A few weeks ago, I met up with nine other women at the bar in the Ritz Carlton in Tysons Corner for the first ever Wired Momma book club. We all read the much-discussed, often dubbed “mommy porn” book Fifty Shades of Grey and we came ready to discuss it. Sidebar: did anyone else catch this piece in the NYT over the weekend about the Facebook wedding? The mention that Zuckerberg’s now-wife Priscilla, back when she got back together with him in 2007, drew up terms of their relationship and included scheduling in 100 minutes of free time with him a week. Sound Christian Greyish to anyone else? Fascinating. Also interesting to me from that piece was the insight that the other wives of Silicon Valley moguls, like Jobs’ wife or Brin from Google’s wife, each have powerful careers of their own. I enjoyed learning it because it flies in the face of the “Real Housewives” imagery stoked in everyone’s mind of the wives of powerful businessmen.
Back to book club, in the end, we spent three hours together having really great, honest conversation, given the fact that we were mainly strangers when we all met that evening. I found it to be rejuvenating and remarkable that I could connect with a group of strangers and we could all have such easy, fun, open conversation – leaving us all wanting to do it again – and soon. One woman posted on the WM FB page (where all this was arranged and discussed, in case you’re wondering if you missed a post or two) – asking if she was going to the be only one who wouldn’t know anyone and how would she know who to look for. Both were good questions – and the truth was – it turned out it didn’t matter.
Isn’t the internet and the ways we can connect through it – truly a remarkable thing? Next book club, we should toast Al Gore for inventing it.
And so, without further delay, I am officially ready to announce the next Wired Momma Book Club Book. I know it’s been a few weeks and I’ve actually put a bit of thought into this next selection. I weighed making it a democracy and letting the group – which means anyone who wants to participate (not just those who came last time, though that is an idea going forward) – vote. In the end, I’ve decided against that approach this time. I’m not power hungry…c’est vrai.
I just am being realistic with regards to my time and right now – I don’t have time to track votes and post more about it….seems easier to just rule with an iron fist like the Machiavellian despot that I am. It’s what I do best at home, anyhow.
As I started evaluating all of our options out there, I worried – how would I find something as racy as Fifty Shades? How would I find something as shocking or that would compel interesting conversation?
In the end, I don’t think it matters because I think we just enjoyed coming together, having a drink and gossiping with one another. Summer time will probably make scheduling a date for the book club near impossible so I’m already putting out there that we should look at a random Wednesday towards mid-late July. And I probably will keep it mainly on Facebook, so please feel free to join the totally fun WM FB community if you haven’t already done so.
And so…this time I mean it….without further delay…….the second selection in the super famous, sought after WM Book Club is: The Newlyweds by Nell Freudenberger. It is a fairly new book, it’s received great reviews and I guessed that most people who are interested in book club, probably haven’t read it – or at least not all of it – because it is so new.
Here’s the book description from Amazon if you’re not in the mood to click the link:
“A powerful, funny, richly observed tour de force by one of America’s most acclaimed young writers: a story of love and marriage, secrets and betrayals, that takes us from the backyards of America to the back alleys and villages of Bangladesh.
In The Newlyweds, we follow the story of Amina Mazid, who at age twenty-four moves from Bangladesh to Rochester, New York, for love. A hundred years ago, Amina would have been called a mail-order bride. But this is an arranged marriage for the twenty-first century: Amina is wooed by—and woos—George Stillman online.
For Amina, George offers a chance for a new life and a different kind of happiness than she might find back home. For George, Amina is a woman who doesn’t play games. But each of them is hiding something: someone from the past they thought they could leave behind. It is only when they put an ocean between them—and Amina returns to Bangladesh—that she and George find out if their secrets will tear them apart, or if they can build a future together.
The Newlyweds is a surprising, suspenseful story about the exhilarations—and real-life complications—of getting, and staying, married. It stretches across continents, generations, and plains of emotion. What has always set Nell Freudenberger apart is the sly, gimlet eye she turns on collisions of all kinds—sexual, cultural, familial. With The Newlyweds, she has found her perfect subject for that vision, and characters to match. She reveals Amina’s heart and mind, capturing both her new American reality and the home she cannot forget, with seamless authenticity, empathy, and grace. At once revelatory and affecting, The Newlyweds is a stunning achievement.”
In case you’re wondering if I’ve read it…I just started it over the weekend and am about 75 pages in. So far, so good. I am quite pleased with it.
I’m eager to discuss it more in July….I am excited to hopefully see many of the same fabulous women who came a few weeks ago and maybe this time, some more will come as well! Because so many last time came from suburbs of VA, I am leaning again towards a location around Tysons (just not the Ritz because we won’t need to be fancy for Christian Grey this time.) I’ll post more on FB to lock in that date soon and gauge opinions on time/location…so I’m not that evil of a ruler….
Happy reading!!!! Eager to hear what you think of the book!! “Like” WM on FB to keep up with the discussion…or to schedule 100 minutes of free time with me.