Get Ready For The First Good Books, Good Times!

So a few weeks ago, I suddenly got an idea something along the lines of “Wait, what if I got some of the Bad Books, Good Times readers to read a good book with me? Would…. would that be fun?”. Why don’t we find out together?

Basically, here’s how I’m picturing this working. As a series of bonus posts, probably going up on weekends or something, I’ll run posts for a few chapters of a book that (hopefully) will be good. It will be different from the posts that are usually on this blog, because:

  1. I won’t be writing smart-ass summaries of the chapters, more so just talking about them to try to start up a book club-like conversation, as:
  2. Unlike the other (bad) books we read for this blog, I want you to read along with me!

Obviously, this would require you acquiring a copy of the book and reading it as I read it on the blog. I’m a busy person, so we’re not going to be going through it very quickly, but at the same time it won’t be the one-or-two-chapters-a-week pace we average for the regular posts on this blog. And if you’re reading along, you would totally be encouraged to join in on the conversation! Because, you know, that would be the point. I’d really like to see what a small-ish, online book club would look like, since I already know we have a lot of great readers who write insightful comments.

If you need more incentive, Ariel will be reading along too! What’s it like to be in a book club with both of the Bad Books, Good Times people? If it’s anything like our senior seminar was last year, we will make lots of inappropriate jokes. Directly with you. You know you don’t want to miss out on this.

Based on the results of the polls, I’ve decided that the first book we’re going to attempt Good Books, Good Times with will be Neil Gaiman’s new novel The Ocean at The End of The Lane.

As you can see, it is a book.
As you can see, it is a book.

This is for a number of reasons!

  1. It won in the polls. So, yeah, that makes sense.
  2. It is not a very long book. It’s a 178 page, 15 chapter book.
  3. I have never read any Neil Gaiman before. This is embarrassing, because I’m currently interning in NPR’s arts and entertainment division and people are making fun of me. So making myself attempt to lead an online book club in order to solve this problem doesn’t seem even close to any of the dumber ideas I’ve ever come up with.

Obviously, people need time to get the book, so let’s say – tentatively, unless there’s a riot in the comments section or something – that we’ll get started on July 20th. Let’s also say – tentatively – that we’ll have read the first four chapters, to page 46, by that point. So if you want in on this, you have about a week and a half to get a copy of the book by means of your favorite method of obtaining copies of books, and to read the first four chapters.

One last thing: If you’re participating, I want to know! Leave a comment saying that you’re in! It would really help this whole book club on the side idea if I know there’s a book club on the side.

So, yeah, let’s go! Happy reading!

Oh God, that was cliched.



  1. Bellomy Reply

    I’d love to, but I really don’t want to pay for a copy of this book. Not because I don’t want to read it, since I do very much, but because I don’t want to pay. Anything. I’m that poor. Maybe I’ll get it from the library.

    I could enjoy this type of thing though. Seriously though, we all need to watch Firefly. I’m saying this because I saw Serenity like a week ago and guys, it was life-changing. One of the best sci-fi movies ever made. Just all sit and discuss Firefly and Serenity.

    • 22aer22 Post authorReply

      I think this whole library thing is a brilliant idea! Read with us!

    • Judy Reply

      I got the audio version from my local library. (see reply below) Libraries are a wonderful thing.

    • matthewjulius Post authorReply

      I think (being a book blog and all) we should definitely see if we can get a book club off the ground before we attempt a tv club, but goddamn, Firefly would be the place to start if we want to try a television club sometime.

  2. E.H.Taylor Post authorReply

    I am most definitely getting in on this! I love Neil Gaiman (Shame on you for not reading his books before! Pick up Neverwhere, Anansi Boys, and American Gods while you’re at it) and I love discussing a good book!
    While I love reading what you and Ariel think of bad books, I’m really interested in seeing how you look at the good ones 🙂

  3. Amber Reply

    Hey 🙂
    I just caught up on this blog by reading each and every post posted so far over the course of this last week. (It was my goal to be caught up by my birthday, which is tomorrow, so YAY ME for succeeding)
    I read 50SoG ages ago in order to see what all the hype was, and I, like you two, failed to understand how ANYBODY could find it to be a romantic tale…sadly a lot of my friends like the books. I prefer your blog hundredfold.

    I don’t even know what I’m saying anymore, but in short: I love your blog. It is hilarious. Keep up the great work.
    Also I love this idea of a book club! I’m in!

    • 22aer22 Post authorReply

      I’m so flattered a birthday goal was to catch up on our blog! And also that you’re down for the book club 😀 Welcome, Amber, we’re happy to have you <33

  4. Manny Reply

    If I find it, I’ll join! 🙂 I’ll let you know asap. In any case I will enjoy reading your posts on the book, too!

  5. Beatriz Reply

    Yay! I’m so happy this will be the book, because I bought it last week! Can’t wait to read it with you guys.

  6. Michael Klatskin Reply

    So It is now time for Good Books Good Times @
    Perhaps it should be Good Books Bad Times @ BadBooksGoodTimes which would probably be a good idea that would yield bad results and no followers. I retract this thought

  7. Judy Reply

    I am currently listening to the audio version of this book. It is read by Neil Gaiman. His reading is superb. The audio version is unabridged and is approx. 5 1/2 hours. I am on chapter 12 and loving it.

  8. Mary Reply

    I am so in!!! I already have a copy of the book and can’t wait to start!

  9. Lily Reply

    I think that this is a great ideas, guys. I’ve read some Neil Gaiman before, so I’m looking forward to it. By the way, congratulations on your NPR internship Matthew! I don’t even know you but I’m really proud.

  10. Tracy Reply

    I’m in. I’ve wanted to read a Neil Gaiman book since he first came to my attention for writing one of my favorite Doctor Who episodes.

  11. scummy48 Reply

    Man, I’m going to miss the 50 shades posts, but this sounds really fun! I’m going to see if I can find the book at the library, I’d love to be part of this!

    • matthewjulius Post authorReply

      I’m gonna miss Fifty Shades too, but we’ll be starting a new disastrous attempt at literature very soon!

  12. AlanTheRobot Reply

    I’ve been lurking around this blog for a while. It’s great for a laugh and I’m weird in that reading and reading about bad books inspires me to write. Always catch up on a few posts when I get stuck with my own story. I enjoy the occasional experiments you guys do too, though.

    I’d love to participate, but I’ve already read it (first Neil Gaiman book I finished!), is that okay? I’ll try not to give anything away…? I actually want to participate because I’ve read it and regular book clubs (like on goodreads) just don’t work because my reading pace is unpredictable.

  13. 8mirjam Reply

    Cool, will definitely join in although a bit belatedly 🙂

  14. 8mirjam Reply

    Will definitely join you guys although a bit belatedly, starting next week 🙂

  15. Pingback: Good Books Good Times Book Club: The Ocean at The End of The Lane Chapters 1-4 - Bad Books, Good Times

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