It was after 10 pm when we started winding down our discussion of Banker to the Poor. We didn’t run out of things to cover, we probably could have talked a few hours more. The mind is willing but the body is weak. I had been sick all day, and the day before, and the day before. I wanted to go home and curl up with more NyQuil. We needed to pick something and now.
October is fiction. Our book club only celebrates one holiday and that is Holloween. I had gotten confused in my medicated haze. I thought we were picking a fiction book that was scary for October. But book club would be before the holiday and normally we aim to be reading something that scares us to death as we celebrate on our own. When we meet together in November we are supposed to discuss. That means we’ll be doing a scary non-fiction.
Well, crap. Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree is out for our group read then. Those were all the ideas I’d brought. Two of our group stepped outside for “air” and the rest of us began scrolling through our GoodReads. A few ideas were tossed around, a collection but we had recently done Salinger’s Nine Stories, some non-fiction for the future, but we were tired and we weren’t landing on anything.
I typed in “Book Club Books” and on page 4, just before my phone battery turned everything off, I saw I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid. I pulled it up on someone else’s phone and read the brief blurb aloud:
You will be scared. But you won’t know why…In this smart, suspenseful, and intense literary thriller… human psyche… questioning consciousness, free will, the value of relationships, fear and the limitations of solitude.
None of us had ever heard of it. You have no idea how rare that is in a room full of booksellers and ex-booksellers. Okay, done, we’ll walk in completely blind. We have no idea what the book is, we’ve never heard of the author, we can’t really figure out what the book is about based on the description, done. We’re in.
Also, feel free to send me ideas for book club books, next time it’d be nice to have a backup plan.