Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Book Clubs are Great! Honest!

My thoughts once again turn to books. I finished the biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson a week or so ago and I find myself thinking more than I ever thought I would about Steve Jobs.

It is not a book that I would have chosen for myself at this stage of my life. I am through with a career and through trying to climb the ladder. I am busy with my dream job that doesn't really pay all that well.
But my brother handed it to me when I was visiting at his house telling me it was good so I brought it home. It is 571 pages long. I own an Apple computer which I am typing this on right now, an I pad and an I phone which certainly makes me an Apple user. I had heard bits and pieces about Apple and Steve Jobs over the years but my interest was more in using the products than caring much about who invented them or sold them.
I thought that my brother was likely forgetting that my time is not spent on business matters so much these days when he gave it to me but I decided I would give it a go for a few pages to say I had at least looked at it. After all it was a $37.00 book and I live too far away to ever think of taking it back to him. 
As you have likely guessed by now I read the whole book. I found myself very interested in this man's life and career and the author did hold my interest with how he wrote about Steve's life and his work. 

What is missing for me in reading this biography is my Book Club buddies. We have been a group for over 17 years with a few coming and going but the core of the group has remained the same. There are cartoons about book clubs and lots of jokes around, some of which do ring true. But I have yet to discuss a book that we have read with my club members that  hasn't enriched my understanding, changed my mind about what I thought about the story, or reinforced my own thinking. There's something unique about expressing your views in a safe environment with other readers of the same book. It isn't like a classroom although I always come away having learned something new about a book or about myself as a reader.

I am proud to say this.

And yes we have a good time doing this

We have shared our thoughts in lots of different environments!

And we probably have been guilty of this a time or two.

This month's book choice was The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas

I had a hard time making my way through this book due to the abundance of crude language. It prevented me from getting to the story of the lives the author was writing about. After our book talk where everyone expressed their displeasure at the distraction of the language  we relaxed and talked about what did make the book worth reading. If I had read it on my own, my opinion of the book would likely have remained lower than what I came away with after our talk. We have noticed this happening so often in our group. We surprise ourselves by having rousing conversations about the books that the majority of us didn't like when we were reading them. Other times an individual will end up completely changing her mind about a book after our discussions. Me included.
I may have to talk them into putting the Steve Jobs book on our list for next year!

Thanks Book Club Buddies!


  1. It is so funny - I have never been a member of a book club, except for Dani's. For years, I was simply too busy and now that I have the time, I read constantly and end of talking about books with everyone! I love how you have benefited from your club. we own the steve jobs book (bought it for Sydney) and I still haven't read it yet). those are tomes, aren;t they? I am still making my way through Hilary, taking breaks now and then for fictional fare!

    1. We have Hilary's new book on our list for next year. Maybe you could be our guest reader when we discuss that book!

  2. Sounds like the book club is worth it. Neat how it can change your mind!

    1. And that can be a challenge with some of us stubborn ones!

  3. I haven't been part of a book group for years, but love it when I was. It stretched my boundaries and I was always amazed at the different perspectives we had of the same book.

    1. We continue to marvel at how many different "takes" we still have about one book. We are lucky to have reached a comfort level where we can really express our ideas about a book even if they are contrary to the general consensus. Although as a Scorpio I remember everything!