Imagining a better book club

As an avid reader I should probably belong to at least one book club, but I don’t. The reason is that I simply love books too much to try reading one that’s not a total delight. #Book clubs provide wonderful social and intellectual opportunities for readers and I think they are incredibly valuable instruments for meeting people and enrichingBookclub1your mind. However, they’re just not for me. While reading a book that’s not of my choosing might expand my mind, it also shortens my life and becomes too much like homework. It reminds me of plodding through Return of the Native in high school. I could have been reading something I loved instead.

One of the first questions I ask people when I meet them is, “Do you read much?” and “What are you reading now?” I love to hear the answers as I frequently get excellent recommendations. And it’s a great ice-breaker for interesting conversation. I could never understand the appeal of the book “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne. It was predominately recycled information and hardly qualified as ground-breaking. So, when I heard there was a discussion about the book at a local bookstore, I decided to go and see what I was missing. Only two people showed up – me and another woman. Even the facilitator was M.I.A. The evening did turn out to be worthwhile however,

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Alice doesn’t live here anymore

Alice Munro is without doubt a very good author – after all she recently won the Nobel Prize for literature. The thing is – and I’m embarrassed to admit this – I just don’t get her. In an earlier blog posting, I applauded her winning the Nobel Prize and was as proud as any Canadian could be. It motivated me to dig out my hard-cover copy of  reading1her latest book, “Dear Life” and give it another shot. About three-quarters of the way through the book I gave up – again. While her stories of the people and small town places in southwestern Ontario ring familiar, I find them tedious and depressing, which, as someone who grew up in a small Ontario town is understandable. But her story lines and writing style fail to make me want to turn the page and keep reading. If someone could explain why she was Nobel-worthy I’d be very grateful.

I’m just a simple lover of books, not a student of literature, an academic, a critic or probably even all that smart. So there’s obviously something I’m missing. There are so many other Canadian authors I like better than Alice Munro which makes the criteria for selection from the world-wide pool of Nobel prize contenders even more incomprehensible.

The answer I think lies

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Dear Mr. Gates and the rest of you b#$%@&ds

I try to keep up, I really do. But it’s becoming increasingly more difficult for me to be our household I.T. Manager. Why can’t the so-called brilliant minds at our high-tech companies devise gadgets that work like they should – the first time – and stay computer frustrationworking. The problems of maintaining all our electronic gadgets is becoming too much for me to manage.

Yesterday, my husband spent more than an hour on the phone with a technician about a new password. Speaking of which, I have more than two full pages of passwords for accessing various sites and accounts – apparently all for my own safety. That means changing forgotten passwords regularly, which they say is a good idea but I’m not so sure. The only person who can’t access my accounts is me. And my husband has only once in the last several years been able to successfully change the toner cartridge in his printer by himself without having a major meltdown.

About a year ago 

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Do ‘ya read me good buddy?

Have we really come a long way baby? About 40 years ago, in the olden days before cell phones, we had the CB radio. Remember them? My first husband was a bit of a zealot and installed one in our car and our boat so he could keep in touch with his guy friends while on the move. Popular with truckers, CBs were the communication link  that allowed them to inform their good-buddies of their exact “20” (location) and other seemingly vital daily minutia.

CB users had their own idiom with secret codes and abbreviations for various common expressions. Chatting to each other when driving to the cottage or boat, CB’ers would warn of “Smokies” (police) so the smokeyfollowing car could avoid radar or at least slow down. Many of them set these radios up in their homes to listen and chat with others at any hour. I thought it was embarrassingly juvenile, like little boys playing with walkie-talkies. This, despite the fact a hugely successful movie, Smokey & The Bandit starring Burt Reynolds and Jackie Gleason also starred a CB radio in a leading role used to facilitate the smuggling of beer.

Fast-forward to 2013

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Celebrating 50 big ones

Now that I’ve officially posted for the 50th time on my blog, I would really love a littlefifty feedback from my readers. How am I doing? Please comment below so I can better understand what you like to read. Here are a few questions to help get you started:

1.  Is the content on interesting to you?

2.  What subjects would you like to see me cover in the future?

3.  What previous post particularly struck a chord with you?

4.  Is there an article or posting that you strongly disagreed with?

5. What suggestions would you offer to help me improve

I’m here for you and I’m listening. And don’t forget, if you would like to automatically receive new postings, open the Home page and click on the teeny little box in the lower right corner of the screen that says “Follow”.


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