It’s APW Book Club time again!
It seems like ages and ages since we’ve had a book club, but the holidays came and went, and then I went through the flurry of going full time on APW, and here we are. As a quick review for those of you that are new, APW Book Clubs work like this:
- A book is picked (usually I pick after a consultation with readers)
- Those of us who are interested read it
- We have meetups all over the world on one day to discuss the book (and drink)
- Then we come back and discuss the book online.
Our first two book club picks were Dan Savage’s The Commitment and Elizabeth Gilbert’s Committed. This time, for kicks, I thought I’d pick a a book that doesn’t start with Commit. Just to see how it goes. So, after lots of discussion, I’ve selected The Bitch In The House, edited by Cathi Hanauer.
One of the first posts I ever did on APW about marriage was me quoting a Cathi Hanauer article that I’d clipped and saved, because I found it so moving. So The Bitch In The House seems like a fitting APW book club selection, and one where there will be tons (and tons and tons) to discuss.
Cathi Hanauer put together this book of essays after finding that, even though she had a husband she loved, two healthy children, and an intellectually stimulating writing career, she was pissed off all the time. She was over taxed and over stressed, and didn’t understand why. So she started asking friends what was going on with them, and realized that talking was helping her find clarity. In her intro to the book she quotes Peggy Orenstein’s Flux (another book I clearly need to read) saying, “Orenstein offers suggestions for women, one of which is to share their experience with one another, to ‘talk across lines of age and circumstance.’ As I read those words, I realized that this was what I was already doing: gleaning comfort and advice, sympathy and wisdom, from friends of all ages in all situations.” If that’s not a description of what APW is about, I don’t know what is. And by my reckoning, that makes it a near perfect book for us. Plus, with 26 different perspectives in the book, there will be lots for us to debate and chew over.
At the end of the introduction, Hanauer offers this description of her marriage, “In considering it all, I can’t help thinking of a T-shirt I once saw, touting a whitewater river known for its currents, that read “This place sucks. Let’s stay.” I’ve chosen this life, and I’d choose it again in a heartbeat, but like many of the women in this book, I’m a perfectionist and a malcontent with a too-full schedule, eager to reap every morsel I can from my brief time on this earth.” Me too.
So lets get reading. And oh, pick the day and time you’d prefer for the meetup, below:
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(Note: All links in this post are associate links, which means if you buy the book by clicking through the site, you help support APW. Yay!)