B is for Book Club!
My friend Sheba moved back to Toronto this summer with her family. One of the things she missed most about Brooklyn was her book club.
Each of us was missing the bond, the connections and the sense of community that a book club brings into one's life so in September of 2009, we formed a new book club. Sheba invited her longtime friend Marta. I invited Krista, a special co-worker from my days at YES. I asked Naaz to join us. She and I reconnected ten years after we had both been camp counsellors at Camp Marifa. I also asked my friend Sylvie to be part of the club. She and I work together at Surrey Place Centre and often talk about books. I asked Makeda to join us too. Growing up, we lived on the same street, just one block away from each other. We've known each other since I was in grade one and she was in grade two! Makeda and I asked Lori, a friend from high school and our newest member, to round out the club. And so began a new book club that has since met monthly with six books under our belt with hopes of many more.
This month, we read Randy Pausch's The Last Lecture. Krista and her family opened their home to us and we watched Randy deliver his 2007 lecture, the catalyst to the book. Randy was living with pancreatic cancer when he delivered his lecture and passed away 10 months later leaving behind important lessons on achieving childhood dreams for his wife and three young children. Being one who is very much in touch with my tears, I used two Kleenexes for this meeting. The reaction to the book and lecture was mixed. The conversation that followed was diverse, funny, heart felt and thought provoking.
Men, especially, seem to nod their heads in confusion over the need for a club to talk about books. I heard that Sheba and Marta's husbands want to start their own pamphlet club. Apparently, a pamphlet is all they think they can manage to read. Funny!
It's quite simple really. We talk about the books we've read. We discuss plot lines, characters, our likes and dislikes. Our intention is to pour over a book BUT when you are part of such an outstanding group of women there are other benefits that naturally start to spill over...
A few meetings ago, we started swapping books. Everyone is invited to bring books they've read and no longer want to hold on to, to share with the group. Here's a look at what was on the swap table this month.
you guys ROCK! i have sorted through all of the bags and boxes and am more than a bit overwhelmed. we have three large piles of donations and every one of them is going to THRILL the recipients.
the youth shelter seldom receives men's clothing and will be stocked for mini giveaway toiletries for a number of weeks.
the women's shelter is going to have some women with much higher spirits as they put on jewellery, shoes and perfumes that they normally would never have.
the teen mom's shelter is about to get an influx of teen girl stuff and baby's toys that will make digging through their sharing centre a truly fun experience for mom and baby alike.
thank you sooooooooo much! i can't tell you how many people are going to be touched by this."
So what do we do at book club?
We talk, eat, laugh, disagree, agree, eat some more, talk some more and laugh some more.
What do we talk about?
Books of course but also whatever is on our minds. Sometimes we talk about things that have nothing to do with books. We go off on tangents. We share recipes. We talk about other books. We gush about our families and most importantly - we listen to each other throughout it all.
What happens at my book club?
Eight smart, kind, caring, generous women from various walks of life share common experiences through reading, sharing, listening and laughing.
Happy half year birthday 416bookclub! I am so grateful for each and every chapter we've read and shared together. Here's to volumes more!