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She Hates Me

This book club in Longmont, Colorado found out about QUEEN OF THE ROAD from a member, Roni's, daughter.


Front Row: Erin, Karin, Roni, Jean
Back Row: Mary, Martha, Gennie, Barb

I'm multigenerational! Oy, I need a drink.

Anyway... I called in and we were having a lovely discussion, when Karin exclaimed, "I'm not done with your book yet, but I have to tell you, I didn't like you at all in the beginning." She went on to say that she hated me a little less as she read on, but since our call, wanted to drink all my martini recipes with me. (I guess she was saying I was driving her to drink.)


As hard as it is to believe, this is not the first time I've heard this from book clubs, although usually they'll say things like, "I found you really annoying." Frankly, whenever people in book clubs say that, I figure I must be some kinda great writer to have portrayed myself so accurately, because yeah: I am annoying. What do you want from me?

Karin's main beef seemed to be that as a Jewish American Princess, I reveled in the fact that I don't cook, clean, etc. I tried to explain (and Karin, please let me know if I was successful) that to me, there's a difference between refusing to do those things and expecting others to do them for you, vs. just not caring if they're done at all. I'm a pig. So sue me.

Here's a recent example: When my book club came over so we could have an author call in, Tim, of course, stayed away until the gals left. (Too much estrogen. Can you blame him?) Upon his return, he walked into the bedroom and promptly came out with a shocked look on his face.

"You made the bed?" He asked, incredulous.

Indeed, I had.

Normally, I think making the bed is a complete waste of time (much like getting dressed if you're just staying at home all day). I mean, really: Why does anyone make the bed unless company is coming over? (And even then, I've been known to... well, never mind.) Seriously, if you can answer that question, I'd love to know. Most of you would never (unlike me) even return to your bedrooom during the day, so who cares if the bed is made? Your cat? (OK, you got me there.)

And, as far as getting dressed every day, the best Tim can do to explain why I should is that, "Decent people get dressed in the morning." Frankly, indecency is fine by me. If anyone can come up with a better rationale than my darling husband has, I'd love to hear that, too.

So... back to the book club. It really was a lovely discussion, and I truly don't mind the "didn't like you" thing. Part of writing memoir that's different than any other genre is that people can hate the book, hate your writing and hate you. I knew very well I was opening myself up to this when I wrote QUEEN OF THE ROAD. And, I can certainly understand Karin's point of view. There are plenty of memoirists who I didn't like from their pages, either. (And no, I'm not sayin' who.)

Along those lines, this club asked me for book recommendations. I'm always happy to give them, but will never recommend bestselling authors or well-known books because everyone's heard of them, anyway, and those writers certainly don't need any help from me. Instead, I much prefer to mention relatively undiscovered jewels: Susan Breen's THE FICTION CLASS, Kristy Kiernan's CATCHING GENIUS and MATTERS OF FAITH and Joshua Henkin's MATRIMONY. (All of these authors call in to book clubs, too.) This prompted the book club to dub me, "The Jewish Princess Oprah." To which I say, "What could be bad?"

They also were kind enough to remind me (as I'm deciding on my next book) that in QUEEN OF THE ROAD, I mentioned I'd love to do a travel guide based on the crapper rating system, ie lid up or lid down. We decided I should call it (after the TLC show, What Not To Wear, and in honor of my Nick Arrojo haircut during our trip) WHERE NOT TO GO. If my editor or agent is reading this, don't worry. I'm not serious - yet.

Comments (6)

Thanks for visiting my blog. I'm glad you did, because your comment lead me to YOUR blog! Love reading about reactions of book clubs, since I may end up doing that myself down the road (pun intended).

I'll be back!

Thanks, Alexis and welcome!

I have to completely agree with your reasoning for not making the bed (we rarely do, even when company is expected) and not getting dressed if staying home all day. What is the point of wearing clothes instead of comfy pajamas if you're relaxing at home all day? :) I didn't find you annoying at all in your book and in fact felt better about myself since you do many of the same things as me! LOL

Glad I could be therapeutic for you, Keri!

I completely agree with the rationale that you're not expecting anyone else to do stuff - you're willing to wallow in filth - therefore you're likable. I totally like you. I think you're wonderful. Really. I do. *smooch*

Oh, damn. I really should have kept taking that Antabuse. No problem. Back on the wagon tomorrow.

Ah, antabuse. I remember it well...

Smoochies back, Robin.

Really, people. I AM annoying. I LIKE being annoying. I revel in it - just ask Tim.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 26, 2009 5:59 PM.

The previous post in this blog was A Boulder Book Club.

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