Reading Groups

My love of books started very early. I don’t remember when I learned how to read, but I do remember the “reading groups” of 1st grade. There were eight of us sitting in chairs in a circle. Mrs. Summerhayes would have each of us read a few sentences or a page aloud, in turn. I would figure out about how many people were ahead of me in our round-robin reading group, then figure out which lines of the story would be mine, and practice them in my head until it was my turn to read aloud. I was shy, and already reading, thus the “cheating.” But I loved the stories (Dick and Jane!) and the reading groups, so I was a happy 1st grader.

Reading Groups, as an adult, are so much more fun. I enjoy hearing what different reading groups have chosen to read, and what they call themselves. My mother, a prolific reader at age 87, leads a senior center book group simply called “The Book Group.” Our local independent bookseller (a wonderful place called Parkplace Book Company) has two bookcases devoted entirely to the town’s many book groups. Some of the names of those groups and the books they are reading this month are:

GABBY GIRLS–reading Mountains Beyond Mountains, by Tracy Kidder
RAMBLING READERS–reading Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro
THURSDAY THINK–reading March, by Geraldine Brooks
FRAZZLED–reading Oh My Stars, by Lorna Landvik
BOOK BAGS–reading Inheritance of Loss, by Kiran Desai

The book group I belong to is another one without a formal name. (Our 2007 reading list is below.) Unfortunately, I’m an infrequent participant in the book group, due to the hectic schedule I’ve been keeping, but it’s always a pleasure when I do have time to read the book and join the friends in discussing it. For me, reading groups have been a lifelong enjoyment!

2007 Book choices for my unnamed book group:
January–The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
February–Liberating Paris, by Linda Bloodworth Thomason
March–Dreams From My Father, by Barack Obama
April–A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole
May–Daughter of Fortune, by Isabel Allende
June—Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War
by Nathaniel Philbrick
July–To be decided
August–To be decided
September—Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette, by Sena Jeter
October–Saving Graces: Finding Solace and Strength From Friends and Strangers, by Elizabeth Edwards
November–What Is The What, by Dave Eggers
December–dinner at a local restaurant to celebrate a year of reading

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