Tag Archives: books

On Book Clubs…

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I have a wonderful book club now, and I’ve been a member of three other book clubs previously.  The best one is now, and the worst one is the one I joined right after I moved here. 

The funniest one lasted one afternoon, and was a conversation about books read in which none of us could remember the books’ titles, the authors, and the plots.  I wrote a blog on that one called “The Bad Memory Book Club.”  You can go back and read that for a laugh, if you want.

The worst one was a group of people who met at the public library.  Everyone read random books, and then just sort of reported on the book each had read.  The group of people was very nice, and we all got a variety of titles of which we might want to read in the future, but there was no unity, friendship, or refreshments (i.e. wine).

The reason my best book club is the one I am in now, is that…uh…I am in it now.  I loved the retired teachers’ book club that I left back in Arizona.  We’d all taught together for many years.  We had a history and a present.  I am still on their emailing list, and some of them read this blog.  That book club is the prototype for my current one.  Books are chosen for the entire year, assigned a month, a host, and a date, and there you go.

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My current book club formed from my neighbor gatherings.  One of the women said, “Let’s have a Book Club!”  If she’s said, “Let’s put on a show, ” we might’ve done that, too, but thank God, it was a book club.  So, we morphed from monthly dinners to monthly book discussions.  Two members moved away, and we absorbed two.  We are a diverse group…ages 40’s to 70’s…married, widowed, and divorced.  All of us live, except one, in the same square mile…well, really less than a square mile.  Some still work, most of us are retired.  All of us are physically and mentally active and compassionate.  All of us practice our own particular crafts, of sorts, in our own way.  Pretty much, all of us enjoy a glass of wine.

We all have a lot to say about the books!  Oh, the books…that is the journey, rather than the destination.

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So Many Books, So Little Time

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I am a reader.  I have always been a reader.  I wasn’t an early reader, like before I started school, but I learned very quickly there in Kindergarten and First Grade, that reading was the best escape, EVER. 

I would read cereal boxes, front, back, and sides.   I read my animal crackers’ box and my Little Golden Books until they were in tatters.  I progressed to reading really, anything I could get my hands on until my mother had to monitor for age-appropriateness.  I would read the newspaper asking for definitions for words I didn’t understand, such as “rape.” That was an interesting conversation at the age of six.  Madeline and Eloise and the poor little “orphaling, who had no mother and father because they died before she was born” were my best friends.  I read under the covers with a flashlight, and in the shade of the lilac bush “cave” on summer afternoons.

As a pre-adolescent, I read and re-read my favorites like A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Gone With the Wind, and Parrish.  Book reports were not a problem for me.  What was a problem was deciding which book to write about. 

As a teacher, I was able to read all the new children’s books and the Young Adult books without a stigma of reading something too “young” because I was reading for use in school.  There was almost nothing better that getting the Scholastic Books order, both for me and for my students.

I remember thinking, “I can’t wait until I can read for as long as I want, and not have to stop for someone or something.”  Well, that day is here.  Now the problem is what do I read next?  A beautiful problem, that one.  So here is my stack of books: 

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And here is my other stack of books, all waiting for me to settle in: 

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Ah.  So many books, so little time.  A “champagne” dilemma, for sure.

Hygge

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Hygge is pronounced hoo-gah.  Not to be confused with those smoking lounges that seem to be a throwback to the 60’s, this Danish word means “coziness.”  Hygge is apparently a “movement.”  That just makes me want to declare that I have been all about coziness for the last six years.  Ahead of the curve, and I didn’t even know it!

Recently, I read an article in a winter issue of a leading monthly magazine mentioning this word, hygge.  I don’t remember which magazine.  I was in Wisconsin, and I read whatever I can pick up at the folks’ or my sisters’ homes. There is Norwegian heritage there, and when I see something about Scandinavia, my curiosity is peaked.  Anyway, the article included a spread about all things cozy.

Fast forward a couple of weeks, and low and behold, in the Sunday Parade insert, was blurb about hygge, and an explanation that this word implies the idea of “embracing happiness and the positive in everyday life.”  There was a picture of a couple in front of a glowing stove wrapped in thick sweaters and socks.  Well, that is just me all over, except for the couple part.

My winter home wardrobe is thick sweaters and socks, afghans, and sometimes a blanket/shawl around my shoulders…sort of a crone-type outfit.  I have my red Plow and Hearth stove glowing like crazy, fairy lights, and candles burning from dusk to bedtime.   It seems I am the height of fashion and immersed in a current trend!

I have often been told by visitors at my tiny house that it is very “cozy.”  This adjective has been used frequently, and I’m glad.  Cozy is comforting, warm, and friendly.  Living in a hygge haven is a joy.  I’m all about happiness and positivity every day, so, hey, I’ll own it.

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