I have been in a book club off and on for almost 20 years. Seven friends started my first book club in 1994 and after 156 books, and being the only original member left, I dropped out in 2008 because I was traveling so much. That book club continues to this day with a whole new slew of readers. Not being in a book club did not keep me from reading, but I found that I really missed being in a group of people who were all reading the same words, but finding their own meaning in them. I finally decided I needed back in a book club and we decided to start a new one with a small group. So, six friends joined together and we have been reading strong since 2017. Being in a book club is not just about reading. Since everyone gets to pick a book of their choice, we often are reading books we otherwise would not have read. Sometimes we love the book, sometimes we don’t, but that is part of being in a book club. Discussing what we liked and didn’t like opens up your understanding of a book in a whole new way. The fellowship is pretty nice as well.
Recently four of my college friends and I decided to start a zoom book club—so two of us are now in 2 book clubs. Four out of five went through high school and college together, but all five of us have stayed in touch over the years.
With technology that is a whole lot easier than in the days of letter writing. Two of us live in LR, while one lives in Carmel, Indiana, one in Austin, Texas and one in Kansas City, Missouri. Since we always have fun when we are together, Cindy chose a great name - The Laughing Ladies Literary Guild. We had our first zoom meeting this week and it was a huge success, and we laughed a lot.
Paula picked our first book and it was Conversations with RBG by Jeffery Rosen.
I am a huge Ruth Bader Ginsberg fan, and have seen the movie On the Basis of Sex which was outstanding, and got to hear her when she was in Little Rock, so I was excited to read the book. While it was a good topic, I think the book could have used a little editing. I liked the fact that the book was based on conversations and you got to hear her own words on a variety of topics. The author broke the book into chapters covering a variety of subjects. Since he had obviously interviewed her multiple times over the years, there was a lot of repetition of questions and answers. Sometimes the Q & A covered multiple topics, so were repeated in multiple chapters. I thoroughly enjoyed the more personal side of the book, and I did learn a lot.
Since my motto is Kindness matters, I loved the advice she got from her mother-in-law when she got married “Sometimes it helps to be a little deaf”. She made it applicable in her marriage and in her workplace “if an unkind word is said, you just tune out. Emotions like anger, remorse and jealousy are not productive. They will not accomplish anything so you must keep them under control.” A profound lesson about never reacting in anger, always maintaining your equanimity, and if others lose their temper, not losing yours. Too bad more people don’t follow this advice.
We had a great discussion. An added bonus came from Paula. Since normally the host of the book club provides food and drink, and that wasn’t happening via zoom, Paula made us all our own RBG collars to wear for our discussion.
It was fun seeing everyone properly attired. She definitely raised the bar. Glad my turn isn’t for another few months!
Now on to more books and more shared time with friends!