Our View From Here

Perspectives of Five Women

Rule #1: If you don’t finish the book, bring mimosas

on October 18, 2010

Last winter I started a book club with a few of my friends. We read a novel every 4 or 6 weeks, and do traditional book clubby things. It can be difficult to find time for myself and I love reading for pleasure.  This is a loosely structured way for us to read and to have good friends with whom to have stimulating conversations about the books and our lives.

We work in the theatre on a schedule that is difficult to coordinate with anyone working a regular 9 to 5 schedule. We meet every month or so on Mondays, our common day off.  That is also the one day that we have to get all of our “life” stuff done, like laundry and groceries, but also to relax and rejuvenate and catch up with friends.  Having one day off is not quite enough time each week to get everything non-show-related accomplished. Some days I feel like there isn’t enough time to get everything checked off the list but I’m always glad I make the time for book club! It’s a couple hours when the world slows down.  We get to sit outside and chat, enjoying the weather, watching the humming birds and eating tasty appetizers.

Rule #2: book club is not stressful. If it becomes too demanding to finish the book by the scheduled gathering, we bring mimosas for everyone else!  (Please see rule #1, above.) Some of the other stage managers in the group and I are sometimes too rigid with ourselves, even with recreational activities. It amuses me that we’ve reflexively created these “rules” to guide our effort to slow down of our busy lifestyles. As much as I loathe the idea of not finishing a book by our deadline, I’ve embraced the mimosa rule.

We’ve made each book club gathering into a mini event. That month’s book is the centerpiece, but we get a big kick out of making culturally themed food! We cooked chickpea Masala when we read White Tiger and crepes with rosemary ham and goat Gouda when we read The Elegance of the Hedgehog. During The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo meeting, we ate Swedish meatballs and ginger cookies and then went to see the Swedish movie adaptation in the theatre – an epic book club!

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein has been our favorite novel to date. The dog, Enzo, observes his human family with an honest and compassionate perspective, and intertwines racing metaphors to tell the story. It’s a beautiful and memorable book.

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