Are you in a book club? Book clubs aren’t always quite as easy or fun as they sound; even our own advice columnist, Nina Badzin, has struggled with book club drama! Some book clubs run into trouble when members disagree about the “terms” (you know, whether or not your group actually reads the book or whether they just sit around and drink wine and talk about their kids), and some book clubs can’t seem to agree on a book that interests all of them. I’m embarrassed to say that every single book club I’ve ever been part of (three!) has dissolved for one reason or another.
But maybe you are one of the lucky ones and you have the perfect book club. Now all you need is the perfect book! (Do you see where I’m going with this one?) Not surprisingly, we think My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends would make a fantastic book club book. Here are just a few reasons why:
- Essay collections make for an easy, enjoyable read: you can put the book down and pick it up as often as you like, reading a whole section of the book in one sitting or just an essay or two at a time.
- These stories are real, which makes them even more compelling and relatable. We think you’ll find yourself somewhere in these essays, if not over and over again throughout the book.
- Friendship breakups and loss are universal; everyone can relate to the loss of a close friendship, whether it occurred recently or many years ago, and whether you were the one who was left behind or you did the walking. Reading about the friendship endings of others is sure to stir up some memories and feelings, and that makes excellent fodder for book club conversation.
- You might actually experience some relief, a catharsis, or an “aha” moment by talking about friendship loss with other women. One of my best friend’s husbands always says, “Have fun at therapy!” whenever we get together. It’s true: women gathering together and talking about the richness, complexity, and pain of relationships can be extremely therapeutic.
And if that’s not enough to convince you, we have one more fun reason why we think My Other Ex would make a great choice for your book club. If your book club decides to read and discuss My Other Ex for its next meeting, you can have a complimentary Skype call with one of the editors! During your book club meeting, either Jessica or I (Stephanie) will be available for a Skype call where members of your group can ask us questions about the book, the publishing process, the essays, or friendship breakups in general. We already have one lined up, and we think it’s going to be so much fun! Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in setting up a chat for your book club meeting! You can buy the book here, and we’re including some Discussion Questions below to get you thinking:
Book Club Discussion Questions for My Other Ex
- How old were you when you experienced your first friendship breakup? Who ended it? Did it take a long time to recover?
- Have you had many friendships end? Did they fade away or were the breakups more dramatic?
- When was the most recent time a friendship with a close friend ended? How did you feel?
- Have you ever broken up with a friend? Why? Did you feel guilty?
- Has a friend ever badly hurt you by ending your relationship?
- Have you ever had a friendship end unexpectedly? Was it more painful than a gradual ending? Why?
- Have you ever had a friendship end because of a romantic relationship? Did you lose friends after a divorce (yours or a friend’s) or after ending a romantic relationship?
- Have your friendship breakups affected other friends in your circle? Did people have to take sides? Have you ever been “left behind” when your friends chose another friend over you?
- What do you wish you’d done differently in the breakup? What do you wish your friend had done differently?
- What would you say to your friend now, if you could?
- Did you ever have a friendship end and it brought you relief?
- Have you broken up with a close friend only to reconnect later? How did it change your friendship?
- Do you think friendship breakups are more or less painful than a romantic relationship ending? Why?
We would love to hear your reactions to the book! If you’ve read it, please consider writing a review on Amazon– it means a lot to us! And please spread the word to other book clubs you know! Happy reading!