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The Silent Victims of Our Loud Book Club

Today marks the two year anniversary of our book club.

For the past two years, I have had the pleasure of meeting up every month with a group of seven of my favorite women to discuss a wide variety of books that we select as a group.  To give you an idea of the eclectic tastes of our members, here’s the list of the books we have read together:

The Night Circus
Tale of Two Cities
Visit from the Good Squad
Let the Great World Turn
The Husband’s Secret
State of Wonder
Wind up Bird Chronicles
The Book Thief
100 Years of Solitude
Reconstructing Amelia
Me Before You
Story of O
Never Let me Go
Defending Jacob
Where’d You Go Bernadette
And the Mountains Echoed
Forgotten Garden
The Good Dream

We pride ourselves on being a book club that actually talks about the books. On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being spending most the time discussing things like which checkers we prefer at the local grocery store and 10 being a non-stop discussion of the themes and character development of each book), I would say that most the time we stay at about a 7.

But then there are nights like February 17, 2014.

Nights when instead of just discussing the book, we decide to try to line up the next six books we’re going to read.

Nights when the number of bottles of wine consumed is greater than the number of people in attendance.

Nights that involve a chalkboard, whiteboard, flipchart and facilitator.

Nights when I have to post notes like this to our book club Facebook group to help translate my drunken notes from the evening.

In my defense, this is what I had to work with:

Things started out neatly enough…..


…and then there was wine…..


…and some more wine….is the room getting darker or am I passing out?

At last, we did it.  We had our 6 books in an almost-readable list.

We said our farewells, stumbled home (we all live walking distance from each other) and I filled (and I mean filled) up my recycling bin with wine bottles and went to bed………

Fast forward 7 months.

My daughter was cooperating with a forced cleaning of her room and brought me a bunch of folders and papers to recycle.  Since she’s a talented artist and often trashes pictures of hers that I consider treasure I decided to sort  through the piles.

As I was flipping through, this caught my eye, and I didn’t have to even think twice about what night this was from.


Apparently I wasn’t the only one taking notes that night (and hers are actually easier to read than mine).

She also did a sketch to document to two primary offenders who appear to me and my friend, Jen.  (I’ve deduced this based on where we were sitting that night, not based on actual physical characteristics.)


But she didn’t stop there.  She went on to keep track of just how noisy 7 drunk book-lovers can be.


And to be clear, that heart was not intended for us.  It simply bled through from something on the other side that didn’t completely drive her crazy to the point of tracking tic marks of noises.  (However, in our defense, some of those tic marks appear to be attributed to ‘bird sounds’ she heard as well.)

I’m not sure if she just gave up because she ran out of room or passed out from sheer exhaustion.

I showed it to her the other day to get her permission to post it and she said she doesn’t even remember doing it.

Which is a good thing, because guess whose turn it is to host book club again this week?


For more stories about my daughter, you can read about how she challenged the LEGO Corporation to start making LEGO Friends girls with short, sassy hair. You can also read about how her long track history of random injuries are the primary reason that I’m afraid to work outside the home.

The Silent Victims of Our Loud Book Club

Once upon a time, Susanne Kerns was a Senior Account Director at an advertising agency working for two of the top brands in the world. Nine years ago she traded in her corporate life for a life as a stay at home mom, raising two of the best kids in the world. She started her blog, The Dusty Parachute as a way to dust off her online advertising skills and begin her job search. Instead, she now uses it as a way to spend lots of time on the computer so her kids think that mommy has a job.

Susanne’s essays have been featured in Scary Mommy, BonBon Break and Redbook and she is also a contributor in the upcoming books Martinis & Motherhood – Tales of Wonder, Woe & WTF?!  and It’s Really 10 Months, Special Delivery. You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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18 thoughts to “The Silent Victims of Our Loud Book Club”

  1. Ooh…I like your list of books. I read a bunch of them, but there are several I haven’t even heard of. I’m totally stealing it. Any favorites from that list that you can recommend?? PS, your daughter is hilarious. 🙂

    1. We’ve been lucky with our book choices. I think my favorite last year was “Where’d You Go Bernadette?” and “And the Mountains Echoed.” Also, not on that list, but a bonus book I read was “The Son” which was excellent. Watch out for “Wind Up Bird Chronicles,” by far the strangest book I have ever read. 🙂

  2. First of all, I’m very impressed with the ratio of actual book talking. That IS NOT the case with my book club. Half the time I don’t even know what the hell we’re supposed to be reading. Second of all, please sign me up to read Love Dip. I just must!!

    1. I know, I was shocked when we first started how much time we actually spend discussing the book. And if no one has written a book called “Love Dip” yet, someone definitely needs to!

  3. Personally, I’m impressed she didn’t come down every 3.2 minutes to ask for something, complain she couldn’t sleep, needed a snack, etc.

    I can never host anything, b/c it’s a guarantee that the kids would be all over it like a bad rash.

  4. OMG!! This is hilarious. My book club is so noisy too. It’s hard to get the kids to sleep while the Mamas are having fun. I would say we are a 3 or 2 on the sticking to the book of choice. However, I wouldn’t miss that time for anything.

  5. OMG, that’s hilarious. Everyone’s a critic! I’m jealous of your book club. I’m always afraid of what books I’ll have to read and if the people in the group will actually read them. I like your eclectic list though.

    1. We do a *pretty* good job of reading them all. I think out of all those books each of us has only not finished one – Mine was this week when I hit a new low of not being able to finish “Never Let Me Go” and watched the movie while I folded laundry instead. 🙂

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