Before I get started on the topic of the book club, I want to mention that for the past few days Ricardo has been feeling better. I think he’s finally recovering from the infections he had, and from the medications used to treat them, which really left him weak and feeling helpless. It’s so cheering to see him enjoying a little breeze coming through his window, or to hear him ask me to do a crossword puzzle with him. These are better times, for sure, and I should savor them.
The monthly meeting of our parish book club is tonight, and I’m looking forward to it! I love our book club. We have nine members right now, as well as some people who come and go. It’s an excellent number, as we all can have a chance to talk, and we fit easily around the refectory table at our pastor’s house, which is convenient when it comes time for tea and cookies. Tonight, though, we’ll begin an hour early with a pick-up dinner of sushi, since Father has just come back from a four-month sabbatical and everyone will want to hear about his experiences and ask some questions. Then we’ll move on to talking about our book.
We’re a Catholic book club, so we generally read in the area of religion, but that gives us a wide range of possibilities. We choose our upcoming book two months ahead so we have time to check the local libraries or order on line, and sometimes we spend two months on a particularly long or difficult book. I keep a blog for the club, although in the past year I’ve neglected it quite a bit as Ricardo and I went through hard times, but now I’m getting it back up to speed, and even thinking about doing some book reviews as podcasts. That was the pastor’s idea some months ago, and I’ll have to check with him and see if he is still interested in getting that done. It might be fun.
Every year for our anniversary, the book club has a potluck supper and does a dramatic reading. This year we took on quite a challenge–T. S. Eliot‘s Murder in the Cathedral. We’d been reading some Church history in the past year, and this play seemed as though it would fit right in. As we did our preparatory study, some members were quite amazed by the power and beauty of Eliot’s work, and we threw ourselves right into it. We considered it a great success and were proud to have wrestled with such a grand work of art.
I’ve loved books all my life, and getting to share some with a group of congenial people is a treat. I’ve been in other book clubs, but they mostly devolved into chat sessions and the books became just an excuse to get together. I don’t mind good chat at all, but when the choice of books seemed to be mainly drawn from supermarket ranks, I lost interest. So the development of this club has been a continuing pleasure.
Are you a member of a book club? How are discussions handled? What do you like best? What would you like to see done differently? I’d love to hear from you, and I promise to reply.