Discussing Upcoming Netflix Book Club

Discussing Upcoming Netflix Book Club


In this episode Nicole and Gayle mention the books they’ve finished reading, they discuss the upcoming Netflix Book Club, and they also extensively discuss their own book clubs and how they pick books to read.

The PlotJean Hanff KorelitzAmazonBookshop
Kill All Your DarlingsDavid BellAmazonBookshop
Crying In H MartMichelle ZaunerAmazonBookshop
No One Goes AloneErik LarsonAmazonBookshop
IntimaciesKatie KitamuraAmazonBookshop
Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay and A Mother’s Will To SurviveStephanie LandAmazonBookshop
The Woman in the WindowA.J. FinnAmazonBookshop
Behind Her EyesSarah PinboroughAmazonBookshop
Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic RootsDeborah FeldmanAmazonBookshop
RebeccaDaphne Du MaurierAmazonBookshop
MudboundHilary JordanAmazonBookshop
OutlanderDiana GabaldonAmazonBookshop
The Queen’s GambitWalter TevisAmazonBookshop
PassingNella LarsenAmazonBookshop
The Hunting WivesMay CobbAmazonBookshop
A SeparationKatie KitamuraAmazonBookshop
Count The WaysJoyce MaynardAmazonBookshop
News Of The WorldPaulette GilesAmazonBookshop
Friends and StrangersJ Courtney SullivanAmazonBookshop
I Miss You When I BlinkMary Laura PhilpottAmazonBookshop
Olympus, TexasStacey SwannAmazonBookshop
WantLynn Steger StrongAmazonBookshop
What Could Be SavedLIese O’Halloran SchwarzAmazonBookshop

*Books linked above are our affiliate links through Amazon. There’s no additional expense to you, but if you make a purchase through us a small portion of that contributes to the costs associated with making our podcast. Thanks so much for listening and for your support.



[00:00:00] Nicole: Welcome to another edition of the readerly report today Gayle and I are going to talk about Netflix is book club. That’s going to be launching on November 16. We of course, love books. We love to see what kind of book to move adaptations are in development. So for me, it’s kind of exciting to have this all in one.

And for the books I’m interested in to be able to hear from the directors and the cast and everything like that. So we will be talking about some of the books that they have already adapted and what they’re going to be doing going forward. And we’re also going to throw in a little discussion on the last three books that each of our book clubs have read and what we thought of them.

That’s our show for today, but let’s get started with Gayle and what she’s been reading.

[00:00:52] Gayle: Yeah, hi. Well, I just finished a book that I’m in the worst book hangover from, cause I really liked it and I have to, excuse my, I’ve got a little bit of a, I’m getting over a cold, so sorry if I sound a little, either nasally or gravelly or whatever it is.

 I read Joyce Maynard’s new book Count the Ways. Which I really, really, really liked.

[00:01:13] Nicole: And you kind of like her, she, it seems like she’s an author that you look out for.

[00:01:18] Gayle: Exactly. Yeah. I like her a lot. Although I realized this is only my third one by her I’ve read labor day and under the influence, which I love that was maybe four or five years ago. And then this new one

[00:01:30] Nicole: The third one that’s out?

[00:01:32] Gayle: No, there’s more, I think there’s more that I haven’t read, which is kind of making me want to go back in and fill in. This is a family drama. It’s about a woman who has like a really sad childhood, which seems to be a theme in her books. So I’m wondering what her childhood was like.

She had a really sad childhood and then she kind of gets married. Young to this guy. He’s a little older than her. And they live in a kind of ramshackle farmhouse like north of Boston. I don’t know if it’s in New Hampshire or if it’s still a Massachusetts and it’s really just about like their marriage and their family.

And you know, what happens to them over the course of like 30 years and they have kids and there’s kind of a defining tragic event that happens like halfway through or maybe, a third of the way through which really affects their relationship. And it’s just like, I don’t know. She, her writing is it’s, it’s sad.

There’s a lot of sad things that happen, but I just, I love the way she tells a story. I had a hard time putting it down. I’m going to give one like negative on it though. And I have noticed this lately, like it needed a really good edit. There was a lot of repetition. Some of the details or descriptions of characters, they would just kind of pop up all the time.

Like even within the same page, there would be repetition. I feel like with a really diligent editor, that stuff would have been caught. And I’m kind of noticing that in a lot of books now, and I’m just our editors, just like, so short-staffed or like why aren’t these books being edited?

[00:03:04] Nicole: I think that editors are overwhelmed.

I think with social media, with books, I think that people are involved a lot more in things that are not necessarily editing. And I think editors are also responsible for acquiring books looking for the next best thing. So I don’t know. There’s so much that goes into that. And sometimes people’s editors leave and projects don’t become as much of a priority to someone who didn’t select that book.

That’s something that I’ve heard with different authors that have talked to, I think probably even starting as much as five years ago that some people just feeling like they weren’t getting the attention that they needed from editors, like to really tell them certain things. So, yeah, I think it’s a bunch and being short-staffed too, like a lot of things.

And I remember hearing at one point that really. The big investment for editing goes to non-fiction books.

[00:04:05] Gayle: Well, I, you know, that that would have been a five-star book for me and I had to knock it down a little bit, just cause it, I found that frustrating and distracting. And I also went on good reads and it was like, The reviews were either five star or two star.

And the two stars were, and the editing often very much because of the editing there, like it was so repetitive. I just couldn’t, you know, it really bothered me. It got annoying. So I don’t know that stuff aside. I really loved it. And I have to recommend it.

