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When one of my friends messaged a group of us and suggested, “Hey, let’s start a book club!”, a couple of things ran through my mind. One was, Fun! An excuse to not be a hermit and have social time with some of my girlfriends. Another was, Oh crap! Out of ALL the books we read in middle school, high school and college, I don’t think I ever read an entire one from cover to cover. My procrastinating ways are going to get the best of me and I’m going to look like a loser in front of my besties. Eek! And finally, Ooooh! Yay! What kind of fun crafty gift can I make to bring to book club for everyone?! 

Well, we have officially had our first club get-together this past Friday night, and I am happy to report that... • Yes! It was a very fun excuse to get out of my apartment and have some much needed face time with my gal pals. • No, I did not look like a loser in front of my besties. I was able to finish the book in time! HOWEVER, I will admit, it did come down to the wire as I found myself the day before with 100 pages still left to read. Nothing like reading under pressure. • And, of course I was able to find a fun crafty gift to make for everyone! Book totes! More on that below... Going in to the night, I expected the five of us to chat a lot, gossip a little, drink some wine and reminisce a ton. But what I didn't expect was how much we would actually talk about the book! I figured we'd each say whether we liked it or not, bitch about what we didn't like, smile about what we did, and then we'd move on and talk about who's weddings we've had the most fun at like we usually end up doing. And yes, we did eventually make it around to discussing weddings of the past and the future and about who's gotten hotter since high school, but before that, we actually spent a lot of time discussing the book in way more detail than I imagined.

We started by going around and each giving our overall thoughts on the books and then we dove in and talked about all the parts we liked, disliked, things we were confused by and what everything meant.

What I found the most interesting is, looking back on our discussion, what each of us zeroed in on and how reflective of our personalities it was.

Annie, someone who gets a genuine joy out of finding hidden meanings behind things like song lyrics and in movies, came with a list she had prepared of all the symbolisms she had spotted throughout the book and all the ironies the rest of us never thought twice about. Nothing like having a friend there to point out all the things you were too dense to pick up on :). To be honest, if it weren't for Annie, I think our discussion would have simply been, "You guys liked the book too? Okay, cool. What are we reading next?"

Colleen, mother of 3, clung the most passionately to the lack of maternal instincts the main character's mother had. She's got three lucky daughters.

Caitlyn, who is, by nature, a rather unexcitable person, seemed rather middle of the road on everything we talked about.

Patty. Well Patty didn't read the book. Not even a page. So we'll leave it at that. We still love her though! We all did get quite a laugh when the discussion came around to her and someone jokingly asked, "Patty, did you even read the book?" and her response was "Welllll...I really wanted too." (I do have to point out that Patty was the friend that messaged us all saying "Want to start a book club?" Now that's what I call irony.)

And then there's me, Toni. I guess you could say the day-dreamer/romantic of the bunch. The one who sometimes lives vicariously through characters in movies, TV shows and books. My response to the book was, "Boo, why couldn't they end up happy and together in the end?" And, "I'm pissed they never actually did it."

All-in-all, it was a fun night filled with both laughter and tears. The tears were merely shed when a fresh crockpot of hot, cheesy dip came crashing to the floor after the handle broke off.

And I'd like to think the totes I made were a success! I had a blast making them.

In the week prior to the book club get-together I messaged the girls and told them we needed to think of a name for our club because I had a surprise I wanted to use the name with. Even after about a dozen name suggestions, we still do not have a name for the club but we do have a slogan -- WE GET LIT!

With a little stenciling, Sharpies and of course GLITTER, I whipped up these totes for us all and I think they turned out quite cute.

And now on to the next book (Picked by Annie)...

We've decided to go in chronological order by birthday and I'm up next. So I've got about a month to pick out a winner. Let me know if anyone has any good suggestions!

Happy reading!

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