Mine is the path of the full bookshelf, not the way of the book club.
If you are a member of a book club, you must commit to a book, like you do a wedding ring. And the book may not even be chosen by you. It may be an arranged marriage. You must find meaning, even if the page is drool or foggy. You must be entertained, even if the tale doesn't capture you. You must, for the purpose of a book club is to discuss a book. How can you do that if you haven't read the book cover to cover? How can you do that if you haven't discovered the truth that waits between the pages?
But if your bookshelf is full of must-reads the choice is yours. The power is yours.
"Entertain me," you say to the author. And you read the first few pages of one book and then the other. You continue to audition one author after another until you find one that speaks to you, that entertains you, that has written his story for you.
Mine is the path of the full bookshelf.
I've started attending a book club. Do you need to read that again? Here: I've joined a book club.
We read the same book. One book to entertain, edify, enlighten all readers. One book to bind them all.
Buddhism and insomnia led novelist Susan Trott to invent an alternative to counting sheep. She counted a line of people waiting to see a holy man. This mental game, unresolved each night as sleep arrived, inspired The Holy Man.
Each chapter of this charming book tells the tale of a pilgrim and his problem. There is a man who is incurably jealous of his wife, the grandmother who never receives thank-you notes from her grandchildren, the war veteran who can't forgive himself for the lives he took. As their stories unfold, we come to realize that we're all in here, somewhere, with our wounded egos, insecurities, bad tempers, impatience, and ambitiousness.
These simple and beautiful tales help us unravel the knots of everyday anxieties with profound ease, humor, wisdom, and elegance. Through them, we understand that a guru's cures never really cure us; they simply show us the good things we are but cannot see. "If you look on everyone as a holy person," the Holy Man advises, "you will be happy."
You need to be on Mayne Island this weekend.
There in the shadows, I found a warm yellow light.
A seven-year-old girl whispered, "Tell them my story."
My heart replied, "I promise, I will."
I felt her smile.
And so, I will write about that sweet, little girl with the sunshine smile, who was given an amazing gift--an endlessly creative dyslexic mind.