We discussed Life of Pi last night. Jeremy did a great job leading the discussion.
We discussed our favorite books of 2007. It was difficult because we loved so many that we instead had to focus on the few books we did not enjoy. Least favorite books of the book club were: Tales From the Bed, The Alchemist, and Catcher in the Rye (although some of us loved some of the books, the club as a whole liked these 3 the least). Everyone, especially the guys, was surprised by how much they enjoyed the Memory Keepers Daughter. Everyone LOVED Water For Elephants. The ladies were surprised by how much we enjoyed Into the Wild and Shadow Divers. 1984 and The Stolen Child were also surprise favorites.
Life of Pi had mixed reviews. Most people liked the book much more AFTER our discussion. This often is the case - we come to a book club not very impressed with a book, but once we begin to discuss the book, we discover the themes and symbolism and develop a new interest in the book.
The greatest thing about book club is the way that it is pushing folks outside of their "comfort zone." The ladies are reading books that may be considered for guys and the guys are surprised by how good "girlie" books are. Fiction lovers have developed an interest in nonfiction, and all of us develop a new appreciation for a book after discussing it. Some folks in the club commented that they tend to read the surface story, and it is only when we begin to discuss the book and dig deeper that they discover the themes, allegory, symbolism and underlying meanings in many books.
I've come to love the folks that we have at book club. Some are friends that I've known for years, and others I have just met. It is really cool!