Wednesday, September 26, 2012

On the Road to Roughneck Grace, Bring Tissues

We usually read our books in three or four chunks spread out over a month, averaging 75-100 pages a week, more or less, depending on our schedule and the length of the book. As leader of the book club, I like to read at the same pace as the book club members. I do this for two reasons: One, it keeps me from spilling details in discussion that others have yet to read and thereby robbing them of their own fresh experience. Secondly, and more importantly, as I read I like to imagine how various club members might be reacting to the very same words on the page. I'm often wrong, but it's fun anyway. Adds a whole new dimension to my reading experience. (I'm no longer reading for one, I tell myself, justifying the many happy hours I spend with my nose in a book.)

So this past week I was reading the last chapter and epilogue of Visiting Tom and that's when I got all  choked up and teary eyed. The last part of the book struck me in surprising and heartwarming ways. And it was great; the icing on the cake. Turns out, I wasn't the only one who felt that way. My friends here had a similar reaction. That's gratifying, especially if you'd imagined your friends running for tissues at the same point you did. It has to be even more gratifying for author Michael Perry. 

Here's how it went down: After securing our coffee and donuts, we went around the room, paging through the book, pointing out our favorite parts, and wound up referencing the same pages again and again. In the process, my friends pointed out the many instances where Perry not only made them teary eyed but made them laugh, too. And it was just as I'd imagined.


Thomas (thank you for showing us the Peacock feathers!), Phyllis, Roman, Kyle, Chris, Keith, Bo, Chile, Freddie, Linda, Jack, Mark, Jeremy, Alice.


Thomas: Got his temps in the mail this week. Proudly showed the group.
Linda: Has an interview at DVR this week. Working hard to find a job.
Freddie: Working on his GED. It's never too late. 


October 2: No book club. The homeless are invited to a two-night retreat at Bethel Horizons.
October 9: First discussion of Return to Wake Robin by Marnie O. Mamminga. Books provided by Wisconsin Historical Society Press. 



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