About a year ago, I found a Facebook group specifically for my area of the city we live in. I joined as I thought it would be a good way to keep up with what’s going on around me, and hopefully meet some people in my community. It’s now huge and basically full of people gossiping about why there are occasionally helicopters flying overhead, but it has been useful.
You all know of my eternal search for a good book club. I’ve been in two or three over the years, and each one has eventually ended due to scheduling conflicts, dwindling attendance each month and a host of other reasons. By last fall it had been a while since I had been in one and felt that pull again. By this point I feel like other people may have given up, but I really enjoy being in a book club. For one, it pushes me to read selections I may not have otherwise chosen for myself… like A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. That book blew me away. It affected me so deeply that I was dreaming about it. Having read the jacket, it’s not a book I would have picked up without a push.. but it’s one I am very glad that I read.
I also really enjoy being able to discuss what I’m reading, particularly with others who have read it too. For me, reading a good book is almost like a relationship. Depending on the way it ends, sometimes I’m elated, others I’m devastated and I need to talk about it.
I know, I’m a nerd.
After joining this local Facebook group that had thousands of people in it, I thought: there has to be a book club running somewhere near me. So, I made a post and hoped for the best:
“Hi everyone! I would love to join a community book club but am not sure where where to look… Does anyone know of any that are up and running / accepting new members?”
And then I waited.
And by waited I mean I checked Facebook obsessively waiting for responses.
Within a few hours almost 20 people had commented. Sadly there didn’t appear to be one up and running, but there was a lot of interest in getting one started. I was a bit leery at the idea of starting another one as my luck just hasn’t been great, but if you want results you’ve got to do the work, right?
I started responding to people, made a separate Facebook group for those interested, picked a book and set a date. With the exception of one person, I hadn’t ever met any of the women who responded. I’m not going to lie, I was a little nervous going that first day… but they were seriously the loveliest group of people and I left our first meeting feeling so excited. We met at a little coffee shop up the road, and we’ve been meeting there ever since.
Tonight is our 11th meeting. We get together once a month on a Tuesday and discuss the book we’ve spent the last few months reading. Tonight we’re discussing A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy by Sue Klebold. You might recognize the title as I read the book earlier this summer and was completely blown away. I ended up mentioning it a few months back and we decided to add it to our reading list. I was totally on board as I am really looking forward to having someone to discuss it with. Like A Fine Balance, this book impacted me very deeply. You probably recognize the name of the author–it’s written by the mother of Dylan Klebold, one of the Columbine shooters.
This book was not at all what I expected when I first picked it up and it sort of reframed the way I’m looking at that tragedy, and also the way that I parent. It was very eye opening from me, and it was a perspective I hadn’t ever heard before. It was no less impactful for me reading it the second time, and it’s a book I would recommend to parents and educators alike.
I’m really looking forward to being able to discuss it.
I know I have friends who are avid readers like me, so I thought I would share which book we’re reading each month, as well as some highlights from our discussions. You can read along with us, if you’d like! If nothing else, being in this group has given me some phenomenal book recommendations.
I like it.
Well, time to go get Miss S from school! I kept H home again today as he still has a gross cough, but I’m really hoping he’s on the mend. He seems a little more himself today, so I’m glad of that.
Also, I cleaned my oven today. It was gross. The end.