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Monday, March 27, 2006

First Meeting of the South Bay Book Club

The book club I organized finally met last Friday evening. I was really excited about this meeting and was looking forward to it all week. There were 9 ladies who expressed an interest and 8 of them, plus myself met at a local Starbucks to discuss some “guidelines”. I was really thrilled with the turnout. All the ladies seemed very nice, friendly, well-read, and open to new ideas. We met for about an hour over coffee and did the usual round of introductions (we’re mostly in our late 20s-mid-30s, all working professionals, and have pretty similar tastes in books). We also discussed some guidelines about where, when, and how often our book club would meet. Lastly, since I had asked each member to bring a list of books, we each talked about our favorites as well as books we would like to read if we had the time. Then we voted on the 3 books, we would be reading for the next 3 months. By some coincidence, two of the books I “nominated” ended up being chosen for month # 1 (The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom) and month #2 (Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See). We will be reading Blink by Malcolm Gladwell for month # 3.

I have actually read The Five People You Meet in Heaven and I absolutely loved the book and the idea behind it. It is sort of an existential book that deals with a man dying and meeting 5 people in heaven that explain to him the meaning of his life. I thought it was a light and easy read but would give way to a very fruitful discussion, which would be great to kick-off the book club. I also thought it would be a great way to “get to know” the members and would start things off for many more interesting meetings.

The second book Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is a book I have been wanting to read (after reading several excellent reviews), but have not had the chance. It is a story about a secret code invented by two women in 19th century China. The secret language, which was then passed on from generation to generation, was a way for women to escape the rigid codes of conduct that the men had set upon them. Again, apart from it being a good story, I thought it would be a great read for a book club that was composed only of women.

The third book, Blink, which was suggested by another member, is another one of my favorites. It is a non-fiction book that discusses the power of thinking without thinking or rather relying on our intuition or what the author likes to call our “adaptive unconscious”. I read this book about a year ago and was so intrigued by the ideas and theories presented that I talked my hubby into reading it just so I would have someone to discuss it with. And while Jojo and I did have several meaningful discussions, I am looking forward to having one with the book club ladies as well.

Other things that happened over the weekend: after my book club meeting, my hubby and I attended the birthday dinner of my sister-in-law (HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Edel!). Saturday morning, I had people over for a study group for my HR Mgt. Class. After having breakfast, we spent about 4 hours working on our presentation for class. I am lucky cause the 5 other people in my group are all pretty easy-going and are not difficult to work with. We got about 85% of the work done in those 4 hours. Saturday afternoon, was the birthday party of my 3-year old niece (and godchild), Meredith. Her parents threw her a “Disney Princess” party at a local park, which is a really great idea since it’s less fuss for the adults and the kids have a really good time. Luckily the weather was pleasant and everyone had a nice afternoon.

Side note here: I used to hate it when my aunts and uncles would say “I can’t believe you’re all grown up” or comment on “how tall I’ve become” or “how smart I’ve gotten”. I used to think that we see each other all the time so it really shouldn’t be that much of a surprise. But lately, I’ve been having those kinds of moments myself. Take Meredith’s last birthday. I found myself thinking I can’t believe she’s 3 years old! Since I don’t have any kids, nieces or nephews of my own, she is actually the first child whose life I have been a part of since Day 1. You can tell she is very special to me. And since we live very close by and I’ve done my share of babysitting her, I’ve been privy to seeing her grow up. It’s pretty amazing that in 3 short years, she has grown from being a baby, into a very intelligent, caring, precocious, and beautiful child. It’s really pretty remarkable. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for her. In the mean time, I’ll try not to be one of those annoying aunts that I’m sure we’ve all had at one time.


jol said...

Surely, birds of the same feather flock together. I can almost imagine the intelligent and inspiring discussions that will take place whenever your bookclub meets. And if you add some gossips and storytelling, a two hour meeting may still be insufficient. Now you have fulfilled one of your Top 10 by 40 list of things to do!

joyeeeee said...

hey tofu
good thing you still have time for a bookclub! i guess thats one of the ways to relax and somehow it serves as a stress reliver!:) its definitely a great idea!
well just wanted to thank you also for all the help with school! you have been so patient and understanding! finally, ive made it!:)
see ya soon! im excited about tofu house and the ghost town and ofcourse loads and loads of shopping!

Anonymous said...

That's a great story. Waiting for more. » »