I’m struggling through one of the choices for next month’s Book Group at the moment. When God Was a Rabbit, by Sarah Winman, seemed like a decent enough choice at the last meeting, a few of us had heard good reviews and it’s in the Top 100s, so a fairly safe bet. I just don’t Get It, though. I’m finding it slow, and far from gripping, and it seems such a huge effort to lift it and wade through a few short chapters every evening. I’m very close to giving up – and I never do that!
Maybe it’s me. Perhaps I’m in the wrong mood for another family saga, or maybe it’s my innate aversion to books with ‘Extra Material for Reading Groups’ (it’s like saying, “look at my book, it’s clever and insightful and you will want to have guided discussions on my intellectual sub-plots”). Or maybe it’s just not very good.
Our second book for next month I read several years ago, so had to re-visit in order to recall anything of use. The Cutting Room, by Louise Welsh, is dark, Glaswegian, and bitingly witty. Much more my kind of thing. I liked it even more this time round – perhaps with all the extra wisdom of my subsequent years I could appreciate some of the finer nuances.
I rarely enjoy both books we do each month, but it’s one of the benefits of the group – we pick material that I would often not look twice at in the library, and I have been introduced to some writers I have loved (see Helen Fitzgerald – on Twitter, @FitzHelen). So I do feel as if I should persevere with When God Was A Rabbit. On the other hand, there are so many books I *do* want to read in this ol’ world of ours, and maybe life’s just too darn short to waste on something I don’t love.
Opinions gratefully received.