Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Book Club - June. The End of an Era (for me)

Host: Teresa Matazzoni
Date: June 6th, Wednesday
Book: The Kitchen by Banana Yamamoto
Food Theme: Japanese inspired cuisine

Yay for Banana! No, not the fruit, the author of The Kitchen! I really, truly enjoyed this short book of two stories. I felt very in touch with both leading characters from the get-go, and had a sense of the pace and place of their lives and struggles in Japan. Both tales are bittersweet in a lovely way, perfectly rounded out in true short-story form. Four stars out of four stars from me, and Book Clubbers? I think you would agree? Your silence will affirm my assumption. :-)

Another wonderful meal, hosted at the lovely home of Teresa Matazzoni (and Ron Parodi). The food was one of our best spreads yet: Jessie made okayu (aka soupy rice) with tasty veggie toppings, Teresa made Japanese-style braised tofu, Sarah and I collaborated on an order of sushi from Geta in Oakland, Anna . . . oh Anna, what did you bring? I'm drawing a complete blank! And Kimmy came through with desserts galore, tiny speciality crack cakes of all colors and flavors. Once again, Book Club surprised me by celebrating my Birthday (May 21).  This group of women . . . I'm telling you. No other Book Club will ever compare.  

As the night drew closed I said my goodbye's to Tree and Ron as they would be unable to attend our wedding in July. They had to suffer a trip to Africa to visit with one of Tree's dear friends. Poor, poor, Tree and Ron . . . Africa or Denver? Maybe someday they'll get to visit wild Denver. (Hey, I did see a snake and some deer the other day . . . just sayin').

Saying goodbye was surreal, it never feels like a goodbye when it's happening. One grows so accustomed to welcoming and parting with friends throughout the years, especially when you live in the same town. A hug at the door feels like any other night, any other evening drawing to a close, but instead you won't hug them hello again for a long time.  

Thanks to my Book Club, this summer I've already devoured many books, and still have a lengthly cue of books in my Kindle. Here's what I've been up to since I was last with you at BC:

Reading Now
  • The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee
  • The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht
  • Masie Dobbs: An Incomplete Revenge
Finished Reading
  • The Fault In Our Stars by Siobhan Fallon
  • 50 Shades of Grey by EL James (God help me I did read this crappy book!)
  • Some Assembly Required By Anne and Sam Lamott (Read)
In Cue
  • Masie Dobbs: Among the Mad
  • Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand 
  • Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
  • Shadow of Night: A Novel by Deborah Harkness (2nd in series)

From January 2009 until June 2012 I've had the honor, pleasure and pure delight to participate in a ritualistic gathering of friendship, shared sorrows, shared joys, struggles, marriages, pregnancies, births, home buying, new jobs, new degrees, new adventures, canoe trips, BBQ's, and of course books. I cannot believe how effortless, how easy, and how heart-warmingly wonderful it has been to be a part of this circle of women. You ladies are my true heros, my inspiration, my support, and and my literary guides. I miss you already, and look forward to seeing how our Book Club evolves as I transition to England and Sarah transitions to the east coast. I hope and wish for a continued Skype version of this club, as we have carried one another through so much these many years, and I can't imagine the years to come without you.

Thank you Anna, Jessie, Kim, Sarah and Teresa. 
I hope the next book club we co-create is as wonderful as this one has been.
I look forward to our sequel.  xoxo

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