If you are like me—a middle-aged, middle-class, liberal, stay-at-home mom—you are inundated with book recommendations. Every single day, someone from the PTA, co-op market, or veterinarian’s office suggests something I just “have to read.” On top of all that, I joined a book club last fall. All these must-reads can be a bit overwhelming.

The main problem, though, is that the books people recommend are depressing, too long, boring, and hardly ever mention cunnilingus.

In the last year, our book club has read three WWII era novels: one about an orphan during WWII, one about a blind girl during WWII, and one about a dwarf during the Holocaust. Why does anyone feel the need to insert fictional tragedies into the middle of an actual historical tragedy? Was the real Holocaust not sad enough? Real-life terrible is plenty terrible. If I want to read about misery, I can read the news. If I want to read about human cruelty, I can read the comments posted below the news.

And one thing I know about miserable and cruel people is they almost never go down on each other.

I don’t need another shitty, depressing book to convince me that the world is a vicious and terrifying place and that bringing children into it was probably not the best idea. I got it, Universe.

The truth of the matter is that middle-aged women with too much free time will always start book clubs. We need them, because as terrible as most books are, they are vastly more interesting than our other three topics of conversation: our kids, that five minutes we heard of Terry Gross’s latest interview, and “quick and healthy dinner options our kids will love.” Middle-aged women basically invented the book club to stop ourselves from discussing those things for at least one night a month.

But I'm tired of these books full of obvious red flags on the back cover. “Triumphant” and “human spirit” are always code for shitty, depressing, and highly unlikely to have consensual oral sex of any kind.

What I need is a subtle way to find out if a book is worth reading (i.e. does it have cunnilingus), before I even open it. That way I can easily come up with an excuse to get me out of reading this book. Anything can happen to our family on a Tuesday at 8:00: kids get lice, dogs get into the garbage and eat chocolate, spouses have last-minute “work things.” All of which are highly believable via last-minute text.

If this were a library book, I wouldn’t be having this problem. Our local library puts bright pink “romance” stickers on their entire non-shitty book collection. Whether it’s a historical bodice ripper or a contemporary romance, that pink sticker is code for one thing and one thing only: cunnilingus. It’s a godsend!

Unless I can think of a delicate way to find out about the sex stuff between the covers, I’m stuck reading this likely-terrible book. Do I really want to spend 600 pages immersed in imaginary people’s pain and suffering for nothing? Realistically, I only have to read the first 300 pages.

It’s a cruel truth: in books, as in life, if there is no cunnilingus in the first half, it’s unlikely in the second. I might as well start reading.

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