Book Club And A Difficult Member

October 22, 2010 Whitney books 9 Comments

I just returned from my third meeting of my newly formed book club with the pick being Angela’s Ashes and included some new and return members.  All of us liked the book but both my mom and I had previously read the book didn’t finish it this time nor found it as riveting, although is still worth the read.  For the most part it was a very enjoyable meeting, and after a vote, our book for November is Tinkers by Paul Harding.

Now I come to the difficult member, this was her first meeting and was extremely racial and it was visible that everyone else was appalled by this behavior.  Saying sex under the use of alcohol even if consensual is rape and several inappropriate comments on race and religion being unmoving to disagreement. My mother and I are co-moderators and tried to cut her off directing to a new issue or how another person felt. Obviously, I should wait to make sure she returns to another meeting before addressing the issue  but if so and this continues how should this be addressed.  Or was what I stated above the most appropriate thing right now.  It is so frustrating how ignorant and bigoted people can be.


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9 responses to “Book Club And A Difficult Member

  1. I am very happy for your book club but sorry about the member. such situations can be nasty pieces of work I know, if she turns up again and repeats the same stuff you should tell her right out that it isn't done.

  2. I recently had to de-friend someone on Facebook because of her radical views. She was constantly preaching to my family, not only the generalized view of Christianity, but her very narrow band within the religion. She was intolerant of anyone else's views and picked on my daughter for some of her choices.

    In person, she's not like this – or not as free to express her opinions – and that has kept us civil through several years. And that's what I told her when I removed her – that I wanted us to remain civil in person for the sake of our daughters who are very good friends.

    You could possibly change your meeting place and forget to tell everyone. It's cowardly, but my writing group did that when a crazy man showed up and started talking about his adventures with space aliens and his conspiracy theories about the government. He was writing a treatise to expose the coverup and and wanted all of us to critique it.

    Were people always this crazy?

  3. Oh this sounds like a really difficult situation. I have experienced somehting along the same lines but I hate confrontations so never did anything about it. Hope you find a solution.

  4. Vaishnavi– I did speak out when she made the comment about rape, saying that was an extreme comparison. Unfortunately, didn't back it up much as I was afraid of confrontation and didn't come to the group to argue.

    Calandreya– Did he also believe in the Hally Bot Comet? I don't blame you for switching locations. We are already in a public place so for the time being may keep it there. And yes, I think people have always been crazy.

    Willa– I dislike confrontation as well, (I'm a lover not a hater) If this problem continues we can hopefully find a diplomatic way to go about it.

  5. That's awful. I don't know how I would even deal with someone like that. Some people will just turn anything into a chance to force their views on others, book club is so not the place.

  6. Avid Reader– I agree, book club is not a place for debate but a friendly chat. My problem is that if this behavior continues how do I address it without sinking down to her level of rudeness.

  7. Jo

    It's always awkward when a good book discussion goes awry in this way. If you have a moderator, it's really up to that person to direct the discussion away from things that are somewhat inflamatory (but believe me, as a moderator of 2 book groups, I know it can be tricky). Maybe this person was just nervous because it was her first meeting? Just in case, be prepared to address it next time….

  8. Jo– You are the voice of reason, no wonder you are a moderator of two book groups. My mom is actually moderator of the group and I'm unofficially co-moderator (I probably should of mentioned that in my post). Anyway, we are certainly giving her the benefit of the doubt but want to be informed or educated on how to solve this issue if at anytime it becomes detrimental to the group.

  9. We have a difficult member too…but nothing political, racist or social…she just parties too late on Saturday night then shows up at book group on Sunday with a wicked hangover which makes her short-tempered.

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