It's pretty safe to say that a whole bunch of us love reading. I mean, we talk about books (and short stories and everything else -- well, except maybe poetry) with both frequency and passion. And people are fantastic about leaving their own recommendations -- I can't tell you how many books are on my Kindle because of commenter suggestions.
And that's awesome. There are so many books out there that staring at the shelves in a bookstore or even searching online can be kind of overwhelming. I would never know what to read next if it weren't for all my friends who also love reading.
When I had a whole lot more free time than I do now, there was something great about just wandering the brick and mortar bookstore. But even if I had that free time now, the experience would probably be different -- because bookstores are kind of different.
(If you've still got a good local bookstore, you are lucky. And I am jealous.)
But, and I say this with painful honesty, I am different, too. I have way less patience for some of the tropes that play out again and again and again in the fiction that I love -- even if it's just the same cover art of a woman's back as she holds some sort of weapon and looks seductively over her shoulder.
And my tolerance for reading yet another coming of age tale evaporated long enough ago that I could only chuckle painfully at "How to Tell If You Are In an Indie Coming-of-Age Movie" -- because it's much the same in books.
I still love a lot of YA, but I find myself rereading instead of reading the same story with a different wrapper, if that makes any sense. Nor can I deal with any more dystopias.
Please. Stop with the dystopias.
Y'all, I sound so humorless and grim but I really miss having a book that I love pull me in and engross me to the point that I am not really sure how much time has passed. And I just can't get there if I'm rolling my eyes because I've read 117 other books with the exact same white guy saving an alien planet.
This is why, as much as I have tried to pick out a book for everyone to read for an xoBookClub, I have failed. I keep getting distracted by nonfiction (which isn't even off the table) and by my own cynicism about cover art.
And so I turn to you, readers of xoJane -- and I trust that you are all going to blow me out of the water when it comes to suggesting really great books.
Here's what I'd like to see happen:
- Suggest a novel. Put the title and a brief description in a comment. You should link to wear we can buy it online if we need to -- which doesn't have to be Amazon! Support your favorite online vendors, too.
- Then, scan the comments. If you see something that strikes your fancy, leave a comment in support of it. Tell me why you'd love to read that book.
Next week, probably on Friday because that will give the weekday readers time to chime in as well, I will review the comments and pick something based on your suggestions and your comments in support of other people's suggestions.
I'll announce the book choice on September 27th.
That means October will be our first month of xoBookClub. We'll rinse and repeat this method for November's book if we think it's working.
As you read, use #xoJaneBookClub on Twitter (or Instagram or wherever else) to connect with other readers -- let's discuss a little bit as we go. And at the end of the month, I'll put up a discussion post for all of us.
I'm super excited. I hope you'll read along. I can't wait to read your comments.