Monday, September 8, 2008

RHD Book Club

Oprah ain't got nothin' on us.

Somehow, the RHD office has created an unofficial book club. The funny thing is though, we don't really try to be diverse with our books. We don't try to read a mix of contemporary and classic authors, or mix genres like chick lit and suspense. Our book club centers around one single author: Jodi Picoult.

I should preface this by admitting that Rachel and I have always been a little bit on the bookworm side. When we were kids on car trips, we would always get to pack our own little bags with Barbies, cards, crayons, and coloring books to keep us entertained. But after a few trips with melted crayons in the car, we started bringing books on our trips and reading them to pass the time. It has always helped that we're both super fast readers.

I've always been a little behind the current cool book trends. Rachel on the other hand, even as a elementary school kid, has always been 'with it.' While I was still reading the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary, Rach had moved on to The Baby-sitter's Club. When I finally, caught up with those, she was into Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield and Sweet Valley High. When I finally started reading about the SVH drama, she'd moved on to R.L. Stine's Fear Street series.

Well it has happened again. On any plane ride, I always visit the airport bookstore and pick up whatever mindless chick-lit fiction is available. My favorite authors of past have been Jennifer Weiner, Jane Green, and Sophie Kinsella. Well, probably about May, I was at an airport looking for my latest read, and I wanted something with a little more substance. I happened to pick up Plain Truth, by Jodi Picoult. The author's name sounded somewhat familiar to me, but I couldn't place it. Upon reading the back of the book, I found out that she is the author of both My Sister's Keeper and Nineteen Minutes, both of which were New York Times bestsellers. Well, I bought the book and could not put it down. This book happened to be centered around the Amish culture, which I found fascinating. On my plane ride back from wherever I had been, I picked up another Jodi book, Salem Falls. Same thing... I was hooked.

When I got back, I couldn't wait to tell Tricia and Rach about my new favorite author. Well, of course, Rachel was like, "Oh, I've read Plain Truth already." She beat me to it! Of course she did, though, because at this point she'd been laid up with that broken ankle for 2 months, so she'd been catching up on her reading. Well, during our aimless conversation at the office one day, we discovered Tricia is also a fan. She loved Nineteen Minutes.

For those of you who aren't familiar with her work, I would say these books are a combination of several genres. The main subject is usually something that has been in the news recently. For example, Nineteen Minutes is about a school shooting. There's always something law-related in it. Usually, a trial takes place, so there's courtroom drama. And of course, there's always a fair share of romance. But my favorite part of these books is that they always leave me thinking about what would each of us do when placed in similar difficult situations that her main characters are placed in.
Of her books, here's the ones that, between us here at the RHD office, we've read:
  • Harvesting the Heart
  • Nineteen Minutes
  • Perfect Match
  • Salem Falls
  • Plain Truth
  • The Pact
  • The Tenth Circle
  • My Sisters Keeper

There's a whole other part of this Jodi Picoult fascination that I haven't even gotten into yet, which is the the fact that a lot of her movies have been made into made-for-TV movies by, you guessed it, Lifetime TV. So, I really am looking forward to a lazy Saturday afternoon where I am flipping through the TV and stumble upon the familiar title of one of my favorite books.

So, next time you happen to be in your local Barnes & Noble, be sure and stumble over to the fiction area and look for all the Jodi Picoult books. After all, you can't go wrong... the RHD book club recommends it!