Monday, August 10, 2009

In the Wake of the Big Leagues

Our bi-monthly book club met this month on the first Monday evening. Sorry, it has never adopted a name other than “the book club,” but now there’s a second book club meeting at Westminster Village, this one on first Monday afternoons. For the moment the two groups are identified simply by reference to the time of day they meet.

The format for the new club is different, however. Instead of an assigned book, the afternoon club shares brief descriptions of what each participant is currently reading. It’s a good way to compile a “must-read” list. Several of our residents are participating in both clubs.

Our book for the Monday night group in August was Dianne Ackerman’s The Zookeeper’s Wife. We agreed that this true story of courage and imagination amid the horrors of the Nazi occupation of Warsaw has been beautifully told. All of us had lived through World War II, but still found this book a shocking revelation. Who, after reading it, could ever deny the Holocaust? Who, also, could ever deny the reality of human compassion?

For our October meeting we will return to fiction, with Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants. It has been two years since I read it. I will happily read it again.

Our group usually does not choose its books more than one meeting ahead, but at this August meeting my fellow members honored me by choosing to read Parson Campbell’s Breakthrough for our December discussion. I’m pleased, of course.

It’s a daunting thought, however, to follow Diane Ackerman and Sara Gruen. I think I’ve written a good book. I hope it’s more than a sand lot game, but I don’t fancy my work to be in the same league with these modern classics.

For a sample chapter of Parson Campbell’s Breakthrough, go to my website:

To order from the website, click on my title to go directly to the book on:

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