Our neighborhood book club met this week to party. We ate homemade toffee, we drank lots of wine, we left our children with our husbands, and we didn't even pretend to discuss a book.
I don't think I'm alone in attending a book club primarily for purposes of socialization with grown-ups (and a night out of the house!). As one of my neighbors once said, a person could sell filing cabinets and we would come. I am, of course, a reader by nature, and I love a good debate (ask my husband). However, I am also a very slow reader with severely limited time and am easily put off by books that seem too depressing, too showoffy, too unbelievable, too trite... in other words, much of what seems to be popular book club fare.
I'm supposed to be blogging today about five books that have made me who I am. Well, anyone who has even a passing acquaintance with me probably already knows. The way my mom passes down family recipes, I pass along reading recommendations.
Books are a way to keep connections alive, through time, through space, through generations. A dear friend walked several blocks in Manhattan on Friday with 51 pounds (!) of books on her back and in hand so that she could send this bounty to my avid-reader father. These novels belonged to her beloved husband, Roger Newman, who died earlier this year. When the first batch of books arrived (yes, there were more), my husband and I both found ourselves rather reverently touching the pages that touched Rog's hands and, of course, his heart. Rog was a writer, a man of eminently good taste, keen mind, and huge heart. We were privileged to know him, and we are honored to be the keepers of these treasured mementos.