One of my book clubs met Tuesday night for the last time in 2008. We had a really nice time. For something a little different, we had a book exchange. We all brought a book that meant something to us. The books were all nicely wrapped and looked really pretty sitting in the middle of the table. The books were numbered and we each drew a number to determine who got which book. Then, we each went around the room and showed the book that we received, and the person that brought that book explained why she chose that book and why it is special to her. It was really neat. I received One Foot in Eden by Ron Rash. The person who brought it explained that this is one of her favorite authors, and that this was his first book. She is currently reading his latest book, Serena, which she says she can't put down. An extra bonus is that he's a North Carolina author.
I took To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. This is my all-time favorite book. It's the first book that I remember reading that made a huge impact on me. I was 14 years old, and I read it on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Autumn. I read the entire book while laying in a hammock in our side yard. I've reread it many times since that day. A couple years ago, my husband found me a first edition copy on eBay for our anniversary. I learned later that he had searched for months. Needless to say, this is one of my most treasured books.
We also set our reading calendar for 2009. Surprisingly enough, I haven't read any of these books. However, I do have several in the stacks at home. Here's the list:
The Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson
A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest Gaines
Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns
The Camel Bookmobile by Masha Hamilton
The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard
Run by Ann Patchett
Tortilla Curtain by T.C Boyle
One Book/One Community (tba -- we'll participate in the county reading program)
Nickel & Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
The Christmas Letters by Lee Smith
I'm pretty excited about most of these. The only one I probably wouldn't read on my own is Nickel & Dimed simply because I don't usually read that type if non-fiction. But, I'll probably read and may even like it. That has certainly happened in the past. That's one of the great things about a book club. It sometimes forces you to stretch your reading horizons a bit.
I'm still only reading little bits here and there -- certainly not like I normally read. But, I've finished a couple of the items I'm knitting for Christmas and hopefully will have more time to read soon. I'm starting to have some serious withdrawals.