I wanted to thank the folks who recently hosted a book club discussion for my novel Anecdotal in their home. Tracy and Paul Sternhell truly put on an amazing show in their home in the uber-fashionable neighborhood “Beverly Hills-Adjacent-Contiguous-Adjoining.”
Breaking from the traditional wine, cheese and foie gras the book club usually consumes, “guy food” was fare for the evening. Mounds of buffalo wings, piles of sausages and stacks of burgers graced the table. My meal of choice was of course the buffalo wing sausage burger.
As usual—or I should say, as always—the book club was composed entirely of women. Guys just don’t do the book club thing. A lot of dudes read, and a fair number of guys have read my book, but they just don’t band together around a twelve pack of Pinot Grigio and chat about books for hours at a time. The men are off hunting, gathering and checking their fantasy sports stats.
But on this night, a man other than myself was a part of the literary sanctum that is book club. After his hunting, gathering, marinating and grilling duties were complete, Paul Sternhell took off his man-apron and plopped down in the midst of the book clubbers.
My God, I’m about to get my first book club comments from a dude. What the hell is that going to be like?
As the conversation progressed, we got quite a few nods out of Paul, a few laughs, a few coughs and even a couple of cough/laughs, but no incisive comments or cutting questions.
C’mon, man, bring it. Hit me. I’m ready for it.
I threw Paul a couple of softballs, steering the conversation to chapters dealing with bachelor parties, ESPN, sports superstitions and business school bacchanalia. Nothing. I even made up a couple of chapters on the spot dealing with strippers and amateur lesbianism. Still nothing. I just couldn’t crack the guy!
So ounce all of the delicious meats and bottles of Pinot were exhausted, it was time to adjourn our gathering in the heart of Almost Beverly Hills. I thanked the book club for their support and my hosts for all the booze.
“You’re welcome. It was a lot of fun,” said Paul.
Man! Where was that eloquence a half hour ago?
I left dejected that still not a single hombre had unleashed his praise or scorn on my novel in a book club, the forum of choice for honest and intelligent literary repartee. Bucking up my chin and battling the melancholia, I decided to look toward the future—it might all change soon.