Thursday, September 13, 2012

Something new for September - theparisnews.com: Lifestyles

Something new for September - theparisnews.com: Lifestyles: Let’s face it, when it comes to books, we all tend to get stuck in a rut. If we are reading what we love, what does it matter? The answer is that we will miss the real joy and benefit of reading. I know I tend to get unhappy if I don’t expand my horizons in my book choices. I also, obviously, love getting to talk about books.


So when I was approached years ago by some ladies to join them in forming a book club, I jumped at the chance. We officially called ourselves the Bas Bleu book club, because we wanted to be well read women. We have no rules, other than we try to read one classic a year and one children’s book. Looking over our selection list, I can definitely say the book club has helped me come closer to meeting my goal of being well read.

Book club is currently reading a book that I loved so much I stayed up almost all night one weekend to read it: “The Year My Mother Died: A Memoir,” by Sherry Scott. Book club taught me that I like memoirs, and if I hadn’t known that, I might not have tried reading Scott’s book, which is very uplifting, comforting and even fun despite the subject. (I can help you locate a signed copy if you are interested).

Many of us will live through the loss of our mothers; Scott’s point of view is unique because she was a palliative care doctor, so she knew what she would go through at the loss of her mother, yet she ended up being just as human in her response as the rest of us. I especially loved the fact she ended up with a strange fixation on singer Todd Rundgren (of I Saw the Light). The year my mother died, I fixated on the 2005 movie version of “Pride and Prejudice.” I still have this ungodly urge to plug that movie in whenever I get really sad, of all the strange things.

Scott’s book is off the beaten path because it is self published, which used to be the kiss of death in the book industry, but which is now widely embraced (for good reason, as publishers sometimes bring us the same book, over and over, in search of the next blockbuster title). I can’t wait to hear what others think about this book that is so unique in its offering.

I also can’t help but wonder how many book clubs we have in this area. Who are you? What do you read? Do you actually discuss books or is it just an easy way to have a get together? (Some of our best times in book club are when we quit talking book and start talking life). And do you, or will you, read something outside your normal sphere? You might just find a new interest, which is the point here.

So whether you are in a book club or not, I invite you to set a goal to make September  — Something New in your book reading. Book club is one way of doing that, but I have other suggestions on my blog (www.sydsavvy.blogspot.com ). The blog also links to book lists on Goodreads, including our entire book selection list under the name of Paris TX Ladies Book Club.

Part of the joy of reading is going someplace you have never before been (or finding someone else has gone to that strange place, too). But that is just my opinion. So pick up a new book — you might just change your life.

Sydney Young is a Paris resident and an avid book enthusiast.

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