[00:04:35] Nicole: I wonder when it’s last, like what was the last book that she wrote and what was the time period?

Cause I wonder if you write a book and you give it some cooling off, like you don’t look at it for a couple of months, don’t you kind of notice those things when you come back to it.

[00:04:49] Gayle: Yeah, I would think so. Right. Like when you’re in the middle of it, like you’re so into these characters that like the way you describe them is because you’re like, that’s my character.

Right. But that’s a good point. So I think that she had, I’m just looking at. She had a book. I, you know, she had a husband who died. It’s like a kind of later in life, marriage, did you, you didn’t read that one. Did you know it was nonfiction, right? It was like a memoir about her. I thought she had something like that.

Yeah. I did not read that The Best Of Us. And I wonder if I have that in house somewhere. I didn’t, I never read it. I follow her on Facebook. She posts very, very long, very emotional posts that can go like screen after screen. You’re like scrolling and scrolling and scrolling. So I think I didn’t read it cause I kind of felt like I had sort of read a lot of it in her posts because she was posting when he was sick and what was going on.

 And I’m actually looking now on Amazon. She has a lot of books out that I haven’t read. Once they go back to like 2004, 2012.

[00:05:52] Nicole: Yeah. I look at good reads and it says she has 38 distinct books.

[00:05:57] Gayle: Yeah. So she obviously writes, you know, maybe that’s one point is that she writes them quickly and then there’s not a lot of time between them.

 Yeah, she’s got a lot of them.

Count the waste of 2021. And then the one about, probably about her marriage, the best of us is 2017. Hmm. So, yeah, she does a lot of like writing seminars and stuff. Like she, that’s another thing she talks about on Facebook a lot is she holds these retreats for writers.

So she’s clearly like somebody who’s very, you know, into the craft of writing. Right. That’s my sort of surprising, but anyway, so that I read, and then the other thing I wanted to note that I finished, cause I think I mentioned it to you. Last time we talked was I did read News Of The World, which has been on the shelf for like five years.

And I read that for my book challenge. That’s going to be my book too. Maybe I haven’t watched the movie yet, but I will. And it was good. It was good. It’s historical fiction book about the older man during the post civil war reconstruction era in Texas. And he goes from town to town, reading the news to people who don’t have access to newspapers, potentially can’t read.

And he goes, and he reads about what’s happening so people can learn about what’s happening both in the U S and eventually in the world. And he is tasked with the he gets paid by someone to transport a girl, the 10 year old girl from Wichita falls, Texas back to her relatives outside San Antonio, because she was seized by Indians during a raid and her family, her immediate family was all killed.

And she’s supposed to be returned to her aunt and uncle. And it’s just about like their journey and kind of the relationship that develops between the two of them. And it’s, it’s good. It’s good. Historical fiction. I don’t read a lot of circle fiction, so that was good. And just kind of about the relationship that sort of slowly grows between the two of them.

And then I’m going to watch the movie. So that kind of catches you up on my recent stuff.

[00:07:59] Nicole: Okay. So you said you’re experiencing a book hangover. So should I take that to mean that you’re not reading anything right now? No, blowdry book, no audiobook?

[00:08:08] Gayle: No, no, no, no. And you get, and you thanks to your prod from last week. I actually have a blow dry book going.

So now I’ve got all three going. I think the audio book I’m reading is Friends And Strangers by J. Courtney. And that’s, that’s kind of humming along. That’s fine. Usually the book hangover doesn’t affect the audio of that much. And then for the blow dry book, I’m reading a collection of essays, which is something I almost never do called. I Miss You When I Blink by, is it Mary Alice, fill pot, Mary something, fill pot. She works at Parnassus books with Ann Patchett. And she’s a writer in her own, right. You know, a bookseller and a writer, and she’s done a lot of things and it’s a collection of essays. So that lends itself nicely to blow dry.

Cause sometimes I can get through most of an essay while I’m blow drying my hair. So now those are humming along and then I picked up a book. This is actually my next book club book. It’s called Olympus, Texas. Have you heard of that one? It’s kind of like. Well, this is what Sarah on her podcast would call brain candy.

It’s about like people behaving badly in a family in Texas.

So it’s fine. I’m just like, I think I was so consumed by Count The Ways that it was hard, you know how it is like when you like are mourning the loss of it at the end of a book to then switch gears could be.

[00:09:34] Nicole: How’d you come up with it? I haven’t even heard of that Olympus, Texas. Is that recent? Or did someone come in that I recommend it.

[00:09:41] Gayle: It came out a couple, I don’t know, maybe in the spring. And it was definitely on some of the, like book lists. I think I heard, I think I definitely heard about it on Sara’s podcast. I think I’m Catherine, some Gilmore guide read it and recommended it.

And you know, I was in the library like a couple of weeks ago and it was there and I just grabbed it. So

[00:10:01] Nicole: Lots of four and five stars.

[00:10:04] Gayle: Yeah. It’s like, I don’t think it’s like deep literature. Right. What’s kind of cool about it is the characters are meant to represent Greek gods. Hence the name of Olympus. It takes place in a town called Olympus.

So you have like the patriarch and matriarch and there is it Zeus and Hera or something? And then you’ve. A couple of kids and then a couple of half siblings who represent like Athena and Artemis. So, I mean, I’m not so familiar with Greek mythology that the parallels between the storylines are matching up yet, but maybe I’ll sort of brush up on it a little bit as I get deeper into the book.

