"While we are reading, we are all Don Quixote." ~ Mason Cooley

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Let's Hear It for Book Clubs!

New to this little community a year ago, I was seeking a way to meet folks and I'd been told that a particular book club might be just what I was looking for and was invited to check it out. My only previous experience with a book club had been disappointing, so it was with some trepidation that I attended my first meeting. 

Would I enjoy the selections? Would the other participants welcome a newcomer?  Would they find my observations to add value? Would I find the conversations stimulating and satisfying? Fortunately, the answers - a resounding yes, yes, yes, and yes! So much so that when invited to participate in yet another club, I jumped at the chance.

This is the week when both groups meet, and I've come away, as usual, having enjoyed both selections and the pursuant discussions. I've also come to realize that the greatest value I've experienced is the introduction to authors and genres I would never have sought on my own. 

Case in point - a selection for this month, The River of Doubt, by Candice Millard, the "dazzling debut" non-fiction thriller that explores Theodore Roosevelt's dangerous and ill-conceived journey along an uncharted tributary of the Amazon. Historically, I don't read history (sorry!), and very little biography.  Indeed, I was prepared to endure this book in the name of being a loyal club member.  I was hooked from the first chapter.  The writing is excellent. The story so incredible that, at the time, many did not believe it to be true. The characters, a casting director's dream.

Top it all with background information about the period and the expedition that I would not have researched on my own, a lively discussion that raised questions I had not considered, and observations from a fellow member who has traveled the Amazon - well, I'd like to think Millard would be very pleased.  As I result, I plan to read her second book.

I'd love to hear what other book clubs are reading.  We're always looking for a good recommendation.

No comments:

Post a Comment