If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.-—Joseph Campbell

Posts tagged ‘Book Club’

Hemingway’s Voice

hemingwayAlways do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.

The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.

All our words from loose using have lost their edge.

When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.

Ernest Hemingway

This month the book club read The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway. An interesting choice after having read A Paris Wife by Paula McLain a while back.

Our monthly book club meets twice, once on a Tuesday night (originally for those who worked during the day) and Wednesday morning (for those who didn’t want to get out at night.) Over the years these two groups have developed their own personalities.

The night meeting is smaller and more, for lack of a better word, intellectual. At least two members do background work on the book or author before coming to the meeting. The retired English teachers gravitate toward this group. I like it because I learn a lot and am able to share  it with the Wednesday meeting. But we also have at least one member who likes this meeting because when she doesn’t get into a book, like this month’s selection, she comes to try to figure out what she might be “missing.”

Last night we had an interesting discussion about the writer’s voice.

This morning’s group will be bigger, and freer with their own voices.

So in preparation for today’s group I look at more of Hemingway’s words.

Who was this guy? A WWI veteran. A drunk. A depressive. Married four times. A writer of sparse and simple language.

One last quote to get a handle on his style…

If a writer knows enough about what he is writing about, he may omit things that he knows. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one ninth of it being above water.


Show and Tell

librarybooksMarch is our month for Show and Tell. The time when book club members come with favorite titles, old and new, to share with their bibliophilic friends. Having attended both last night’s group and this morning’s, I now have an extensive list for personal reading as well as possible titles for monthly book club selections.

Afterwards I am to meet a friend to visit nursing homes for her mom. She cancels. What will I do with my time now?


A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.  William Styron

Books are a uniquely portable magic.  Stephen King

Expressing Ourselves

In the last day I have facilitated two book club discussions about Great House by Nicole Krauss.

Last night’s group of six was tricky.  Two have not read the book.  Only one of the remaining four likes it, sort of.  I feel defensive.

This morning’s group of fifteen is more open, as am I.  I start the round robin discussion by suggesting we try to articulate why we like the book, or not.  More members like the book, several who couldn’t finish it say they may try again, and even those who don’t like it offer information on what they as readers might prefer.

I’ve been facilitating this book club at the library for the last 2 1/2 years.  We say we want to read books we might not pick up on our own. But we don’t always know what we mean by that.

It’s worth continuing to work on.

goonybirdA creative offering to finish the post.  Talk among yourselves.

Listening to Learn

Learning to Listen

Listening for Lessons

A Teacher and her Writing Practice

Writing Is My Drink

slake your thirst; find your voice


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