The Drinking Club Has A Conversation. Maybe With Friends.

We really outdid ourselves this summer. Not only did we not read the book, we didn’t show up to the meeting. The Drinking Club traded the sticky sewage of NYC summer for beachy breezes and spiked seltzer, which is how MV found herself the sole attendee of our latest gathering, wine carafes forlornly decorating the table. After a stern talking-to from AM, we rescheduled for after Labor Day. The calendars were cleared, the wine procured, the pizza ordered.

But before any of that, we had a bookcase to move.

DD graciously hosted us at her new apartment, a spacious Brooklyn walk-up that she shares with a roommate and several oversized armoires. I wouldn’t be surprised if they started pining to be human again. Just before our gathering, DD sent out a call for an extra pair of hands–she had found a free bookcase in an apartment a few blocks away that would perfectly house her unpacked books. Yours truly responded. For the record: IKEA plastic wood is heavy. Especially when you’re hauling ass down the block, trying not to drop six feet of it across the sidewalk, as your phone keeps buzzing because your cheese pie and side salad are early.

We hefted the bookcase up the flight of stairs to find our deliveryman safeguarding our order until we arrived. He was not impressed. Which is fine, because we didn’t need his approval, or the assistance of the three bros on the street who assumed we couldn’t manage. We are woman, hear our muscles scream in protest.

The canned rose soothed our souls as we waited for the rest of the group to arrive. We busied ourselves with a question that has plagued the group for a while now: how do we feel about splitting the bill on a first date (or not splitting it)? I think this gem from Overheard New York says it all, but The Drinking Club is evenly split on this issue. Our philosophical differences did not stop us from making plans to try a Chelsea speakeasy for an upcoming meeting. Let’s hope we all show up.

What is magical about this group of women is that, no matter how much time has passed, the conversation effortlessly flows. On the docket this meeting: the shade of lipgloss we all now own because we turned MM’s tube into the communal club color (you can find it here, in case anyone cares #notsponsored); the ambitious New Year’s resolutions some of us made (DD has a dating quota she must fill come December 31); MM’s Theragun, which will soon become the Drinking Club’s Theragun; and that time DR ordered an Angel from TaskRabbit to assemble her IKEA haul. We also laid out some necessary ground rules for the Drinking Club. We are only allowed to miss a meeting for the following reasons:

  1. Husband
  2. House
  3. Baby
  4. Illness

“Well, none of those things are in my future, so I better get my ass to book club,” said DR. Girl, same. But we all knew I’m too much of a nerd to miss, on top of that.

What we did not converse about this meeting: our latest read, Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney. I only just got off the NYPL waitlist. I know you’re waiting with baited breath for my analysis. Thus far, I’m engrossed, even though Frances and Bobbi make me cringe. Whoever thinks teenagers are the worst blocked out their college years. I’m eager to see this foursome implode spectacularly. Hopefully, it will teach our anxious protagonist something. Literally anything.


Until then, I’m hoping to see more of the Drinking Club. As the conversations around us, the social, the political, devolve into doomsday scenarios, I’m finding the balm for this is conversations with friends.





The Club Shares The Books They Want to Read this Spring (But Probably Won’t)

If we’re gonna be a real book blog, we should seasonal roundups. Right? Maybe?

But life. It gets in the way. I went through the list of latest blog posts and cringed. Where is the original content? I’m sorry–we’ve let you down. I’ve let you down. I can’t promise it won’t happen again. But until then, here are a few titles catching our eye this spring. These will be read in the next 2-3 years (maybe).

Auntie Poldi and the Vineyards of Etna: You know how much I love Poldi. I aspire to have her quick wit and alcohol tolerance. She’s back with a new mystery involving wine bottles, psychics, and the FBI, which she solves with the help of her crack team (a priest and everyone’s favorite sad signora) and despite the best efforts of her detective boyfriend. I’ve read this, because I was at a work event and Mario Giordano was signing copies a few tables away. I obviously went to get one. And he obviously signed it “with love” because we have a special connection.


Lost Roses: The prequel to Martha Hall Kelly’s bestselling Lilac Girls is here. This time, we see Caroline’s mother Eliza in action as she rallies New York socialites around the White Russians fleeing the revolution. Reading about Russian aristocrats who did little to combat the unrest in their country may not seem like the most interesting read, but Kelly succeeds in making her three female protagonists sympathetic and infuriating. Their desires and fears propel the novel across oceans, and Long Island.


Trust Exercise: I’m obsessed with this cover and this title. Susan Choi introduces us to the “Brotherhood of the Arts,” a group of students at an ultra competitive performing arts high school in the 1980s. Two of its students fall in love, and what happens when a teacher intervenes serves as the jumping point for the novel that has everyone talking. Reviews abound for this book, which means we’ll probably see it on some Best Of lists come December. At which point we still will not have read it.


Normal People: According to Entertainment Weekly, “[a]mong the vast cohort of new millennial novelists, none are connecting with readers as intimately, or generating as much excitement, as Sally Rooney.” I feel like the last time someone made a statement like this, it was about Girls. And we know how well that went. That doesn’t make me any less eager to read Rooney’s novel about two Irish teens who orbit each other in high school and college, and what they’re compelled to do as their lives drastically diverge.


Gingerbread: Reading the never-ending blurbs for this book indicates just how beloved Helen Oyeyemi is. In her latest novel, teenager Perdita Lee sets out to find her mother Harriet’s mysterious best friend, and in the process rediscovers her mother’s story. The one thing that holds everything in their lives together: gingerbread. I’m here for the sickly sweetness of it all, and the talking plants.


Out East: Full disclosure–I read the manuscript for this book months ago, because I work with this publisher, and HOLY CRAP. This book will make you feel the feels. It will also make you want to stalk out Murray Hill sports bars looking for the people in this book. This memoir tells the story of the summer of 2013, when author John Glynn used his inheritance from his grandmother to buy into a Montauk share house for the summer. It’s Call Me By Your Name meets The Real World, and we’re here for it.


Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered: Podcasters and comedians Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark bring their trademark honesty and wit to this memoir/humor book/self-help guide that reads like your older sister jotted down the secrets to life. They hold nothing back as they remind you to embrace your perfect imperfections, and to stay out of the forest (because the serial killers live there, duh).



The waitlist at the library for these is going to be a mother.