I don’t know about you, but I was initially mildly interested that the Today Show is instigating a monthly book club. I remember the good ol’ days of Oprah’s book club. Month by month it was exciting to see which book she’d choose next. Almost invariably, they were worthy candidates: classics like Light in August or The Heart is a Lonely Hunter; challenging books like The Road or Night, well-known books like Love in the Time of Cholera, books by popular authors such as Barbara Kingsolver, Anita Shreve, Alice Hoffman, Toni Morrison, and sometimes even first novels by wonderful unknown writers, such as The Book of Ruth by Jane Hamilton or The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski. And who can forget The Corrections and Freedom! Oprah was enthusiastically creating a reading community for literary works, respecting her audience’s intelligence. From what I understand, she was personally engaged in choosing the books. I was sorry when her book club came to an end. Her book list from those years is an impressive compendium of mostly fine books.
I turn the Today show on some mornings to see what it’s “doing” (the weather) in New York, plus it gives me a little thrill to see the crowd at Rockefeller Plaza. Having been a tourist in NYC myself (though not one who screams at Al Roker), and hoping to be one again, I get a hit from the street scenes provided by the Today show. A week or two ago they even had Jimmy Buffett doing a concert out on the plaza. Since I’m a Margaritaville fan, that was a two-fer: Key West and New York City.
Speaking of NYC, did you hear about the accident a day or two ago where a cab jumped a curb near Rockefeller Plaza and hit a woman, severing her leg below her knee! Right there at 49th Street and Avenue of the Americas! The accident victim, twenty-three, a British tourist, was sitting on a plaza planter eating a hot dog with a friend. A plumber who was walking by whipped off his belt to make a tourniquet, probably saving her life. A woman offered her dog’s leash as another tourniquet. A food vendor put her severed leg on ice to try to save it. Ooooooh. People are amazing. To top it all off, Dr. Oz came racing over from his TV studio nearby to offer aid when he heard the sirens. It’s not worth losing your leg over . . .but still . . . Dr. Oz!
I digress. Where was I?
Oh. I heard on the Today show that they were going to start a book club. So I was curious to see what the first book would be. I stood there in the kitchen breathlessly awaiting the announcement (as breathless as one can be doing breakfast dishes). Maybe it would be TransAtlantic! Margaret Atwood has a new novel coming out . . .wouldn’t that be cool.
They did pick a just released book, The Bone Season. I watched the interview of the young (as in twenty-one years old) author, Samantha Shannon–British, excited, poised, and sophisticated beyond her years. She’s been writing since she was THIRTEEN! Wow. Ms. Shannon looked bright, flushed, and a little uncomfortable, especially when one of those Today hosts with lots of teeth and a tight dress “sprang” the news on her that her book had been chosen for this honor, the Today show’s debut book club book. Samantha seemed appropriately thrilled and gracious; she appeared prepared for her success, though, which includes a big movie deal and book rights in twenty-one countries. Maybe this is the kind of success she’s dreamed of (since she was thirteen). But turning back to the dishes, I had some mixed feelings about the whole thing that I’m still trying to sort out.
Here’s the book description from Amazon:
“A TODAY BOOK CLUB PICK! It is the year 2059. Several major world cities are under the control of a security force called Scion. Paige Mahoney [age19] works in the criminal underworld of Scion London, part of a secret cell known as the Seven Seals. The work she does is unusual: scouting for information by breaking into others’ minds. Paige is a dreamwalker, a rare kind of clairvoyant, and in this world, the voyants commit treason simply by breathing . . .”
What the heck is a “voyant”? Continue reading “The TODAY Show starts a Book Club and I miss Oprah!”