Home' Aurora : Aurora July 2014 Contents 12
Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle www.mn.catholic.org.au
MONICA SCANLON BROUGHT TOGETHER
It could be assumed that the focus when
one attends a Book Club gathering is to
discuss books. Not so with this group of
"Old Ducks" who decided to form a Book
Club during a picnic at Blackbutt Reser ve a
few year s ago. One of the girls kindly said
we could meet once a month in her home.
It began with three of us and has grown
to eight, r anging in age from 30s to 50s,
all of whom we know through our
parish of Toronto.
"Old Ducks" has a wonder ful spirit. It
has been referred to a s "talkfest" rather
than Book Club. We get to the end of
the evening, which is often quite late, and
someone will say, "What book are we
going to read nex t month? " Sometimes
the question gets answered but often not,
so we carry on with the same book which
some of us may not have read and none of
us may have discussed.
I love the friendship. I love the honesty. I
love that no-one cares what you wear. In
fact, sometimes in the cold of winter some
of us wear pyjamas ! I love that we laugh
and laugh and have been known to cry.
We share our life jour neys -- sometimes
inspired by the book. We discuss the highs
and lows of life.
The primary school-aged son of one of the
member s told one of his teacher s that his
Mum was in a Book Club and the teacher
showed interest in joining. "Oh no," he
said. "You wouldn't want to go, they don't
read books, they just talk and talk and
drink." Yes , we do drink -- cups of tea!
My friend Mar y-Jane's monthly Book Club
was for med from signing up at the local
book store. Most of the group of seven
women aged in their 50s to 70s were
stranger s when they met and are now
friends she can rely on.
They do wander off the topic but the focus
is on the book. They meet at the beginning
of each year to decide on books and then
meet monthly in one of their homes for
mor ning tea. Whoever hosts the meeting
lists questions relating to their chosen book.
One member made for each a soft canvas
bag with a bookwor m and their initial
which they bring to each meeting.
Mary-Jane said, "The genres of the books
vary. Some choose non-fiction and others
historical, crime, humour or Australian
stories . Going to Book Club is a wonder ful
thing to do." She loves the pleasures
that come with reading a book -- finding
a special spot to sit and going to other
worlds. She does not like digital ver sions of
books as it is "just not the same". At Book
Club she loves the warmth of gathering
with other women, sharing the love of
books and sharing friendship and stories
of each other's lives.
Mary-Jane ha s a friend who met some
women through yoga and for med a rather
large Book Club. They meet every six
weeks. Their lunch goes on for hours.
Everyone brings a plate to share and they
drink wine and champagne. Their Book
Club is like a party!
And so it seems there are no hard and fast
rules about a Book Club. The common
thread seems to be a for um to gather
together; discuss books -- sometimes, share
life's experiences -- and perhaps most
impor tantly, build friendships.
Do you belong to a book club? How does
it work? Why not share your thoughts!
(l-r) Grace Soley, Gina Baynham, Francesca Suters, Bev McWilliam, Jo Golding and Monica Scanlon in earnest discussion.
Here are some of the books the
"Old Ducks" have enjoyed.
Feel free to share your favourites.
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
by John Boyne
by Maeve Binchy
by William P Young
A Year of Biblical Womanhood
by Rachel Held Evans
The Time Traveller's Wife
by Audrey Niffenegger
By "Old Duck" Francesca Suters
by Tim Winton
To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee
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