This weekend my monthly book group goes away for our annual retreat up north in the woods. Its something I look forward to every year. If its anything like previous years, we'll laugh and cry and learn from each other. Its the essence of what I think life is really all about.
But while we're up there, we have a task to do. At some point over the weekend we'll go through our complicated ritual of picking the 12 books we'll read in the coming year. Its an important time because I don't ususally read more than one book a month and so this list will make up most of the reading I'll do over the coming year.
As I mentioned, we have a rather elaborate process for picking our books. I won't go into all the details, but it involves all of us recommending from one to ??? who knows how many and selecting from there. Last year I recommended 6 and got a little grief for bringing so many. But in the end, they chose 3 of them. So I'm trying to pare down my recommendations this year. But there is always WAY more I want to read than I have the time for. To give you a flavor, here's a few of my favorites we read last year:
The View from Delphi by Jonathan Odell
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
where we stand: class matters by bell hooks
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
That list is a little heavy in fiction for what is "normal" for us. But what I loved about it was the diversity. Here's what I'm thinking of recommending this year:
In The Time Of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez
Adventure Divas by Holly Morris
We Are The Ones We've Been Waiting For by Alice Walker
In Search of Fatima by Ghada Karmi
Hopefully this pared down list will not bring me any grief.
And if anyone visits between Thursday afternoon and Sunday afternoon, I'll be off without computer access. So say "hi" and I'll get back to you when I get home.