We have 3 Book Groups at Sticks Library; I run the Adult Book Group once/month, Prairie Dawn runs the Teen and Tween Book Groups. I choose the books for our Adult Book Groups, and assist Prairie Dawn in choosing the books for the Teens and Tweens--she's never been a Youth Services Librarian and up until working at Sticks hasn't stayed current on books for those ages, thus my helping.
I think we do a pretty good job picking a selection for all three groups, that includes new/popular books, while also working in some classics, and for Teens and Tweens some award winners. I am pleased as punch to mention that our Adult Book Group does one Graphic Novel/year, and starting this year we also added one Young Adult book/year. For the adults I tried to include a few non-fiction titles as well, as that's something I know a few book club members enjoy, myself included.
I was doing a good job until December. I hate seasonal books. HATE. I feel like the quality is oft compromised for some of these authors to punch out more books that fill this desire for books geared toward this sentimental (stressful, angst-ridden) time of year. It was with trepidation that I chose this year's gem: The Christmas Train by David Baldacci. (And before I go on I should also mention I'd never personally pick up a book by this guy normally, as I steer clear of what I call "formulaic authors," those authors who punch out one or more books a year: Patterson, Baldacci, Johanssen, and the list goes on--yes, I'm a bit of a literary snob!)
Anyway, this book didn't sound too bad; a train ride from one side of our country to the other, references of Twain and his travels; I was even willing to take on a little cheesy holiday romance. I tried. I did. THIS. WAS. THE. WORST. BOOK. EVER. From it's non-stop cliches, to it's one too
many coincidences, to its' terrible dialogue. I didn't think it could get worse, until I got to the end of the book, when I LITERALLY wanted to throw it across the room at the wall, the only thing stopping me was that it was a library book!!
This was one of the few times I'm glad I chose a book so awful; Book Group was hysterical as almost all of us talked about how much we disliked it. I felt a little bad for the one woman who enjoyed it, but we were fair and we heard her out...I just pray she comes back.
For those of you who normally love Baldacci's work, you'll probably like this. If you like sentimental and happily-ever-after-stories you'll probably like this. I don't like either of these things, so I didn't, but when I wrote about this on Facebook, there were some definite fans out there. So, you be the judge