Friday, January 21, 2011

Book Clubs and Blessings...

I have wanted to be part of a book club for ages, but it just never happened. The only one I knew of in my Southern CA neighborhood met during the day when I worked.

But now I'm part of one in Southern WA. Like the one in CA, it is comprised of ladies from church. I love to read, but I'm not voracious. I devour my magazines like People and Reader's Digest from cover to cover, but I'm especially picky about books. I love a good book, but I refuse to waste my time on a book that doesn't capture my interest from the beginning. Like everything else, my standards for books are high: I like good stories, I like to learn something, I like good writing and well-rounded characters. Those requirements are harder to find than you may think. I have started a lot of books and not finished them.

It is unfortunate that I began this book club with a selection that I simply could not get absorbed by and, apparently, I wasn't the only one.

The selection this time was Traveling With Pomegranates, by Sue Monk Kidd and her daughter, Ann Kidd Taylor. Sue Monk Kidd wrote the fantastic book The Secret Life of Bees, which I loved. I so wanted to like this book, which is a memoir of this mother and daughter's travels. Alas, I did not. I didn't find it to be interesting. I didn't care about where they went or what they were doing. It was like looking at someone's boring vacation slides. I just didn't care. After 85 pages and no sign of any improvement in the writing or my curiosity, I decided I'd had enough. Oh well, can't win them all. I found out last night that there were others who read even less, all feeling the way I did.

Despite the lack of enthusiasm about month's selection, we did have a nice time. At its maximum, the group has about 15 ladies, but only 5, including myself, attended last night's meeting. I hope that in the future more ladies attend.

The meeting ran longer than I expected, and it was 9:30pm when I arrived home to our menagerie of pets. Eric was working graveyard, so it was me and the four-footed creatures.

And, even though the most recent book was something of a bust, our little group mapped out a plan for the next few months. We each gave suggestions and I'm pretty excited about what is ahead:

I've heard great things about this book. I'm excited to read it!

This was my suggestion. I love this book and its characters. It will be fun to revisit it.

About a lady who forms an unlikely soccer team. Highly recommended...

All I know about this book is that it takes place in Russia and one of the ladies loved it. It's historical fiction, one of my favorite genres.

All in all it was an interesting night. Some things that I expected and some things I did not. I am glad to be involved in something extra curricular and intellectual, though. Now that I'm not teaching it has been a process getting used to using my time differently. But I like it!

Here are some other suggestions that we discussed last night:
The Hoarders by Stringham
Fifth Business by Robertson Davies
Promise Me by Richard Paul Evans
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Dear and Glorious Physician by Taylor Caldwell
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Christy by Catherine Marshall
A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
A Year of Pleasures by Elizabeth Berg
Beyond Summer by Wingate
To Have Not by Frances Lefkowitz
Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
Stolen Lives by Malika Oufkir
Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn


Sally said...

My book club has trouble picking out books sometimes so I'll be interested in your book club's thumbs ups and downs. Although it's impossible to please everyone. There are always some who love the book, some who hate and couldn't finish it and some who are lukewarm. But that's the fun of it. If everyone was "love it" or "hate it" there wouldn't be much of a discussion.

Karen said...

I'm like you with books - I want them to be good, and I'm just fine putting one down that I don't like. I'm excited to try some of the ones from your book club, too! I read The Help a month or so ago and thought it was good. I'm interested to hear your take on it.

My dad's wife has MS, though hers is still in the earlier stages. It can change quickly, though, and it's been very much an up and down thing for her. It is definitely a very cruel disease.

I love your experience with the book club and how they arranged to have it at her house. It's hard to imagine being so limited in so many ways, but I would guess having everyone in her home was a blessing for her, though. It really is the little things we do for each other that make such a big difference.