Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Book Social: Good Idea, Good Time!

Last Tuesday evening (4/21), at a friend's invitation I accompanied her to her monthly "book social," held this time at a nice Italian restaurant.  Not quite knowing what to expect, as I'd been told this was not the same as a book club or book discussion group, I brought along a copy of Madeleine Albright's Read My Pins, a book I'd read several years ago.  The Bellevue Arts Museum is exhibiting her touring collection of pins and we were planning to visit the next day.
It turns out that a book social is exactly that:  a social gathering where the members talk about books they have read, books they want to read, books they loved, hated [Elegance of the Hedgehog], or felt neutral about -- all in a cozy setting of wine and companionship.  Several people returned borrowed books and lent or borrowed others; one woman talked about her current writing project.  There were inquiries as to absent members, and updates on everyone's activities.  All the members of the group, except me, are volunteers for the Friends of the Monroe Library, which is how they found each other.  At the end of the evening, I concluded this seemed more relaxed than a group focused on discussing just one book.

I'd love to hear from bloggers/blog readers who have experienced variations on the traditional "book club."  Maybe you are starting something new in your neighborhood, for the love of books.  Read on!

Friday, February 6, 2015

A Poem Is Born (and published!)

I am pleased to announce the publication of my poem "Advice for the Newcomer" in Whidbey Life Magazine.

Here is the backstory.  Back in August 2012, I was interviewed by Betty Freeman about the publication of Write Wing Publishing's new anthology, "Surrounded:  Living With Islands."  Betty related that when she had been a newcomer to Whidbey, she was worried about getting lost.  She was promptly reassured by friends and locals, don't worry, you're on an island.  To my ear, this belonged in a poem.  And so, "Advice" was born.  Thanks, Betty, and thanks to WLM for publishing my poem.  Enjoy!