great discussion! And out of that discussion came an interesting talking point. Most of us had not yet seen the recent movie adaptation of the book, starring Reese Witherspoon and that guy from Twilight, so we were SHOCKED to hear how one of the key story points had been changed in the film. To us, it seemed like such a grotesque modification to the story’s meaning and key character developments. That led us to reflect on how many books have been made into movies, and how often the stories are significantly altered.
And thus, our book club focus was born. Our plan is to read novels that have subsequently inspired film adaptations and, in addition to discussing the book itself, also adding dialogue about how the book and movie stack up to each other. With that, we decided our next novel endeavor will be….drum roll please…
The timing couldn’t be better with the upcoming film due out in mid August. We’ll plan a discussion and movie night around the movie’s opening. From what I’ve heard, this book is a must-read. Want to join the club? Shoot me an email and I can give you details on our next meeting. Happy reading!