Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – April 7, 2004
The Moby Dick Book Club
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – April 7, 2004 – A couple of years ago, my sister-in-law Dorothy and I were chatting about craving some intellectual stimulation. Dorothy is a voracious reader and I always have a book or two on the go. My interests range from fiction to biographies to historical epics (true or fudged) to spiritual books and the classics.
We decide to start a book club. Because we both work in real estate we were careful not to invite other agents. We didn’t want to end up with a room full of shop talk and no discussion of our selected book. So we both thought about who we knew and had our organizing meeting in June of 2002. To the table came Nancy (a recently retired business woman), Nicole who still works in the corporate world, Vivien who markets office furniture, Linda who owns a dog walking business, Eva who works contract positions, Dorothy and me.
Our first meeting was at Dorothy’s home. She had to pop out half way through to sell a house, but the rest of us sat around nibbling on munchies and selecting the books for our first year. Dorothy wanted to read Moby Dick. We all laughed at her, and before she left to meet her client, we charged her with preparing a synopsis of the book for a later meeting.
We’d all brought books to discuss. We put book titles in a hat and drew out our choices. We decide to keep our group small and not to have ‘meaningful’ conversations about our personal lives. We are all expected to read the book and have a point of view ready for discussion. We also made a decision to meet every other month. We all have really busy lives and none of our schedules could accommodate a club that met once a month. We have two long distance members, Peggy and Charlene, who read along with us from afar, and then send their comments by E-mail.
An amazing book club has been born out of that June get together two years ago. We had no choice but to call ourselves The Moby Dick Book Club and, of course, we have become The Mobies. It’s a terrific group of women and we’re reading books that I would probably never have picked up were it not for the club. I have to steel myself through some of them, others I love from beginning to end. But that was the whole point. I wanted to think and I wanted to be challenged. This group does that and more. We meet at the home of a different Moby each time and the hosting Moby supplies snacks and drinks. At Christmas we have a big pot-luck dinner. It’s a wonderful occasion and a nice end to the year.
After our discussion about the book, we usually spend a half hour chatting about what is going on around the world and catching up on each other’s lives, but our evenings never descend into a poor me discussion about trivial nonsense. They are often funny. Tonight’s after book discussion started out with Mel’s Gibson’s movie The Passion Of The Christ and ended with the impending visit of the Dali Lama and a humorous side step about inflatable sheep.
Our conversations are intelligent, inquisitive, opinionated, raucous, funny and challenging. If you feel an intellectual void in your life, may I strongly suggest that you get a group of people together and start a book club. Men can do this too if they’re so inclined. We have refrained from the newest “trend” of having an outside moderator for the evening. It’s tough to become a Moby – in fact there are no openings right now, but we are always willing to dispense advice and might even consider a franchise.
Following is a list of our books. It’s interesting and varied. Please feel free to raid our selections for ideas.
Rush Home Road.
Not Wanted On The Voyage.
Mutant Messages Down Under.
Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood.
The Stone Carvers.
Stupid White Men.
The Robber Bride.
Moonlight On The Avenue Of Faith.
Birth Of Venus.
Fall On Your Knees.
No Great Mischief.
For our first meeting, I made everyone a book mark with a great quote – from I know not whom – which reads – “The wisdom of life consists of the elimination of the non-essential – reading is not one of those”. I couldn’t agree more!