I've joined a book club. It's only small at the moment: three or four of us meeting in a pub. It's local though and it's nice to meet other people to talk about books.
This month we read How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran and it was a challenging read. Not that the book is hard or literary, or even very long. The trouble is, it's all about sex and as I read I kept thinking "We can't talk about this at book club!"
If you go to amazon, you can read the beginning for free. It starts like this:
I am lying in bed next to my brother Lupin.The whole time I was reading I kept thinking, "how can we talk about this?" And yet it was actually quite easy in the end.
He is six years old. He is asleep.
I am fourteen. I am not asleep. I am masturbating.
I started by saying how I'd felt about reading it and we all had a good laugh. And then we talked about how honest Caitlin is in her depiction of what it's like to be a young girl, and how refreshing to read about a young girl who is so keen on sex, and about how she invents and reinvents herself, and what we liked and what we didn't.
It brought back lots of memories of my own childhood as I found myself looking for similarities and differences. One thing it brought home to me is that I wouldn't want to write a book like that. Not because of what other people might think but because I don't want to look back on my growing years with that crystal clarity and tell it as it really was, even if I was the only person in the world to ever read it.