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A Book Club of One

For years I have wondered what it would be like to be a part of a book club.  To meet with other adults and discuss a novel:  the likes and dislikes, the themes and how to apply them to everyday life, the fictional characters that have somehow become our personal friends.  But apparently this is an experience that I am not meant to have.

Perhaps I am supposed to focus this “book club” desire on developing that environment in the classroom.  I do try to have round table discussions rather than teacher lectures, and I always enjoy hearing the insights of the students.  I now teach only one literature class, Brit Lit, and the juniors and seniors are near adults, right?

Perhaps I am supposed to take part in an online group read, something that I have so far avoided for fear of not keeping up with the reading schedule, or with the intellectual conversation.  I think I might wait until retirement to give that a go.

But then it occurred to me that I could engage in a self-discussion of the books I read.  This past weekend I completed two books, Keepsake and The Wednesday Sisters, and both had a detailed reader section at the back of the book.  This section included an interview with the author (I LOVE those!!) as well as several questions on the work itself.  While I think these questions are included to help foster discussion in a group setting, I believe I can use these questions as personal writing prompts — helping me to perhaps dig deeper into the reading than I did on my own — as well as helping me learn to relate the book to my own life.

And I am rather excited about this prospect of being a member of this book club for one — although I must admit that I feel a bit ostracized like Woody Allen in the movie, Annie Hall when he quotes Groucho Marx:  I am a bit leery of joining a club that would have someone like me as a member.

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