There is no denying that Kathy L. Patrick is a huge champion of literacy and an individual who believes in enjoying life to the fullest, as evidenced by her contagious enthusiasm to share her flat-out joy of reading. She has certainly done more than her share to open the world of books to hundreds, nee, thousands of individuals across the country. And she hasn't done it by going halfway, either. In my opinion, Kathy L. Patrick has almost single-handedly started to reverse a frightening trend in this country (that of giving up on books in favor of computers) by making reading fun again. The fact that she is responsible for starting a book club that reaches both adults and children and fills them with a desire to read is a testament to her drive and determination.
Like so many other children of her generation who became addicted to books as a way to escape from an uncomfortable or dysfunctional home life, Ms. Patrick goes into great, painful detail of her upbringing - most of which I felt was completely unnecessary to the story. Since I was expecting a book extolling the virtues and exploits of a radically different and fun book club, I was not at all prepared for the excruciating details of what went on behind the closed doors of her childhood home. These particular passages made me extremely uncomfortable and embarrassed, especially for her mother. I realize that Kathy says, in the acknowledgments as an aside to her family, âI had to tell my story. This was not a choice for me but a calling. I love you all and hope you will understand that telling my story has brought me full circle.â Even so, that didn't adequately prepare me for the tell-all story that was about to unfold.
So, while this book contains a lot of helpful hints on how to start and run a successful book club, numerous suggested titles with a small synopsis for each, as well as a lot of fun and poignant anecdotes about the Pulpwood Queens, it made me a bit queasy with TMI re: Kathy Patrick's personal life. The book would have been much more enjoyable without that information.