[00:10:43] Nicole: So funny, cause I was reading someone Jenny Lawson interview and she said she didn’t really read the summary. And she goes, why are these people so terrible? And then she says, she picks up on the fact that that’s all about mythology and their destructive and self-destructive family. So, yeah, tendencies.

[00:11:03] Gayle: So yeah, I think that catches catches us up. How about you?

[00:11:07] Nicole: Okay. So I finished a few books. I had been reading. Intimacies by Katie Kitamura. And I finished reading that and I really liked it. I really like her style. She tends to write about, I guess, characters who are at a loss and searching for themselves.

The last one that she wrote about was when this woman goes to Greece to find her husband from who she is a strange, it seems like he’s missing while he’s there. She’s quite, not quite sure what happened. What has happened to him and she has all these strange encounters in this hotel. So this one is about a woman who her father has died.

 He’s had a long illness in New York, so he dies and her mom moves back to Singapore and she’s kind of at lose end. She feels like she’s done with New York city and she takes a post as an interpreter at the Hague. So it’s all about her first year there. And. Getting acclimated to that kind of work. She’s in a relationship with someone whose ties to his past have not been completely severed.

Like his wife has just taken their children and move to a different country, but he’s still really entwined with her. And then she has a friend who she visits a lot in this building. That’s kind of an up and coming neighborhood. It’s a gentrifying neighborhood and the friend witnesses or this violent attack.

And somehow. She becomes tied up into that and kind of obsessed with, with what’s going on with that. So I really like this book because it’s just one of those things that I never would’ve thought about before. Like you’d never think about an interpreter, you know, like when you have people at the Haight who are on trial for war crimes, there is someone who is giving voice to their words, their point of view, and also translating things so that they can understand. And quite a bit of it is about her relationship with this man who is accused of genocide in, you know, in his country and a little bit of the politics, because it seems like he’s from m aybe an African or a middle Eastern country.

And so they’re all these questions about why is it that he is on trial for these things when some other leaders have done similar things and are not, but it’s also about how much that affects, like. What hearing these things and translating, and I guess the quote, unquote relationship that you have as someone who’s translating for someone, like, how does this affect you?

How does it affect your life and what is your relationship with him? So she’s just going through a crossroads and she has like these interesting facets of her life that were just really fascinating to read. And she manages to do all of this. Her books are never that long. I mean, this was maybe 250 pages.

But it was really good. I like, I like her books. I’ll probably at some point, you know, I, I don’t know. I’m already making fun of myself in my head. As I say that at some point I want to go back. You know, some more of what she’s written. Have you ever read anything, anything by her?

[00:14:24] Gayle: Nope. I have A Separation sitting on my shelf

[00:14:27] Nicole: Right. A Separation is the one I talked about earlier. And I think Barack Obama had put this one on his reading list from the past year. So I can, I can see that. What else have I been reading? And then I read something it’s called Kill All Your Darlings by I want to say his name is David Bell and it reminded me of you. I thought about you every time I picked up this book, because one day, no, it doesn’t take place in one day, but you really like the plot and it has kind of a similar.

This one is about this college professor. He has been, you know, he had some acclaim with one book, but his family has died. They’re in an accident. So his wife and his son die. And he is just like having a hard time coming to grips with their deaths, but he also needs to publish so that he can make tenure. And he has a brilliant young woman in one of his classes.

She goes missing. She’s missing for two years. And very quickly they presume that she has met with foul play and is dead. So she had handed in her thesis to him and he publishes it. And then he comes in like one day after the reading, like he’s out at a reading for the book, they’re celebrating the release of this book and he comes home and there she is sitting in the chair. And of course she wants to know like, why he’s done this. Wouldn’t say that this was as good as the plot. It’s a little bit uneven. I found like in the beginning I was really into it. And then there was just kind of a lull I went through and then it picked back up a little bit. But it does ask questions about, I guess when you are grieving, like how responsible are you for that?

And it’s also kind of a little bit of a me too book because. Why his student ends up disappearing his entwined in some things that are going on at the campus, whether it’s professional with the professors and with the students, or, you know, Madeline who is the woman who comes back, she’s also involved.

She has a friendship with a woman who is in a difficult relationship, but things really take a turn because as it turns out, she has written about something that she has seen. A crime that has happened on campus. And of course there’s details that probably only the murderer would know. So Connor, who is the English professor is in the hot seat with the police because of course they want to know why he knows so much about the murders that took place on this campus.

And of course, you know, he has a lot to lose if he admits that this book is not his.

[00:17:24] Gayle: Yeah, I see the parallels there.

[00:17:28] Nicole: It was pretty good. Like I said, there were spots where it definitely lost momentum and then it got it back a little bit and then to thriller. So it had one of those endings. So I wouldn’t say that you need to run right out and get it. But if you’re in the mood for you know, college campus stolen plot story, then pick it up, check it out.

Got it. So right now, I am reading a book that my book club finished and discussed, but I wasn’t able to finish it at the time. And I really liked it. It’s called Crying At H Mart by Michelle Zauner. So I hadn’t mentioned that before

[00:18:04] Gayle: Yeah, that’s my book clu’s next book too. We’re tandem reading, both Olympus, Texas and Crying At H Mart.

[00:18:10] Nicole: Oh, okay. So the light and the heavy?, oh, it’s so good.

