Just Books Club looks to recruit members as they discuss books to read

The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig, is the choice of Just Books Club this month.

Image used with permission from Google Commons

The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig, is the choice of Just Books Club this month.

The Just Books Club, led by juniors Katherine Chow and Honray Day, meets to discuss a new book every first Thursday of each month during lunch in room 247.
The club met for the first time on Sept. 29 to decide what book to read before their next meeting on Nov. 4. Club members suggested and compiled a list of books, then voted for the one they wanted to read. The books on the list that were not chosen will likely be read in later months.

This month, the club is reading The Midnight Library by Matt Haig, suggested by freshman club member Isabelle Salita. The Midnight Library is a fantasy novel in which the main character, Nora, takes her own life, and then wakes up in a library of infinite books, each one the story of an alternate reality where she made a different life choice. Nora can dip into each book to sample different lives she could have lived. “It’s a very interesting book that is unique to other books, and it would be interesting to see what other people who like books think about it,” Salita said.

Some books that might be chosen for future months include the Broken Earth trilogy by N. K. Jemisin. In the first book of the series, The Fifth Season, the main character searches for her kidnapped daughter across a world wracked by periodic apocalypses called Seasons. Among the survivors of these Seasons are people capable of generating earthquakes and manipulating the earth, such as the protagonist. Club members were particularly intrigued by this trilogy because it was mentioned that one character opens a chasm in the earth which swallows a whole city into a pit of lava.

The club offers a space for students to discuss and share their passion for reading. Since club members like so many different kinds of books, talking to each other can be mind-opening. “Being in the club forces me to read books I wouldn’t read myself,” freshman club member Christina Chow said.

Aside from looking good on college applications, joining the club can also help develop reading comprehension skills. “Reading makes you a better writer and expands your knowledge of the world around you,” English teacher and club sponsor Madeleine Osgood said. “Being in a
book club develops your ability to discuss and analyze.”
Right now, the club’s goal is to recruit more members. “So far, I think we have a good crowd – people seem interested – but the more people we have, the more we can discuss and explore different points of view,” Katherine Chow said.

The club plans to spend the whole school year meeting monthly to discuss the month’s book, then selecting a new book for the next month. “I want this to be more of a chill club where
people don’t have to do as much, but if people have requests or suggestions for activities other
than book discussions, I’ll be open to them,” Katherine Chow said.