It's not necessarily
a stretch to call what we have a "book club," even though most months only one or two of us have read the assigned title. Admittedly, what we have is more like an excuse to get together and catch up with everyone's lives & eat food, something akin to a southern quilting circle, except none of us really sews and we do, earnestly, try to read each month's book selection.
Not every one in our group makes every meeting, and this month's meeting was a little bitter sweet since we recently lost a long-time (& sometimes vociferous) member to gall bladder cancer, and Tracy (my spouse) is in the midst of appendix cancer treatment. So, it's been a bit rough and tumble for us the past few months.
With an emotional weariness, we decided to get back into our monthly routine, reading Patti Digh's
(pronounced "dye") Life is a Verb
. (If you've not heard of it or her, you really should check out her Website
). Patti's work falls under the category of self-help, although it's really just a book full of wonderful stories. She shares encounters with strangers, family members, nature... all of which illustrate a way in which we can live more intentionally. An idea that quite a few of us are finding more and more compelling as we get older.
From the book description: "In October 2003, Patti Digh’s stepfather was diagnosed with lung cancer. He died 37 days later. The timeframe made an impression on her. What emerged was a commitment to ask herself every morning: What would I be doing today if I had only 37 days left to live? The answers changed her life and led to this new kind of book. Part meditation, part how-to guide, part memoir, Life is a Verb is all heart."
We had the luxury of meeting at the back table at our local community bookstore, the newly opened Scuppernong Books
, where we had the opportunity to Skype with Patti. She answered questions, talked about Life is a Verb
, and read us a story from her newest book The Geography of Loss
. We laughed a lot, as each of us connected with some aspect of her stories. There's something about that connection that allows you to be more open with one another.
I can't speak for others, but I left feeling both invigorated and drained (in a good way).
(full disclosure: We heart Patti so much in our family that she was the officiant at our wedding.)
Next Month's Selection:
So, this will tell you a little about how organized and democratic our book club is: In a store, surrounded by books, we couldn't really come up with a title for next month's selection (although as I'm writing this, I can easily think of about 15). Instead, each of us will choose a different book to read, then do a little synopsis for the rest of the group... our own little symposium. Should be interesting.