Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Zig Zag Repeater and How Book Club Works

Today was a much better day - I'm back in the work groove, no plans tonight and the weekend is nearly upon us. Joy!
I felt like wearing this zig zag sweater again (worn twice in the July 2012 capsule, recap here). Every time I've worn it, I've done a turquoise bottom (pedal pushers and a turquoise dress last July). This is close to a copy of the first time I wore it back in September 2011 when I first thrifted it.

I had a fun (to me) moment this morning when one of my co-workers asked me if I'd thrifted this - she actually bought this new for around $80, and was shocked when I told her how much I'd paid. Yeah, $3.00 is pretty good.
The black top underneath is a shell I wear instead of a flimsy cami. I last wore it here (2nd outfit) with orange, red and denim.
The skirt is another thrifted item ($7.00) - I last wore it here with my "office punk" look (with these same shoes). Time to toss it in the wash - the lining is hanging out the front.

The stuff:
At least I did different accessories. The turquoise ball necklace was thrifted for $5.00 at a vintage fair. I last wore these shoes here with floofy layers under a Smoking Lily dress.

More high-low.
Original Wendy Brandes mixed with thrifted items.

Sweater (Le Chateau, thrifted), top (Mossimo, consignment), skirt (Cabri, thrifted), shoes (Darjeeling Teapots, Fluevog, second-hand), necklace/cuff (thrifted), earrings (Oscar & Libby's), Fulvia ring (Wendy Brandes).

So, Terri asked me the other day, "What kind of books does your book club like to read?"

Most book clubs decide on a book by consensus ahead of time. Everyone goes and gets the book, then you meet up and discuss it. Right? Everyone familiar with this?

My book club used to do that. But we had issues with people not getting the book, or not being able to find it, or just not bothering. We also ended up reading a lot of "Oprah"-type books, you know that kind, always kind of the same. I didn't have a lot of enthusiasm for those (although some were pretty good), as my tastes in reading run to horror, science fiction and fantasy. Sorry, raised on Bradbury, Asimov and Heinlein, with a good dollop of King.

The last straw for me was when "we" picked "The DaVinci Code." It was only out in hard copy, the library's copies were all spoken for, and I was out of work. That damned book cost $39.99! I couldn't afford it, and ended up borrowing a copy (which is fine, but still) - and then I HATED it. Ugh, what an awful book.

The gears started turning. How could I make book club more exciting, get more of us actually reading the book, and cut back on the homogeneity of our choices? And then I had an idea.

At the next book club, I showed up with a bag. And as I introduced my idea, I pulled 6 copies of the same book (Somerset Maugham's "The Moon and Sixpence"); all second-hand, all different editions, all paperback, and none costing more than $6.00.

Here it is: When it's your turn to pick, it's your choice. Entirely your choice. Buy 6 books (we now buy enough for everyone, which is 8, including ourselves) on your dime. Bring them to book club and distribute them. Because we have 8 people picking, and we have book club about every 6-7 weeks, you only have to buy once a year. The rest of the time, you get free books!

We have tried all kinds of different books, from historical erotica ("Fanny Hill") to trashy beach reads (Janice Dickenson's "No Lifeguard on Duty"), from graphic novels ("V for Vendetta") to science fiction ("Fahrenheit 451"). Some have been flops (I still get teased about Chuck Palahniuk's "Snuff") and some have been difficult (Salman Rushdie's "Midnight's Children"), but it's been such an amazing variety!

The odd time one of us has already read the book - but that isn't an issue, since it was often years before, and it gives us a chance to discuss the book critically. We keep a "picker list" so that we know whose turn it is, and it's exciting to start thinking about what we plan to share with the group. It can be a little nerve-wracking, but whenever it's my turn, I'm so jazzed to share my pick with everyone. Our last pick was Yvonne's "The Sisters Brothers" by Patrick deWitt (a great book), and we'll be meeting tomorrow night to have wine, yummy food and some fun discussion about it.

I am the next picker, and I spent Monday going all over town looking for copies of my pick - I only found 5 (not counting my own copy...yes, I'm picking a book I already own but haven't read in a very long time), so I had to order some online. They won't make it here in time, so I'll have to loan out my copy and hope one or two of the gals don't mind waiting a bit! Lack of planning on my part, oops.

I can't share the book, but the author is one that many people poo-poo as not literary and too popular. Heck, Dickens had those same criticisms, and look who we're still reading!

Anyway, I hope that explains my answer to Terri in the comments, "We read what we're given!"


  1. Okay so now I'm dying to know what book you've picked. Grrr it's like the time Stephen King left us all hanging for years for the Dark Tower series. ; )

  2. Ooooh, I like the way you organize your book club. It lends itself to a greater variety of books, and it allows you to control costs somewhat. I'm amazed at the variety of books your group has tackled. In our household, DH reads the science fiction, fantasy, and turn of the century romance!! I read literary fiction, lots of non-fiction. My favorite category of books would be historical travel narratives.

  3. Sheila, I love the shoes! The skirt is great. I especially love the office punk look!


  4. What an awesome idea with the books! Sounds much more exciting! And the free book thing too. I can't wait to know what you picked. You and I have similar book tastes so I bet you picked a good one.

    Ah the joys of thrifting! I still worry one every one will catch on and no one will be donating all the good stuff. ;P

  5. Love how much of a bargain your top was compared to your colleague who bought it full retail! I've had thrifted items altered to fit me and they are still more affordable than store-bought items. Although I admittedly have less as there are no good thrift places nearby.

    Sounds like such an interesting and fun way to run a book club too! :)

  6. Oh, that's such an interesting way to do a book club, much more sensible. I recently bought a paperback set of Dickens (about 16) and am working my way through them.

  7. Your book club sounds like big fun! Tell us your pick soon? I am a Heinlein fan and will re-read my favorites of his before tackling a new book sometimes. I'm reading "Warm Bodies" now, about zombies that start to . . . warm up. Great read.

    Fashion wise, you look fab of course. Love that Missoni-like sweater.

  8. Thrifting for the win! You definitely came out ahead on the cardigan! I love it too, the colors are fun.

    I've never joined a book club but sometimes I think it would get me to step out of the box more in what I read. I read so much fluff sometimes.

  9. LOVE this outfit--I've always loved turquoise, red, black and white togtehr.

    your bookclub sounds amazing. I tried the one at the local library but Oprah books ain't my thing AT ALL!!!

  10. I can totally understand how it was a GREATTTTTT moment for you when you knew that you had scored the same item for so little !
    It feels like winning the lottery :)

  11. I LOVE that outfit!!! It's just so perfect in every way!

  12. I love your book club idea!! It makes it more interesting and green at the same time! I was a lit major and I'm a little picky, so I usually hate all the books that book clubs pick... lolzzz
    Becky :)

  13. It was great to meet you at Limbic Media. You are seriously into this fashion blogging thing! Had I been on the ball and a total web-fanatic, I would have snapped the shoe installation-accessory! :) and posted them everywhere and linked to your blog! :) Purely in fun - how would you feel about something like that? Anyway, I did post some stuff on Google+

    1. Nice to meet you too, Alison! Yeah, it's my thing - been doing it a long time. I have no problem with you linking up or posting stuff. I don't do any kind of media other than my blog, which is enough of a time-suck!


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