This is true. I get into cycles. Periods where I do a lot of reading and times when I only think about it. Over the winter I spent too much time in front of the TV catching up on all of my guilty pleasures instead of tucked in a favorite chair with my iPad and a good read. Perhaps it was because my life hit a speed bump this winter and things were a bit more challenging these past two months. While things were at their craziest it was just easier to lose myself in a mind numbing reality show than to pick up a book. Fortunately, things are looking up now on the caregiver front and life is returning to normal. So, I decided it was the right time to get together again with a group of my besties for our loosely organized book club.
Last summer we started the No Need to Read group. It's not the traditional book club where everyone reads the same book. I remember doing that in an earlier chapter of my life. Back then just finding the time to read was a luxury and I often resented using whatever precious down time I did have to read a book someone else had chosen or a book that wasn't really in my wheel house. I also felt like a book club and time with my girlfriends should be something I was looking forward to. Too often, though, it seemed like the pressure to just finish the book in time took away from the thrill of getting together with friends.
This group is different. Instead of all of us reading some previously agreed up book, we each come together and share whatever it is we have been reading on our own. Some months, for some of us, the only reading we accomplish is getting though a daunting queue of emails. No judgements here. We all get it. So we share whatever it was that we did read. The list is usually diverse and it is an easy way to hear about books I never knew existed or to learn that some best seller was really nothing more than over hyped drivel.
These are the titles the group shared this month:
My Name Is Lucy Barton
Two of us had read this book. I was one of them. My friend loved it. I was a bit more on the fence but we have both admired Elizabeth Strout as an author. Her book, Olive Kitteridge, is one of my favorites and like that book, the characters here are equally well developed and multi-faceted. If you like good writing more than just a good story I think you would like it.
Sacred Choices was another recommendation this week. A self-help book that looks at our indoctrination to do the "right" thing, vs what our heart wants to do. The theme seems to be that our culture, or our tribal backgrounds, are responsible for these conflicting feelings and values but with some self- realization we can find some resolution.
Another one of the women in our group has been coping with a loss and she recommended
The Grief Recovery Handbook.
This book sounded different from most of the grief books out there. I was definitely intrigued by her review of it and I think this one would make a wonderful gift for anyone that is coping with grief.
My book this month was
As Close to Us As Breathing
I would definitely recommend this one. It is a haunting story of a Jewish family on the East Coast during the summer of 1948, not long after World War II. It highlights how a single tragedy can alter the lives of an entire extended family. It is a book about self denial, guilt, religion, and family.
Not everyone had time to read so they shared their want- to- read options.Those are always interesting too.
This time around they were these two:
Has anybody read them yet? Thoughts?
Summer is coming. What is on your list?
Happy Mom's Day.