Books and Bagels and Morning Book Break Discussions on Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
Rating: In Books and Bagels, the book received ratings between 2.5 and 3.5. The average of the ratings was 3.2. Three members declined to rate the book, citing that it would be unfair to rate as they disliked the book so much they could not finish it.
In Morning Book Break, the book received ratings between -1.0 and 5.0. The average of the ratings was 1.97. About six members gave the book a zero and stated that they disliked the book and were unable to finish reading the book.
Review: Almost all members would not have chosen this book to read on their own. The Books and Bagels members, on the whole, were grateful to learn about new technologies and new communication tools that have emerged in our modern era.
How people meet their mates across different periods is a significant theme of Modern Romance therefore; last month, the members were asked to come prepared to share one of the following stories:
- How did you and your significant other meet?
- How did your parents or grandparents meet?
- Share an interesting story about how a couple you know met.
- Of course, members were also given the option to opt out.
The members were told that these shared stories would allow us to compare and contrast how people found their mates in the past and the present. Several members in Morning Book Break suggested bringing in wedding photos or photos of themselves as young singles and all members took this suggestion to heart and arrived with a photo to share. These stories and photos were well-received and this segment of the discussion was very popular.
At the end of our discussion time, members were asked to critique the book and answer the follow question:
- Did Modern Romance help dispel the social stigma of online dating? If you were in your 20’s or 30’s would you use it as a tool?
The discussions in both groups were lively, fruitful, and interesting. Normally, the discussions end around 11 am, in both groups, the discussion lasted until almost noon.
Discussion Highlights—Books and Bagels
- Several members did not care for the book, so they skimmed the contents or did not finish the book.
- Most members found the comedian’s use of foul language to be off-putting, irritating, and a distraction to the contents of the book.
- Some members questioned the methodology of the research studies conducted and they discovered that the statistics within the book did not add up.
- Much discussion centered on how cell phone usage, specifically texting, has not only changed the dating scene, but ordinary, everyday conversations in general.
- There was a great deal of discussion about the use of the internet and how googling has allowed us to search for the best which opens up endless options and yet, our lives are more complex and not necessarily happier.
Discussion Highlights—Morning Book Break
- Most members did not care for Ansari’s humor. They found the humor to be boorish, insulting, and disrespectful. Some members found him to be humorous and a few enjoy his stand-up comedy routines.
- Many members expressed concern for younger generation and their future; this brave new world seems to have lost the art of lively conversation. Many members were glad that they had been born in an earlier generation. One member stated that colleges are now offering courses in conversation skills, indeed, a lost art.
- Several members were not able to finish reading the book and those that did found it to be redundant and repetitive.
- A few members shared that the information about romance in Japan, Buenos Aires, and France was interesting and informative.
- A few members discussed the book with younger people over the holidays and found the information to spark lively and interesting conversations. A few people thought having knowledge about current romantic practices was paramount in interacting with the younger generation and on that note, thought the book offered insight.