Thursday, July 23, 2009

Books, Books, Books!

Last night was "Ladies Book Club" night with the moms from the BCT playgroup. It is the first book club I have ever been a part of that actually worked...we read the books, people come and then have intellectual, child-free discussions....and drink chardonnay! I have really started to anticipate these nights with an eager spirit.

I have always loved to read, but until now my life has been too busy to read any more than what I had to to get by. I was a Cliff Notes gal (I hate to admit it!) in high school. Extracurricular activities got the better of me. One day I will have to go back and reread all those classics I skimmed. I embraced reading for class in college plowing thru what was assigned, never really having the time to read for fun. But now that I get to I realize how it exercises my mind and emotions in healthy, happy ways. ---We read A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Cellist of Sarajevo for book club. Both were gripping tales of the toll of war. Fiction based in reality. It is impossible to imagine that both are rooted in truth of the chaos we inflict on one another.
---Animal, Vegetable, Miracle has been on my nightstand for over a year now and I was so happy to finally read it. Barbara Kingsolver, author of The Poisonwood Bible, wrote this journal about her family's experiment to grow their own food and eat locally for a year. It was incredibly insightful and sticks with you. I know it sounds dull but it is as passionate as it gets in writing about food, the way it is delivered to us, and the erosion of organic, natural foods.
---We Need to Talk About Kevin and Blink are both in upcoming months for book club.
The women in the club are all very different from each other so I think the unlikely crew makes a spectacular discussion group!---I finished The Book Thief last week as it was a recommendation from a library patron when volunteering at the Club one day. It was about a young girl who is taught to read in the midst of Nazi Germany. Good read.
---Last night's discussion was on My Sister's Keeper. The movie is out in the US but not yet here. I had never before read Jodi Picoult but I loved her style. I did not like the ending in the book but I hear the movie ends differently, so look forward to seeing it. One of the book club members has a nephew in the final throws of a terminal illness following a bone marrow transplant. It definitely added a unique perspective to our analysis.
---And I know many will roll their eyes (Mom!) in seeing me read Multiple Blessings, the Jon and Kate Plus Eight book. It is so bittersweet reading their memoir of this miraculous birth and I struggle knowing they are divorcing. Honestly though it is based on scriptural insight and speaks to me about God's plan for each life. The way they had to unite and pull together as a family in decisions and challenges is inspirational (at least they did so in the book, if not ultimately in reality!) Kate is very thoughtful and her organization and drive is quite admirable. I hate that the summer's media frenzy and the collapse of their marriage are the post script. They are good people, blessed with the impossible, and strong in their conviction. I am really enjoying the book.
Now I won't say there aren't a few of these trashy mags lying around our house. Any time I can pick up an English tabloid it is hard not to dive in. English-speakers trade them around - worn out, borrowed issues - and we get our pop culture fix. Remember all newstands carry French and Dutch around here. Although I have to say I am waning on my interest. It is very hard to feel beautiful and glamorous as a stay at home mom in Belgium.

I am tickled about my renewed love for books. Just wanted you to know! On my "to read" list next: Revolutionary Road, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, The Shack, Three Cups of Tea, and Love in the Time of Cholera.

No comments: