It has been quite some time since we met as a reading group, too long. Of course, we have all been reading; how can one not? Literature enlarges the soul by allowing us to experience the human condition. And taking about literature enriches our lives by sharing how that literature has touched us for better or worse. Every time I open a new book, I’m thrilled with the possibilities of where those words may take me; and when I finish a book, it is often like saying good bye to a good friend. I sometimes find myself slowing down as I near the end of a good read, trying to savor it until the very end.
I’m sitting in the San Francisco airport waiting for a flight to Taiwan. I’m grading exams, but my thoughts are on two conversations I had recently. One with a student who was at my house for a class pot-luck party. There is perhaps no finer compliment for someone who loves literature, than for someone to be drawn to your bookcases, pulling down books, skimming a few pages, putting them back, only to be drawn to another. What ensued was a long conversation about the books we love, what we want to read, basically the joys of reading. The second conversation was short one with my niece after Thanksgiving dinner. She is a reader and reminded me that we have not met in a long time. I was chastened and resolved to jump start this reading group. So I decided on a book that I love. Yes I have read it before, but it has been a long time, and it is worthy of a second read. And in a sense it directly ties into the name of this literature club.
Travels with Charlie by John Steinbeck
Get a copy because you will want it in your personal library. I’m already half way through it and enjoying it immensely. By the way, if you are not familiar with this title, it is nonfiction and is wildly entertaining.
We’ll meet in mid to late January (2014).