[00:18:15] Gayle: Oh, I should swap out and start that instead of Olympus, Texas.

[00:18:20] Nicole: It’s not that long. It’s 256 pages. It is about this woman’s relationship with her mother. Like, I guess she’s, Michelle’s down there as part of this band called Japanese. That I guess has some, some popularity.

I hadn’t heard of them before this book, but it’s all about her relationship with her Korean mother, you know, just growing up. I think she grows up in like this really small town in Oregon and, you know, she is she’s. And Korean. So it’s kind of about her isolation and just longing for identity while she’s in school and how her relationship with her mother is kind of fraught because she wants to fit in, but she does bond with her mother through like these delicious meals, Korean meals that her mother teaches her.

And I guess it’s kind of like her point of pride to be able to try all of these things, but still their relationship is kind of rocky. And when she. I think she’s graduated college and just going through the drudgery of finding like those first post college jobs that aren’t that fascinating and trying to concentrate on her band when her mother gets really sick with cancer.

And it’s just kind of about her examining her relationship and how they, you know, how she grew up and their relationship when they grew up and, and reconciling, you know, the fact that her mom. Is really ill and repairing their relationship and family dynamics. It’s really good.

[00:19:52] Gayle: Oh, good. Okay. So I will do that.

[00:19:56] Nicole: Thank you. We’ll like that. And I’m trying to listen to, No One Goes Alone by Eric Larson on audio. And I feel like I’ve started this book a million times and my concentration just hasn’t been there. So I have to get a little bit further in that to see. Whether it is, whether it’s the book or whether it’s just me, you can’t concentrate you right now.

It is about this family. It’s about, it’s kind of like about the search party and what happens when they go to some this little island somewherem back in 1905, because this family has gone on this week long holiday, but they’ve disappeared. Like no one knows where they are. So as it starts out, it seems like, like this group, it’s like a professor and it’s people who are affiliated with this department that does research into psychic phenomenon.

So some of it is just like about ghosts and, but it’s about all of them. Getting together on this island that may or may not be haunted to figure out what happened to this family. And it’s supposed to be a terrifying tale of suspense, which is usually not me. I think I went into this with the because Eric Larson had written it and I thought it might be interesting.

This was the one that I mentioned on our non-fiction show. And then I realized it was fiction. Oh, yes. So I’ll report back more in upcoming shows to figure out just what was going on. I think, I think that the setup is a little bit slow. Okay. So are we ready to talk about this Netflix book club? All right.

I don’t know where I heard about this. Like if they had a commercial for it, if there was a press release, but Netflix has decided in conjunction to do a series of book clubs with Starbucks. So they are going to bring together the directors or the authors. And sometimes the actors in the series just to I guess, give some behind the scenes, like how they decided to adapt the book,, maybe some color into why people were interested in making it, which I think is attractive to readers to figure out why your favorite actor was drawn to a certain work. So they’re going to be doing these, I guess it’s going to be a book club once a month, where you’ll have the opportunity to read the book before the adaptation comes out and have a discussion, like you can sign up for it.

And their first one is going to be Nella Larson’s Passing. And I think the first book club is going to be on November 16th and it’s hosted by. Uzo Aduba who was in Orange is The New Black, which is, which was based on a book.

[00:22:57] Gayle: What’s the format by which these discussions will take place.

[00:23:02] Nicole: Well, I think, I mean, it is a tie in with Starbucks, so I feel like there probably.

It’s going to be set in a Starbucks

[00:23:11] Gayle: Is this just one?Like

[00:23:13] Nicole: No, I think it’s going to be on a regular basis. Like if you go to their site is Netflix book, club.com and you can sign up and so.

[00:23:23] Gayle: No, but I mean like, are they happening all over the country? And then people are just going to gather and discuss?

[00:23:28] Nicole: No, Ithink that, well, I’m not sure. I think that they’re just gonna, they’re gonna film the discussion and that she’s going to be hosting that I just said her name and just forgot it.

[00:23:41] Gayle: Uzo Aduba?

[00:23:42] Nicole: Yes, she is going to be hosting and she will be talking to them. I don’t think that you will be able to attend the discussion at the Starbucks.

[00:23:51] Gayle: I see. Okay. But you can watch it or follow along. Right.

[00:23:55] Nicole: It’s going to show on Netflix.

[00:23:58] Gayle: And I see, so I found the site kind of confusing because it’s like, I guess they’ve picked, so that’s going to be, the Passing will be the first book, but then they’ve also linked to a number of other books.

For those just like. We’ve got a nice captive audience of book lovers here. So we’re going to throw in some of our adaptations at the bottom of the screen.

[00:24:18] Nicole: I think so. I mean, that was, that was my guess. I mean, I think it, I don’t know if you heard that or did we discuss on the show that Reese Witherspoon recently sold her production company?

Hello, sunshine to a private equity company. Oh, I didn’t know. That may close to a billion dollars on that deal. Obviously, and with the amount of celebrity book clubs that have popped up, I think that there, I mean, when you think about it, when you think about a book adaptation, you have got a built in audience of people who, oh, I read that book. Oh, I wonder who they’re going to cast in it. And of course, there’s this narrative that usually the novel is better than the adaptation. Which I think has changed a little bit in the fact that now so many of them are not just straight like book to move the adaptations, but they have these really intricate TV series where they can invest a lot more time into bringing the smaller details and some of the, I guess, smaller characters into the story, as opposed to, when you think about how much of a book you need to cut, if it’s going to be a.

