Book Club: It’s never too late to read that popular book, or to start a new habit
Editor’s note: This monthly-ish column by the Vail Daily’s entertainment editor will discuss what she’s reading currently and how it affects her life.
I just finished reading “Gone Girl” and I learned a few things from it.
One, don’t ever trust people who aren’t 100% authentically themselves almost 100% of the time. (This, I already knew, but seeing the married protagonists constantly pretend they were someone they weren’t was more than enough to confirm my belief on this).
Two, it’s never too late to read that book that people talked about years ago when the movie came out.
Remember when “The Hunger Games” series was in theaters and everyone started reading the trilogy? Or “The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” or “The Fault in Our Stars,” or “The Help?”
The 2014 film version of “Gone Girl” starred Ben Affleck as husband Nick Dunne and Rosamund Pike as wife Amy Elliott Dunne. So, naturally, women young and old flocked to the theaters to see it, sparking renewed interest in Gillian Flynn’s 2012 New York Times bestseller.
It’s also known for the Cool Girl phenomenon: where women sacrifice their own wants and needs to be the girl that doesn’t care in order to recieve affection from their beloved. The girl that matches her personality to fit what her man wants, and often times, gets walked all over in the process: “Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want.”
Amy and Nick, both writers, meet at a party in New York City. They fall in love and use Amy’s parents’ money from a children’s book series inspired by their daughter to buy a Brooklyn brownstone. All seems well until a rift forms between them, they lose their jobs and move to Nick’s Missouri hometown to take care of his divorced and dying parents. Along the way, their true colors start to show, until Amy goes missing on the couple’s fifth wedding anniversary. Between marital problems, financial struggles and criminal investigations, “Gone Girl” invites readers to question what’s true and what’s not.
I’ll admit that I’ve been waiting to watch the film until I’ve read the book. I remember people really liking it six years ago, and movie websites seem to agree: it’s rated 8.1/10 on IMDb and has an 87% liked rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
And of course, everyone says you should read the book before you watch the movie. At least, that’s how it goes in bookish circles. I’ll admit I’ve broken that rule a couple of times, but it’s always nice to keep it. Plus, this was a great tub read.
I like to advocate for reading classics. The language often means they take a bit longer to digest, but to me, it’s worth it. That doesn’t mean I’m not game for some literal book club reads every now and then, even though I am behind the times. I like reading old stuff, what can I say? 2012 is almost old at this point, right? I mean, Nick and Amy lost their jobs due to the recession, so…
One of the things I really like about chick lit and contemporary fiction targeted towards women — think “The Secret Life of Bees,” “My Sister’s Keeper,” or anything on the shelves at Target — is that it’s very easy to disappear in the novel’s world. It’s easy to get immersed in a different time and place, which is what reading is all about.
“Gone Girl” and similar titles including Flynn’s “Sharp Objects” (some Goodreads reviewers adamantly say this book is better) would be great starting points for someone wanting to start or restart a reading habit this year.
All you really need to do is find something that looks interesting but not too challenging, draw yourself a bath and start chapter one. If you get motivated, and force yourself to put your phone away so you don’t drop it in the tub, you’ll just want to keep going. That’s what good books do.