Why I Quit My Book Group


Okay, the snacks were great, and so was the wine.

But the books were awful. I wanted to have fun, but everyone kept voting for books that were depressing. They called them "classics." I guess that's code for boring books where nothing really happens to people you don't care about, and books that leave you feeling there's no point being alive.

Like Wuthering Heights. What a mess those people were! They really needed serious chocolate or group therapy or a week at an all-inclusive resort or even just a hot yoga class. Everything was so grim and confusing, and even that word "wuthering," plus the book cover made me feel like I was on the verge of a migraine.


Then The House of Mirth. O.M.G., Lily Bart wants something, then she doesn't, then she does, then she doesn't. I was ready to smack that wench and tell her to marry the rich guy and have an affair with the one you really love. It happens. Big deal. But of course she died at the end. I think that's required in a classic. If you don't die of boredom first.

And that wasn't enough. The group shoved Ethan Frome down my throat next. There was snow. There was a black cat. There was whining. And more snow. Plus some stupid pickle dish. And a guy with a limp. And more snow. Who the hell wants to spend time reading about a freezing miserable town like that when you live in Minnesota to begin with? Hello?

But what pushed me over the edge was Women in Love because this Lawrence guy must have been insane. I couldn't understand half of what he was writing, and there was just too much death and shouting and freaky "poetry" and the whole thing made me nauseous. Honestly, can you imagine anyone ending a relationship and saying, "You are so crude. You break me -- you only waste me -- it is horrible to me." It sounded like a super tacky reality show pretending to be Downton Abbey. I rented the movie because I thought that would help. It didn't. Naked men wrestling. Ewww.


I'm looking for a book group now that reads seriously good books -- like Jennifer Weiner's. I'm talking about books that won't make me want to binge eat or run over somebody's garbage can on the way to work.

Lev Raphael is the author of over two dozen books which you can find on Amazon.