So you have people who are interested just in the actor, the director, and then you have the curiosity from the book lovers who can help spread for the most part will, can spread buzz or be really excited about seeing what’s come of it. And then you have people who are just kind of interested in the premise.

Right? And I think that, you know, now more than ever. It’s become a thing. I think for actors and actresses to start developing film adaptations or series out of novels that they love, you know, immediately having that backing. And we’re hearing so early on about who’s attached to these projects when, who knows they may not even get made for another year.

Right. And especially with COVID doing the delay. And I think too, I know that they have those tabs where I would look, you know, it would say, oh, based on a book, when you’re in Netflix, you can, I guess, click on it, select it. And it will take you to a list of things. I wonder if their strategy will be to, to develop.

If you know, you’ve got this pipeline of books that are coming out to give it just that much more exposure.

I’m looking through this list of adaptations at the bottom of the screen. If you go to this Netflix book, club.com page, I’m sort of trying to find like a, a thread. I mean, obviously they have adapted or they’ve aired adaptations of books that you know, some of them are sort of soapy. I didn’t watch Virgin river, but I get the sense that sort of soapy the way like bridge certain.

Firefly lane are, but they also have like, you know, made which I’ve started and unorthodox and orange is the new black it’s. Yeah. It’s kind of a cool collection. It seems really geared towards women, which, which makes sense. Women are readers or at least fiction readers. Right. So Queens gambit, so good.

I made four different lists when I look at this, because I do think, like you said, Geared towards primarily fiction and primarily stories that women would be interested in.

So there was a list that I had read and watched. So I’ve watched the first episode of made and I’ve read me, I read the woman in the window and that adaptation, I don’t know how you can have an all-star cast and that be the product. Yeah, it was not, it was not that great. I would not have understood it at all.

If I not had not read the book and I feel like they stripped away the strengths of what made the book in the story. Interesting. And they just had like these little flashes of the connection, heavy connections to Hitchcock. She was. Suspense watcher, you know, she was, she loved to Hitchcock movies in the book, and I don’t know, they just kind of had the TV playing in the background.

That was just a very weird adaptation, so, so bad for what should have been. It had good source material and had a good cast. I don’t understand it. So behind her eyes with. Has an element that, that makes people uncomfortable or they don’t like the way it was adapted. But I, I like both the book and the movie and unorthodox, which I’ve read of this, that they have on their book club list.

I think it’s,

[00:28:57] Gayle: that are based on true

[00:28:57] Nicole: stories, right? Actually orange is the new black is, but 20 or so that they have on here only three are. So Rebecca you Mudbound, which I really liked and outline. And I think you read our souls at night. Oh yes. Did you watch that movie?

[00:29:17] Gayle: Yes. Well, you know, we’ve discussed on this podcast multiple times that I can never remember if I actually watched it or I just plan to watch it.

I know, I know. I think I watched it. It’s Jane Fonda and I forgot who plays. Oh, Robert river. Yeah. I think I watched it.

[00:29:34] Nicole: I think that that must mean that they, if you did watch it, they must’ve done a really good job since you can never tell it must have, it must have adhered closely to the source material.

Ben good. Cause you really liked the book. Right? And you think you liked the movie,

[00:29:53] Gayle: you know, what’s cool. Is that like, you know, Netflix is at an advantage here because they probably have got, she’s sitting on a trove of user data. So this, this book club. Project is not like a big, risky gambit for them because they know who’s watching all these shows and they know exactly the demographics of people who watch these shows and they know what people who watch these shows watch in addition.

So like they can create a pretty good, accurate, like user psychographic profile and then decide what makes sense to target to them.

[00:30:30] Nicole: Well, it’s really interesting. And I think it was. Martin Scorsese, I think have written article at one point that urge people to not, you know, not follow the algorithm because when you are watching Netflix, yeah.

They have a trove of data. They know what part that you stopped on. They know for how long they know if you came back to it. So they know at what point you lost interest completely. Things that you will binge so they can even tailor their, their movies and their series to. Very specific data, which I think is what score Ceci was trying to say is that you can basically develop a show that, you know, what people’s pain points are, you know, what they rewind and what scene they watch again.

Or you just have so much information that can be tailored. So specifically to people. You know, whatever demographic it is that they are trying to reach, or they decide you could probably read through this book and be like, well, based on other things like this, people don’t like this or they lose interest here, so let’s do this or let’s do that.

Yeah. I don’t know. It’s just kind of like, everything is an echo chamber now, right?

[00:31:47] Gayle: Yeah, the right. So you don’t, you don’t expand your horizons. You don’t challenge yourself. You don’t try new material. You just watch the same stuff over and over again.

[00:31:54] Nicole: Yeah. I’m going to watch this and they already know, oh, she liked Rebecca and she paused at this point.

And I don’t know, she seemed to have watched that part over and over. So maybe there’s something about. Drama that we can use and put in something else.

[00:32:07] Gayle: Well, that’s the whole Facebook echo chamber problem. You know, that we are so intertwined with these technology platforms who know us so well, this their algorithms do that.

They create narrower and narrower worldviews.

[00:32:21] Nicole: I think that’s the beauty too, of going to a bookstore and browsing and not on the tables that they put out for you where it’s just like, we think you’ll like this based on whatever, but when you actually go to the shelves and just kind of pull books out, look at their covers, read the jackets because usually things, I mean at everywhere, grocery stores, you know, the things that they really want you to buy are at island.

