BookSexy vs. Book Club: A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

Last Summer I attempted to join my first book club.  Perhaps you remember this post?  And then this one?  And then nothing?  Infinite Jest was probably not a good first choice for me – particularly since I can’t stand David Foster Wallace’s fiction.  It might have gone better if I’d actually bought the book (Full Disclosure: I never got past downloading the sample onto my Kindle)… but there’s no point dwelling.  Onward!

Fortunately, the Philly Summer Book Club (as I like to call them) has forgiven me my transgressions (of which, admittedly, they didn’t know the full extent) and invited me back.  This Summer we’ll be reading A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. By complete coincidence this is also a challenge on Goodreads, so I’ll be doubling down on this one.  The reading is broken up into 5 parts and we’ll be meeting in a private forum – either on Google or Goodreads, it still hasn’t been confirmed – once a week to discuss our progress.  There will also be a few physical get-togethers in the city.  I know from the time I spent lurking on the forums last Summer, pretending I was only a little behind in my reading, that the group is well run and filled with smart & funny people.  Let’s just hope I can keep up.

I’ll be posting semi-regular updates through the Summer to let everyone know how I am enjoying the book and the club.  And if anyone has a Book Club story of their own, please do share!

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12 thoughts on “BookSexy vs. Book Club: A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

  1. I just got started on Goon Squad and I’m looking forward to finding you all virtually to chat about this book. Loved the first two chapters. Egan establishes write away that she can deliver fresh words and sentences. There’s a woman who is a compulsive stealer (what’s that called? klepto?) who tells stories about her stealing to her psychologist. Also a music business mogul who sprinkles gold flakes into his coffee. Got my attention and reminded me of a T.C. Boyle character in World’s End who eats dirt. Third chapter almost lost me but I hung in and finished, planning on staying with it. I am a guy who will put a book down when it loses me.

    I started a music and movies book club here in Queens. We read Hornby’s Juliet, Naked; Smith’s New Kids, Sheffield’s Talking to Girls About Duran Duran, and Klosterman’s Sex, Drugs, and Coco Puffs. The second time in a row when nobody showed up, that was the end of my book group. Not much of a story there, I guess. 🙂


    1. I’ve heard similar stories about book clubs crumbling… it seems unless you have a solid core group right from the get-go, you’re destined to fail. But I love the idea of a music & movies book club.


  2. I haven’t read Infinite Jest, but the size alone is enough to give me pause. That book is huge!

    Better luck with A Visit From the Goon Squad. I haven’t read it, but I’m reading another one by Egan, called Look at Me, which I’m enjoying so far.


    1. That’s what I tried to tell people! It’s too big! There’s about 3 good novels in Infinite Jest if Wallace has shown a little restraint.


      1. Oh come on, you both read my blog!??? Why can’t you just pretend like the rest of the family? 🙂


  3. Earlier this year I went from being in zero book clubs (and having never been in one) to being in two: a YA one with some ladies from work and a general one with some bloggers/publishing people. We’re reading some awesome stuff for the general one (next three books are all ones I’d planned on reading anyway), and the YA one is going strong now after a few kinks (we read one book that was not actually YA–and was also not any good!) I’m glad I’ve joined both but if it weren’t books I was planning on anyway I think it would stress me out to have two books per month that i HAVE to read.


    1. Participating in two book clubs is ambitious. Lori (@tnbbc) and I are hoping to host a local book club – so I’m sorta’ getting myself into that situation. I’d think having one of the two groups focus on YA would be great, though. I find the plots for YA suck me in so fast that I breeze through them in a day.

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂


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