Construction Literary Magazine

Fall 2020

I Joined a Book Club

I Joined a Book Club

Editor’s note: Once a week, Laura Morton will use personal history to put a Craigslist ad into perspective.

Book Clubs

Years ago I moved to North Carolina on a rainy Monday night. I didn’t have a cell phone, an apartment, or a friend in town. The only thing I had was a tenuous hold on a nondescript “program assistant” position.

I finally found my apartment (the second floor of an old house), but I still had no furniture and no friends. I would lie on the floor and wonder when I would make them—what they would be like. These were probably similar feelings to the ones I had the night before I started kindergarten.

At the start of this new life, I tried and joined everything. I went to Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn concerts alone, group hikes, pottery displays, and anything else I could find.

Finally, I found a women’s book club on Craigslist. The ad stated that they didn’t want members who would ever read a book from Oprah’s Book Club, and if anyone thought the group lowered themselves to read bestsellers, they should just walk away. Even though those were two of my main sources of fiction at that time, I decided to join the group . . . or, I should say, I decided to put in a request to join the group.

They accepted me.

I went to the first meeting—a multitude of cats roamed free around the living room, plates upon plates of food covered the dining room table: oily brownies (the host accidentally substituted oil for water, but decided to go with it), a strange concoction of vegan quiche, bran muffins, homemade guacamole and locally made corn-chips, and a plate of store-bought cookies.

We discussed Lolita, or that was the intent. The discussion ended quickly when Candace, the woman who initially started the group, discovered that one of the members was a Republican. And from there, the book club turned into an intervention.

Then it was revealed that this member was not only a Republican, but also a Christian—a proud Christian.

Candace had to step outside for some air.

During the rumblings, I did meet two women who became two of my closest friends.

For that, I am grateful.

The Ad

CL > cincinnati > all community > groups

Fun Book Club for Women (Northside)

Hey. My name is Holly, and I am trying to organize a book club for women between the ages of 21 to 35. I think it would be fun to get to know some new people who love books and like to discuss them over food and drink. I am thinking we could meet every other month, but if people want to meet more often that should be fine too. I think for the first meeting we could go to Northside Tavern for some drinks to get to know each other and decide on books to read. Please email me if you are interested in joining this potentially awesome and fun group and I guess we can go from there.

The Response

I returned to the monthly book club meetings for almost a year (mostly for fodder), but the Republican never did.

I hope she found a new group. If not, maybe she could try this one.