This week we’re supposed to discuss books that we’ve enjoyed with a friend or family member. I’m afraid my list isn’t very long, because even though everyone in my family likes to read, we don’t read the same things. My husband likes to read books with a political message (he and I don’t see eye to eye on much in that realm, so we don’t discuss those books) and for a while he enjoyed the Left Behind series. My daughters read a lot, but one mainly reads professional journals (she’s a psychologist, so I suppose I could learn a lot from the things she reads, but it’s not my cup of tea) and fashion magazines (again, not something that interests me), and the other daughter reads and writes instructional manuals all day, so her reading choices lean toward things she can get through in small doses. When I interviewed her for my April 6 post, she said that lately she’s been reading memoirs, especially those of funny women. While I enjoy most of the women she reads about, we’re more likely to discuss their live performances than the things they write.
Among my scrapbooking and quilting friends, most read inspirational romance. Once in a while one of us will read a good book and pass it around for others to read. Regular favorites are Janette Oke and her many different series, Gilbert Morris and his historicals, and several Amish romances. But we don’t really share them in the sense that we discuss them and talk about what we liked and disliked. It’s more “I just finished reading this one and enjoyed it. Is anyone looking for something to read?”
About fifteen years ago I spent two evenings a week working with the “flag ladies” (a group of moms who sewed the flags and costumes for the marching band’s color guard). One evening one of the ladies started talking about a romance she’d been reading. That progressed to a discussion of steamy romances and how our spouses could tell what we were reading. And that, of course, led to specific authors and what we, um, learned from them. But before I was privy to any specific instruction, the lady next to me asked, “Have you read Nora Roberts’ new series?”
It just so happened I had just finished reading Key of Knowledge, the second in Roberts’ Key Trilogy. So we chatted a bit about that lovely set of books, as well as her Irish Triology. I suppose it was an unusual setting for a book discussion, but in the middle of a room full of sewing machines and rolls of fabric, I connected with someone through books.
Other than these few examples, most of my literary discussions take place online. Since I belong to two different writers groups and write for two different publishers, I have a LOT of author friends, and every one of us wants to spread the word about our books – so I try to help out by visiting and commenting on blogs, reading books and writing reviews, and stopping in at online events. Thanks to all these connections, my To-Be-Read list is longer than ever – but so is my list of friends with whom I share them.
Do you discuss books with your family and/or friends?