Saturday, August 9, 2008

Favorite Website

I received in my my inbox my weekly bookreporter.com and readinggroupgide.com every Friday. I actually look forward to this. If no one know bookreporter.com is a website about books, book clubs, book reviews and even contests for book giveaways.
She talks about different book related events around the country. Her great escapades with her children, etc.
I have been reading this for every week religiously I think for at least 8years.
This website was a lifesaver for me. Because when I moved here to SC it was such a culture shock. The website kept me in touch with what was going on in the north east. Since Carol is from NY, I felt at home when she sent info. because she not only talk about books. She would also talk about what was going on up north. When I moved here it was July 2001. One month before 9/11. That was hard for me because I wanted to be there, NY it was still home to me, not SC. So it was a difficult time. Bookreporter.com was a lifesaver. It kept me in touch.
If it was not for her I would not have discovered the good books too, that I am reading now. Because where I live you have to have a computer. Not that it is remote. But up north we had more cultural events, authors would visit book stores. Where I live to get to a big city book store takes a good 2 hrs. And usually they are not the author I would want to see. They have local authors. Not the big names I would like to see. What a disappointment. When I live up north I could see James Patterson, Mary Higgins Clark, etc, etc. That is why I say thank g-d for the computer. You know can see author talks on the computer at youtube, or borders and different book events online. You don't even have to leave home. You can even do it in your PJ's. Anyway sorry for getting off the subject.
Anyway, Carol Fitzgerald started a website where it started as a little website and blossomed. On her website she now has a blog of contributor, authors, librarian, book stores that gives you all kinds of recommendations, and resources
Anyway the latest article I found on the blog. Is from a author contributor that talks about why women love book clubs. I love her take why? The caveman idea is great.
I'll have to remember that one. Read below the article it is from the blog from readingguide.com. While you are reading if you have never visited her website now is a chance to take a peak. You can find a link on my favorite reading sites there. Or go to bookreporter.com or readingguide.com.


I love book groups. I'm not actually in one, but I have felt very much a part of many dozens of them, at least for one night each. As an author of three novels that encourage meaningful discussions --- Riding with the Queen, Eating Heaven, and my latest, Love and Biology at the Center of the Universe --- I have the profound good luck to be invited to book groups all over the country.

As an observer and participant, I've come up with a theory why so many of us love the concept of meeting with (mostly) other women once a month, talking about books and issues important to us, laughing and letting our hair down a little before we go back to our too-busy lives. Beyond the obvious reason (it's fun!), I believe it all comes down to biology.

Yes, biology, which is also at the center of my new novel. The book group theory in a moment, but first let's take a peek at the biological underpinnings in Love and Biology at the Center of the Universe:

Middle-aged "good girl" Mira Serafino teaches her high school health science students about their own biological drives, but fails to accept her own "bad girl" desires. When her college-sweetheart husband seems to be exercising his own biological imperative with another woman, she runs away from her small hometown. She goes against all biological norms and expectations; she does not stay and protect her brood: her grown daughter Thea, who seems to hate her; her father, who appears to have replaced her; and her grandmother, whose old-world ways don't feel very supportive in Mira's time of need.

Can you imagine running away from your family? Starting a new life, giving in to your deepest desires? As I've spent time with book groups across the country, by phone and in person, I've learned that many, many women fantasize about doing just that! I thought I'd created an unusual character in Mira, and perhaps I have. She doesn't just fantasize about it --- she does it, and in doing so, finds the way to her authentic self. She learns to accept that both love and biology have a place in her life.

So, back to my biological theory about why we love book groups. In prehistoric hunter-gatherer times, men regularly left the family circle to procure big slabs of protein while women took care of everything else close to home: gathering the nuts and berries, the leafy greens and clean water, and tending to the young and old and infirm. They did this cooperatively, with other women, and developed a vast capacity for empathy as a result. Sisterhood. Girlfriend time. It's in our blood, our genetic material, our DNA.

In modern life, we rarely get that kind of time, and book groups provide a chance to gather, to discuss great books and the intellectual and emotional concepts they engender. Sure, we nibble on nuts and berries, or whatever it is we've all gathered to share, but we do so much more.

We empathize with each other and with the book's characters, even when they are very different from us. We disagree and argue, and commiserate and comfort. We accept each other's differences. We feel a sense of belonging, in our book group circles, something that's increasingly difficult to experience as every aspect of our lives becomes less about people and more about technology and speed. But on book group night we slow down again and move to more human rhythms. We regain our humanity, and reclaim our biological imperative of community.

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