When you go to a bookstore, whatever spacing out, or, you know, these are the things that they have selected. Usually bookstores, not bookstores, but publishers by placement on these tables. And it’s hard to get away from things that are curated, which is kind of like why I love going to, you know, bookstores when I’m somewhere else and actually going to the shelves, not the table, not.

You know, here’s what our booksellers love, but just a real browse. Or if you go to a used bookstore and just everything is just in there is not really curated. And then you find books that you just it’s just like, oh, this is interesting. I’ve never heard of it before because of the things that you hear about are the things that people have made an effort to, to make sure that you hear about right.

It’s what people think is going to sell. It’s what people want to sell. It’s not just, oh, this is this fantastic book for the most part.

Right. I don’t know, but I’m still curious. I’m still going to check it out. What do you think of made.

[00:33:58] Gayle: Well, I, again, I made it like 15 minutes into the first episode and she was sort of escaping with her daughter and it was like, I was kind of waiting for my son to go to bed and I put it on and he got, he didn’t, he’s like, what?

This is scary. What is this? So I turned it off, so I barely watched any of it. Okay.

[00:34:18] Nicole: All right. So let’s talk about your last three book club reads. I already mentioned one of mine, which was

[00:34:26] Gayle: we’ve had trouble meeting regularly, just like the summer. And then, I don’t know. Then the back to school everyone’s sort of got really busy.

So what we ended up doing, because we were waiting too long. Meetings was we doubled up a few times. So like right now we’re reading Olympus, Texas, and crying at H Mart. And so last month, and we haven’t even met yet to discuss them, we read two books. Also, we read what could be saved and then want, which are two credibly different books.

We read the other black girl and want, those were the two that were paired together. It was one launch by Lynn steak or strong. Okay.

[00:35:02] Nicole: Oh yeah. I

[00:35:02] Gayle: remember. Yeah. And the vendor before that, I’m sorry, was what could be saved. So we had a successful meeting with what could be saved and that included the author joined us by zoom, which was really fun because we got to ask her lots of questions and talk to her.

We’ve probably talked to her for 45 minutes about the book. That’s a fantastic book. I’ve mentioned it a bunch on the show. So we’ll get too much into that again, but I really liked that one.

[00:35:26] Nicole: Yes. Okay. What did you talk to her about? Like, did she, well,

[00:35:30] Gayle: we talked to her a lot about, I mean, first of all, we talked about how she made the jump from being a emergency room doctor to being an author.

So we talked a lot about that. We talked about, cause she grew up in DC, which is where the book is. And yeah, we talked a little bit about growing up here because we’re local. And we asked her lots of plot questions. Like, how does she construct the plot? When did she decide what was going to happen to fill up?

I don’t want to give any spoilers away, but you know, we asked her some straight specific questions about things that happened or characters and you know, how did she decide? I feel like we need to talk about this offline. I thought

[00:36:05] Nicole: it was really, really amazing how she talked about, because this isn’t bank.

I’ve been a couple of times and it’s just so you know, I’m so familiar with the modern Bangkok and she talks a lot about the 1970s and kind of some of the things that shaped it, becoming the modern city that it is. So I would have been really curious about her research into what it was like in the 1970s, before there was all of this American development.

And I guess we were seeing the beginnings of that with the family, why they’re there and what project the father is really working on.

[00:36:44] Gayle: Well, she lived there then she was actually an ex-pat there. Her dad did have a job in Bangkok. And so she, a lot of it is from memory. And then she’s also been back more recently, so she could sort of develop them the recent side.

So it was interesting how much of the book is autobiographical? Not, you know, she doesn’t have a sibling who disappeared and anything like that, but just the settings and the time and the, you know, the, the times when the girls were living in DC was exactly when she was living in DC. And the school that the girls went to in the book is the school that she went through in the book, which is actually the school that I went to as well.

So when I went to the same high school, so yeah, that was, that was a really cool conversation. So that was the last time I think we met in person. And then I think we’re going to meet in another week or two to talk about want and the other black girl. And then in the interim, because like the weeks were passing the way our book club works is I give everybody three.

And then they just decide which one they want to read. So

[00:37:48] Nicole: you’re the curating

[00:37:49] Gayle: aspects? This book club. Yes. I’m very spoiled. And I really appreciate that. And it was funny when some people approached me about doing a book club and I was like, listen guys, like I don’t like book clubs because I’m super picky about what I read.

And I just, like I said, unless you want me to pick up. Okay then I don’t think I want to do it. And they’re like, oh no, we’re good with that. Because they know that I spend so much time reading about books and, you know, reading reviews and figuring out what’s out there. They’ve been so nice about it. So very rarely do they ever say, did someone else suggest a book?

They’re just usually content to read one of the three. I give them. And then this time and the last time we had trouble with narrowing it down from three to two. So we were just like, or three to one. So we just decided to do too. So that’s what we did this time. So, so last time it was the other black girl in want.

And then in the interim, I suggested some books and they picked Olympus, Texas and crying.

[00:38:51] Nicole: Maybe that’s what went wrong with our book club. You need to pick all the books.

[00:38:56] Gayle: I don’t know. I just I’m. I’m, it’s, it’s a shortcoming of mine that I’m not like, oh, I I’m open to reading anything. I have to like Netflix, Netflix algorithm problem.

