Give that baby a steak!

18 May

It began, as most fantastic ideas do, as a meeting of the minds in casual conversation.  My friend and partner in crime (read: co-worker) and I were chatting about books and book clubs as we worked a day away.  (This was, I suspect, the better part of a year ago.)  It came to pass that neither of us had been part of a book club, though both of us were curious, so we started to discuss what kind of book club we would like to be part of.  (Because, you know, all of the greatest things in life have themes: ugly sweater parties, ’80s night, and a Halloween movie marathon just ain’t worth its salt if Michael Meyers doesn’t show his creepy Captain Kirk face.)  How it came to be I may never remember, but the result of this conversation was more epic-becoming than E or I could ever have predicted.

Banned books.  Those tasty little literary tidbits that are denied you by your parents, your teachers, or your government for so many reasons.

Why are they banned?  What makes that poor little book such a bad guy?

This is what brought E and I to our knees.  We had to know.

But, as I said before, this initial conversation took place nearly a year ago (or more.  Possibly less.  The details are hazy).  It was a fantastic notion and its seeds took root, but gestation with some ideas are as lengthy as pregnancies with elephants.  This idea would not come into proper fruition until necessity required.  We were prompted to action by a much larger, and more benevolent, force than the two of us.

But once we started, boy, there was no stopping us!  Posters were created and our (store) mascot was plastered in the halls of Books & Co., Café Voltaire, and Facebook.  We chatted with favourite customers, family members and good friends, all in hopes that we would have one, or two, people other than ourselves show up at a meeting, should we get this crazy notion off the ground.

My friends?  Like I said: epic-becoming.

You see.  Last Monday evening I received an email, which lead to a telephone call, from Andrew Kurjata of CBC radio who relayed his, and CBC radio’s, interest in the Banned Book Club!  (I can’t even tell you how this gent found out about us, to be honest.  It wasn’t widely advertised.  We’re shy.)  In my initial (telephone) conversation with Andrew, I realized how much I did not know about banned (and burned, for that matter) books and how silly I would sound on the radio (oh yah.  He called to see if I’d be willing to chat on the radio about the club.  Mind warpingly freaky, my friends) if I didn’t bone up on my knowledge!  Foolishly I agreed to go on the air, and set to work studying (hard)!

(Six ante meridiem comes awfully early when you’re uber nervous, cats, let me tell you.  And, I admit, on my way to the station, I was listening to Cotter and G-Lo – a small comfort in my life.)

I am so very thankful to Chris Walker.  His presence and confidence is very calming and he took my mind off of my nervousness by explaining some fancy radio programs to me while we waited for our time slot.  And the radio?  Not as bad as I thought.  If necessary, I think I could do it again.  (If anyone has, or knows where I could come across, a recording of that morning, I’d love to know.  I do not want to listen to it, but some folks I dig are interested.)

There you have it, folks.  Books & Co.’s Banned Book Club.  Our first meeting was on Sunday (May 16) at 1500h and it was fantastic!  We had thirteen fabulous literary giants attend and the discussion was better than E and I had hoped it would be!  I would love to shout a huge thank you out to our members, CBC radio for its interest and support, Books & Co. for putting up with us, and a very special thank you to my friend Michael who is flogging the club with great enthusiasm on his own Facebook page – thanks, so much, hon!

If any of you are interested in joining, please feel free to stop by Café Voltaire on June 20 (at 1500h) where we will be discussing Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses.  (Or stop by Books & Co. anytime between now and then to chat with the wonderful staff – we’re all card carrying book club members.)  Or, if you’re too busy, or too far away, to join, you are more than welcome to keep up with us on the discussion page we have on the Facebook online group page.  I will try to keep up with note taking during meetings and will then write up the important talking points and throw them up for members and curious minds alike!

The Doors – Light My Fire



15 Responses to “Give that baby a steak!”

  1. hirondelle May 18, 2010 at 8:08 am #

    Do you include books that have been banned at any time? Can I recommend Lady Chatterly’s Lover? It interestingly has 3 versions (the standard text plus The First Lady Chatterley and John Thomas and Lady Jane) and (this is why I am recommending it) includes the word “cunt” ^^

    Oh and it is fab… though very annoying at times (DH Lawrence likes to pretend that the only female orgasm that counts is the vaginal variety – thanks dude, make life even harder for us >.<)

    Anyway, I have commented on your blog using the words 'cunt' 'vaginal' and 'orgasm', my work here is done.

    • vyxen May 18, 2010 at 8:11 am #

      We have no real qualifications for picking the books, just that they’re banned (or challenged) and look interesting (or that they were banned and/or challenged for interesting reasons).

      You are awesome. You can’t ignore a book that is recommended with such class! I’ll put it to the jury, for sure. XD

  2. hirondelle May 18, 2010 at 8:09 am #

    Oo, maybe this club can have an online version? ^^

    • vyxen May 18, 2010 at 8:11 am #

      Ooh. Could do, yes. Absolutely. I do know of a forum that could play host to such things.

      • hirondelle May 18, 2010 at 10:19 am #

        Oh lovely, and that means I wouldn’t even have to get out of bed to attend, metaphorically speaking ^^

  3. Simone May 18, 2010 at 9:00 am #

    If it was on CBC they may have a podcast on the show’s site. I’m guessing daybreak as you are in the Peeg and I’m pretty sure that’s the morning show for all of Northern BC. I will go and check and return with more info.

  4. Simone May 18, 2010 at 9:04 am #

    Humbug, no such luck on the site. Might be able to e-mail for a copy but they don’t throw the show up on the site as a habit.

    • vyxen May 18, 2010 at 8:41 pm #


      No one will be able to hear it! I have to tell you, as much as I’d like for people to have access if they’re interested, I’m thrilled it’s unavailable.

  5. C May 18, 2010 at 8:46 pm #

    Way to pimp the club!

    • vyxen May 18, 2010 at 9:00 pm #

      Thanks buddy! I do what I can, y’know! 🙂

  6. MJ May 18, 2010 at 9:07 pm #

    YES YES YES!! ONLINE VERSION!!!! Oh I’m so totally there!!!!

    Kim, I’m so damn proud of you I’m just all puffed up!!! I absolutely ADORE that you’ve done this, and that you’re working so hard to make this a success. You’re an amazing woman. My hero. ❤

    • vyxen May 19, 2010 at 7:19 am #

      Bah. It’s a two-gal job. 🙂 And, really, it’s just about picking a nifty book and getting a few cool cats together, the rest works itself out. 🙂

      Hah. Would this online version be comprised of the same books we’re reading offline and meeting in person to chat about? Or are we talking just a NL bookclub?


  1. Burn that mother down. | Books & Company - June 12, 2011

    […] (If you’re interested in some Books & Co. Banned Book Club history, check out this article on Kim’s blog: Give that baby a steak!) […]

  2. DIY: Maintain a Successful Relationship « Fox You (Very Much) - June 7, 2012

    […]  I am reading Gaiman’s American Gods for bookclub this month (INORITE!?  /Squee!).  Something Shadow thought (on p57) struck me: Shadow had heard […]

  3. Relish12.7 & Relish12.8 « Fox You (Very Much) - December 8, 2012

    […] I was lucky enough to read one of my all-time favourites for book club this year. That’s right! Neil Gaiman’s work of art, American Gods, has been challenged […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: