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Jac and Dave Book Clubs: 50 Shades of Grey and the Hunger Games

Photo by Dave Spencer

On occasion, Jaclyn and I have discussed the fact that neither of us are heavy readers. In fact, outside of her monthly magazine fixes–Cosmopolitan and Parenting–and her nightly reading of Llama Llama Mad at Mama with her daughter, Carsyn, Jaclyn doesn’t “hit the books” very much, if at all. Same here.

I read the analysts on all the major sports websites and I read the news, but don’t dive into a book very often. But that’s all changed. Jaclyn and I are both now engrossed in very high-profile book trilogies.

When I came in this morning, Jaclyn was reading Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James. Darker is the second part of a trilogy that begins with Fifty Shades of Grey, a wildly popular novel–which Jaclyn completed in a 36-hour period–that’s been sweeping the nation and has already been optioned as an adaptation for the big screen.

ew.com

The steamy novel about a college graduate’s affair with a mysterious businessman is currently sitting atop the New York Times Best Seller List with its two sequels, Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, close behind at #’s 2 and 3.

And while it sounds like “chick lit,” it’s not just women who are reading it. Male fans of the series are out there, too. In fact, Roxianne the Receptionist, who’s reading the first novel, is trying to recruit ME to be one of them. But, it just doesn’t sound like my thing.

However, it IS one of the books that has made WBKR, at times, seem like a library. Earlier today, I walked into the studio. It was dead quiet. Roxianne was reading. Jac was reading. I felt as if I needed to get MY book.

Yes, I have been bitten by The Hunger Games bug. Now, I didn’t tear through it as quickly as Jaclyn did with Fifty Shades of Grey. But I could have; it’s terrific. It’s just that I learned a long time ago after I read Stephen King’s The Stand that if a book is really excellent, I should take my time and stretch it out so I can enjoy it longer. King’s masterpiece remains my all-time favorite novel.

goodreads.com

But the pace of Games would certainly lift it into my top ten. When I read a brief spoiler-free synopsis of the blockbuster movie–it will soon top the $400 million mark at the American box office–I was immediately intrigued and decided to read the book before I saw the movie. I don’t often feel the need to do that. This time I did…and was well rewarded.

It’s exciting science fiction set in a bleak future where teenagers battle to the death to entertain the denizens of a place known only as the Capitol. It’s a complete thrill ride and was hard to put down, although I forced myself.

I think that decision made the characters and the plot even richer than they already would have been. I finished it this weekend and am now onto the second book in Suzanne Collins’ trilogy–Catching Fire. Can’t wait to get back into it.

I think it’s funny that two people–Jaclyn and myself–who rarely find the time to read anything longer than a magazine article are now completely submerged in two of the hottest book series out there.

Of course, it remains to be seen if either will be as good as Llama Llama Mad at Mama.

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