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July 27, 2015

Beth has chosen erotica as her book club pick. Everyone please respect that.

Re: My month to choose for Book Club

Dear Fellow Madison Township Book Club Members,

I understand there’s been some kerfuffle over my choice for book club this month. Might I remind you all of the simple rules that govern our literary gathering:

1. No interrupting
2. Two (2) glasses of pinot per person
3. Gluten-free crackers only, aka “Mary-Ann’s Law”
4. We respect whatever book that month’s chooser selects

August is my month and I have chosen the erotic fantasy novel Wallbanger by Alice Clayton. Yes, Wallbanger falls into the category of “erotic fiction,” a genre heretofore unexplored by this book club. Wallbanger is the story of Caroline, a young woman with paper-thin apartment walls and a sexually active, adventurous neighbor named Simon Parker. One fateful night, clad only in her pink baby-doll nightie, Caroline confronts Simon and things get steamy.

Wallbanger is my choice. And I expect my choice to be respected.

I dutifully read Loveability: Knowing How to Love and Be Loved after Rose’s online boyfriend turned out to be a career car thief serving hard time in Rikers. I bit my tongue when we let Marge choose All the Light We Cannot See even though we had JUST read it two months before. I held my peace when Mary-Ann insisted we amend our bylaws to permit only gluten-free crackers. Gluten-free crackers are disgusting, Mary-Ann, and your “low-grade gluten intolerance” shouldn’t impact the rest of us. There are less inconvenient ways to get attention; might I suggest crying at the end of every single meeting, like Barb?

Yes, I joined book club because I like to read. But look at us, ladies. We drink two glasses of pinot, tell Barb her son’s video-game addiction isn’t her fault, and call it a night. We deserve, nay we need, a little fun.

This August, I want to read about Simon tearing off Caroline’s tacky little nighty and having his way with her on the kitchen counter. I want to imagine I am Caroline when Simon breaks down her door and rescues her from a deadly carbon monoxide leak. This month I want to read about throbbing and fingers in hair and hot breath in ears. If I had to read another page of some bullshit flowery prose about virgins sitting in an attic in England, I will crash my Chevy Malibu into one of your homes, I swear it. This month I want to daydream about someone besides my son’s lacrosse coach. I think you all do too. And if you don’t, too bad. August is BETH’S MONTH and I choose WALLBANGERS.

So please, take your complaints and shove them up your behind (just like Simon would). Then download, borrow or buy a copy of Wallbanger and prepare yourselves for a wild, sloppy ride.

Yours in fiction,

Beth Starkum