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My Book Club Flopped, But Here’s What I Still Read

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Waterloo chapter.

Having a friend group of all different ages is actually super cool, but when it comes to organizing plans – sometimes we are just not on the same page or even in the same phase of life. So last Fall when a group of my besties decided to start a book club, I had a feeling it wasn’t going to be shouted out by bookclub queen Reese Witherspoon anytime soon. Some of us still had a ways to go in our degree, some were recent Fall grads and transitioning into adult life (ew), and some had already taken that leap many moons (or really terms) ago and were living that full-time job life (also ew). So it was pretty challenging to pick our books, actually read them, and find a time to meet uninterrupted. 

While I am sure every friend group experiences plans that flop, I was pretty bummed as I had asked for our book club reads as a gift (shoutout Oma and Opa) and now had a stack of books I wouldn’t normally read. Clearly, my life is so tragic. But, I wasn’t about to let this book club truly flop and decided that this would be a great opportunity to branch out from my normal reads which include trashy summer romances or Harry Potter and nothing in between. 

So we picked the first few months of books and then only met once… but, I kept reading and here are my thoughts: 

Pile of Books
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Know My Name: A Memoir by Chanel Miller

My summary: Chanel Miller is the survivor from the widely publicized Stanford rape case and shares her story of battling the aftermath of sexual assault and piecing together her own memory and the pieces of her life. The book involves a glimpse into the realities of the legal proceedings of rape cases and the pain that occurs well past the trauma for survivors. 

I dedicated a whole article to this read and how important it is – especially for young women and collegiates. Read it here!

Whose pick? Mine! I picked this book after reading Chanel Miller’s victim impact statement that was released on Buzzfeed News and I cried in my Friday afternoon 3-hour lecture. I was so attached to the case and the power Chanel had that I knew I wanted my friends to read about her strength as well. 

Educated by Tara Westover

My summary: Tara Westover’s personal story about growing up in a sheltered, uber-religious, and seemingly bizarre household shows the power of education and culture. She writes of her battle of making it to university after never having stepped in a classroom and the consequences of straying from her family’s very aggressive life views. 

I once worked in a library and would check every day if I could sign this out for my sister but it was always taken… I guess this was the indicator that Westover had created a must-read book or that the library had really lazy patrons. Who knows? 

Whose pick? Caitlyn! Caitlyn is the ‘Gilmore Girls’ obsessed, coffee-addicted girl who somehow manages to do it all. She was so involved on campus and is the definition of calm, cool, and collected. Her signature is an all-black outfit and venti Starbucks – and I would probably trust her to plan my wedding because I just know she would get it done. 

Nearly Normal Family by M.T. Edvardsson

My summary: The book is divided into three parts to represent the three members of a family whose lives are thrown upside down after their seventeen-year-old daughter, Stella, is accused of murder. Nearly Normal Family is a testament to the lengths we would go for our family and the ones we love. 

Whose pick? Sierra’s! Sierra is literally the sweetest person you will ever meet. She cares so much for her friends and is sure to have the best DIY gifts around. Currently building a murder mystery company with another one of our gal pals, Terran, she is the definition of creative.  

Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson

I will admit I am not done with this one but wanted to add it to the list as it was our last pre-selected pick. I mean, it was picked for April 2020 and it is currently January 2021 but hey – things happen. 

My summary: This is the first in a trilogy about the colonization of Mars. It focuses on the human race’s addiction to immortality and the trials and tribulations on the journey to find (another) habitable planet. There are 100 people chosen for this mission and the book follows their experiences attempting to create a new culture whilst still battling the one they left behind on earth.  

Whose pick? Terran’s! Terran is truly mystifying. I swear that girl has lived multiple lives, from being a Californian to a Starbucks barista to an arts school prodigy and now an events planner and post-grad whiz. She is most definitely the funniest and chattiest girl of the squad. My life seems so boring (it is) whenever I am listening, in awe, to Terran’s stories. Also, Terran’s parents picked her name based on this book – so I definitely had to give it a read.

And that’s it – for now. Hopefully, you found a new read and are inspired to start your own book club! Just make sure you and your friends actually… read! 

Hey - I'm Vanessa Geitz, a fourth-year Public Health student at the University of Waterloo. I am currently the President and Campus Correspondent for HC Waterloo and love writing articles! Also a big fan of the Bachelor, BBT, and books.