I started a bookclub two years ago in an attempt to continue my own education as I simultaneously teach my little ones. We loosely follow the reading list laid out by Susan Wise Bauer in her book The Well-Educated Mind. The reading list is divided into genres and is composed of a sampling of the Great Books of Western Civilization. This is not a bookclub for the faint of heart. The reading lists are demanding and this semester alone, our group has whittled itself down to a faithful few. I have a love/hate relationship with bookclub. I’m so thankful for the very smart group of friends that shares my passion for reading classic literature. If you have a friend who’ll read Plato’s Republic with you and not call you names or throw things at you, then you have a friend indeed. But because the books are tougher reads than say, Twilight, which I also enjoyed, I find myself feeling so relieved when bookclub is over. Similar to the way I felt when I finished a Microbiology exam in medical school.
“Whew, glad that’s over. I think I’m gonna bake all weekend!” (my classmates loved me)
With that sense of relief is also a very palpable sense of accomplishment. And since we moms live in a world of neverending/never completed tasks like laundry, dishes, and meals, actually ticking something off a list that is finished—is well……… just a dandy thing to do. I keep my list on my blog and though I won’t make my goal of 52 books this year, I’m so grateful for the books I’ve read. And grateful for the friends who’ve read them along with me.
We just finished All the Presidents’ Men on Friday—and yes I finished. I downloaded the 12 hours of audio on Monday and listened to the ‘the end’ 2 minutes before I needed to leave the house. It was a fascinating story but never EVER a book I would have read without the pressure of bookclub. And some things that are important—like to me, reading classics works I never read in school, or ‘read’ but don’t remember—-are not urgent. So they easily get laid aside for things that are more pressing, like laundry and dinner and mindlessly surfing the internet. I guess I’ve always functioned better with structure and guidelines. Our genre for the spring is ‘plays’—-so January’s read is Medea by Euripides. If I know myself, I’ll read 2 or 3 books before I start Medea and then get the ‘eye of the tiger’ in the last two weeks and read and study for Medea like I’m gonna have to take a test on it. And then I’ll search the net and you tube and see if I can find some brilliant Yale professor giving a lecture on greek plays. I like the way the bookclub forces at least some sense of urgency and structure to my reading life. Though my decorating schedule and my nightly menu may have suffered slightly.
And I’m slowly adding lights…
….and other festive sparkles to my still slightly Thanksgiving-ish house. I’ll show the rest on Monday at The Nester’s Christmas Tour. I think.
In non-sparkling news, my laundry became the ace-in-the-whole hiding place for the afternoon hide and seek.
The pony tail gave it away. The laundry was at least clean.
And I must quickly consult my fairy godmother to work some magic for me because I’m going on a date tonight. With an honest to goodness babysitter and reservations. And lipstick and high heeled boots. And other adults. If there’s an awkward lull in the conversation, I can always bring up the Drunken Goat.