Like I am in my wheelhouse and I like to stay in my wheelhouse. So it’s probably. But they don’t seem to mind. They’re so nice about it. And like, even if it’s a book as a dud, like they’re just like, okay, what’s the

[00:39:19] Nicole: next book I was going to ask you. What have been your biggest dubs?

[00:39:24] Gayle: What was it done? Well, I don’t think people like want very much.

Which we haven’t discussed yet, but, but judging, I liked it. Okay. But I understand the shortcomings of want. So I’m not, I I’m, I will, you know, I’m sure I will not disagree with the books that were the comments that people have. About want you know, I have not kept a good list of the books we read for book club, which is a bummer.

So I can kind of glance at it. I I’m in, I do remember that people did not like trust exercise at all. Yeah. You didn’t like that one either. No, I know that was a while ago. People did not like trust exercise. Well, that

[00:40:04] Nicole: book is kind of engineered to just mess with you.

[00:40:08] Gayle: Yeah. I’m finding that the book club is not, if any of the people in my book club listened to this podcast,

[00:40:18] Nicole: you’re going to find out.

[00:40:19] Gayle: Yeah. I’m finding that the book club is not as interested in discussing or analyzing writing style. That it’s much more. Plot-driven like, they’re much more interested in talking about, of how the book made them feel or like the characters or what happened. So I’m trying to shy away from books that are like trust, exercise.

[00:40:41] Nicole: Yeah. I don’t think many books are like trust exercise. That’s just intentionally are playing with language and messing with you in the way that she does is any book interested in writing stuff? Any book club.

[00:40:55] Gayle: Yeah. I mean, I am like, I always feel like I’m trying to turn the conversation back to like writing.

Why did the author pick this? What style it was like, I don’t know. That’s what interests me. I love plot-driven books, but like, I also really love analyzing writing style and I feel like that’s not what they want to talk about. So that’s fine. So we, you know, here’s another one that we read for book club.

Good neighbor. Which I know you and I also read, and I loathed that book. I think I hated it more than everyone else, but they were okay with it.

They seemed like not as down on it as I was bad Muslim discount, we read that landslide. We read that. These are duds or no, no, no. Those were not duds. They loved landslide.

They love mat bad Muslim discount. I think more than I did actually.

[00:41:46] Nicole: I can’t read landslide cause I tried to read, I think her name is Susan Elise Connolly. Is that

[00:41:51] Gayle: her? Yeah. Oh, that’s right. You read another book by her that you didn’t like, I read another book by her that I could not finish. Yeah.

Landslide was a massive downer. We read oh, I’m also finding that they do not like super, super depressing dark books. So we read the girls from Corona Del Mar, which was or do you mean actually read it? I can’t remember if we didn’t read it or some, some other people in the book club also read it, but it wasn’t like our actual book club book.

 Cause I had read the knockout queen. There are some people in Brooklyn who just do not want like super heavy, dark, depressing stuff. Like, they’re just like, I need to redo escape and I don’t want that. So I’m sort of trying to avoid that type of stuff too.

[00:42:39] Nicole: Yeah. You really have to know your book club.

Yeah. And I probably, you know, before this year for the last, I guess, 18 months or whatever, I could read dark depressing stuff, you know, like I could read it on the beach. I think I’ve talked about reading some really dark books on vacation and just like the the dichotomy of that. Yeah. And the experience of that.

And lately, yes. I don’t want to read all the deep dark things cause I’m just like, oh, that’s life.

[00:43:12] Gayle: That’s what it’s for 2021 is

[00:43:15] Nicole: 20, 20, 20, 21. But I’m, like I said, I’m putting down my thriller fair. I think the last few things I read have been kind of thrillery my book club. So we read crying and H Mart, which was really good.

And I think we went through a period too, over the summer, we read the hunting wives by may cop, which was like, we need to read just silliness in a way. It does have some serious themes, but you know, it’s, it’s like these rich, suburban Housewives is one woman who’s just moved to Texas and she’s trying to fit in with this group that goes out and I don’t know, shoot targets every Friday or whatever is their thing, but it also seems like some of the club members are into just wildness drinking infidelity.

And what happens when a woman is found dead on the property where they usually go when they do their shooting. So, you know, it’s not like it was a light topic. A young woman is murdered and someone has done it. And it’s about the main character being in mashed in this investigation because of her connection to this group.

 But it wasn’t. I dunno, it just wasn’t heavy, you know? So that was kind of our foray into that. We read also the other black girl, which I think that book makes for it makes for good conversation. I think that if you’re willing to take it on what it’s marriage were, as opposed to, I think there was a hype around it that had it at a disadvantage.

[00:45:02] Gayle: How do you guys pick your boats? Everyone, I think sometimes they kind of pick themselves. Like we had read normal people by Sally Rooney and her new book was out. So I think that was one of those that everyone really loved normal people. Yeah. So something like that is kind of a new a no-brainer oh, Sally Rooney has a new book out.

[00:45:25] Nicole: Why don’t we check that out? But for the most part, I think that there are a couple of people in the group. I would say I’m one of them. Reads a lot or is industry connected? Like one of the women is the editor. And so maybe there’s something that we’ve heard about, or that will be coming out or someone’s friend wrote, you know, we do suggestions like that.

And then too, if other people have suggestions that come from their reading lists and we kind of do a poll,

[00:46:01] Gayle: that’s cool. You’ve got a real insider book club. Well, this isn’t the insider you one, the insider, you mind, we really don’t meet that much anymore. Okay. With the pandemic. But with this one, I did have a couple of friends, a couple of people in there. No something. So sometimes we read books like that and sometimes it’s just, oh, this kind of sounded good.

