Today the Ladies Smythe & Westin are back in Permanently Booked, a book club-themed mystery. To celebrate—and perhaps as a gentle caution—here are the profiles of a few interesting members you may encounter at your next literary gathering:
I know, we all adore Hermione Granger. This is Hermione on steroids. Uber-dedicated but a bit of a bossypants, she’s already finished every book on the selection list—and she’ll lap you on the re-reads. She prefers to draft her own reader’s guides and the questions are a lot tougher than the ones you prepped for on the Internet.
Sidebar Cindy and Cell Phone Sue
I’m counting these two as one here, since it’s sometimes hard to tell them apart. Sidebar Cindy talks nonstop about everything other than books: her love life, her workout routine, her kids’ soccer games, the last amazing party you weren’t invited to—you name it. Cell Phone Sue texts constantly, with alert pings that drive your dog through the glass coffeetable. She also loves to share photos and takes selfies with the refreshments. This duo usually arrives late, and neither has read the book up for discussion. Closest book club BFFs: Wine-Hog Wanda and Resked-Request Rita.
She’s rarely read the book, but you can bet she’s seen the movie or TV show, and blithely tries to fake it. No one except Hermione 10.0 wants to clue her in that the movie had a different ending, because that would be rude and embarrassing. She’s not going to read the book, anyway.
Malachi the Writer Guy
This member never misses a meeting. He’s in your writer’s group, too, but they’re the same thing, right? Malachi the Writer Guy is dying to share his (own) two-thousand-page novel. Usually military fiction with extremely, er, vivid romantic interludes you’ll never scrub from your mind. Don’t bother trying to figure out a way to get rid of him. It’s futile.
No one really knows about Debbie. She never says a word at meetings, but creates endless, highly-detailed illustrations on the back of the reader’s guide handout in shaded pencil. Mutilated unicorns, elaborate skulls, bloody, medieval-looking hatchets, that kind of thing. Probably best not to ask.
I admit, I may have exaggerated a teensy bit here—and if you share any qualities with these characters, I sincerely apologize. See you next month—Hermione 10.0 is already halfway through Permanently Booked!
Readers, do you have a character to add to this list? Discuss below in the comments!