[00:46:23] Nicole: It just really depends. If there is just, I guess if there’s a new release coming out too, that’s really strong that everyone wants to read. And sometimes depending on mood, like we’ve read too many heavy books. Does anyone know something that’s lighter? So just a variety, but usually we try to come to some kind of consensus and sometimes that happens right on.

At our meeting, you know, that we are able to kind of look things up and say, okay, let’s read this. Or if some people weren’t able to make it, or we’re just really like, nothing is nothing is strongly pulling us, then that that’s when it becomes, okay, we’ll create a poll and like take the next four to five days to figure out what you want to read.


[00:47:10] Gayle: Do you read the book every time?

[00:47:14] Nicole: Do I read the book every time? Yeah.

[00:47:16] Gayle: No. Okay.

[00:47:20] Nicole: And not because I don’t want to, a lot of times I just run into time constraints, you know, like maybe I started it later than I should have, because I just had stuff going on or. And I think too, it’s it depends on like what it is.

It’s something that I’m really excited about. A lot of the times the books that we select are things that I am interested in reading, but you know, every now and then there’s something that was just like, oh, I just don’t feel like

[00:47:49] Gayle: reading that. Yeah. I read it every time because I feel an obligation as the person who likely recommended it.

I have to, I feel like I have to read it. And also, I mean, I have to be honest, I recommend to them books that sometimes help. In other ways, like maybe it’s something you and I have said we want to read, or it’s a library book that I’ve got to return, or it fits with my book, my book challenge category. So I often have somewhat of an old, you know, it’s in my house for a reason.

Like, it’s not like I, I, oh, that’s the other thing. I almost always just pick books that I have sitting in the house, so I don’t have to buy.

[00:48:28] Nicole: Got it really all you’re in such trouble.

[00:48:31] Gayle: I don’t think any of them listen to this and if they do, I love them all dearly and they know that. So it’s not yeah, but you’re giving them the best you’re giving them the ones that you really want to get to.

[00:48:43] Nicole: Right.

[00:48:43] Gayle: Right. I mean, those are the ones that are there in the house for a reason. And nobody seems unhappy with the setup. I check in with them every now and again. I’m like, do you guys still okay

[00:48:52] Nicole: with this? And everyone’s like, yeah, this works for me.

[00:48:55] Gayle: I think they’ve all got a million other things going on.

I mean, this is my hobby, whereas this is not their hobby

[00:49:01] Nicole: actually really liked that idea. I might try and see if I can make that fly with some people here, start a new one where it’s just like, okay, you have these three picks. I mean, I think that. That would be helpful for my book clubs sometimes because it’s like, oh, what do we want to read?

And this, that, and the other. And I think that we have a lot of choice fatigue these days. Like, you know, it’s almost like when you ask a question, like, what’s your favorite book or something when someone asks you something like that and, you know, Can I answer because we

[00:49:32] Gayle: can’t come up with anything. Yeah.

It’s too

[00:49:34] Nicole: much. Or what did it’s like, what are you reading now? Sometimes I’m just like, well, what am I

[00:49:39] Gayle: reading now? Yeah. People always ask me, tell me something you really liked lately. And I look at them blankly like, oh, I have to like open my blog up. I’m like, ah, I don’t know.

[00:49:49] Nicole: I should be making better notes.

Maybe that should be one of our shows before the end of the year. Yeah. How do you recommend in certain, in certain genres

[00:49:59] Gayle: or that oh yeah, that’s a good idea. Like a go-to list.

[00:50:02] Nicole: Yeah, my go-to though for the most part is destiny of the Republic by Candice Maillard and they’re given

[00:50:09] Gayle: her.

[00:50:10] Nicole: Oh, you have, cause I’ve mentioned it so much on the show because it’s like my go-to book.

I feel like if you like fiction or if you like nonfiction, you’ll really like this because it’s about Garfield and his assassination and the development of penicillin and how they were all linked and why he died. And like this, you know, the mental illness of the man who shot him. Now he ultimately did not die from the gunshot, but the infection that his doctor has helped perpetuate is just it’s narrative nonfiction, such a good story that you will feel caught up in it.

Like it’s a good fiction novel, but at the same time, it’s nonfiction and lots of history. It’s so good.

[00:50:54] Gayle: All right. Well now that’s on my list.

[00:51:00] Nicole: So we’ve, we’ve rambled about our book clubs, any closing thoughts? I think, I think. All right. Well,

[00:51:06] Gayle: we’ll be back in a couple of weeks

[00:51:08] Nicole: and we’re, I’m, I’m definitely gonna check out. I want to see the first episode so that we can come back and see if our guesses about it were correct. I mean, I feel like they’re giving him information about the Netflix book club, but still at the same time, it seems a little bit Misty.


[00:51:25] Gayle: yeah, I’m curious to see, and I know you like you’ve read and like that book. I have not read that book. So passing.

[00:51:30] Nicole: Oh, yes. Yeah. So I haven’t read it. You want to read passing? I do not. The actress who is one of the characters in the book has narrated a book has narrated the audio book for audible. I do not recommend it.

She it’s so boring with her reading it. Try to find an older version. Beat it, I mean, it’s short, so, all right, so now I’m

[00:51:52] Gayle: finished. Alright, well until next time, happy reading.

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