Book Club: Anne Fadiman

With the love of books and the desire to share those page-bound treasures with everyone we knew, my friend Liz and I decided it might be a great idea to start a book club here in Kansas City.

Books are meant to be shared.
Treasured.
You will never hear about someone reading a phenomenal book and then not telling anyone about it or how much they loved it.

Books impact us in ways we can’t even properly measure. I remember being a little girl reading Max Lucado’s “Tell Me the Story” and “The Treasure Tree.” As a little girl, these were just wonderful stories, but I think of them often 20 years later. They impacted my life, my thought processes, my spirituality, my social skills, etc….

So what better way to come together and bask in the adoration of books then to start a book club?

So we did.

Our first book to read collectively was Anne Fadiman’s “At Large and At Small” – it is a collection of familiar essays.
Familiar essays, if you don’t know already, are simply essays spoken from a very personal voice that are full of personal stories and opinions, but which reach out to a broad (potentially global) audience with an over-arching theme about humanity and life. They are my favorite genre of Non-fiction prose.

This book so far is very enjoyable. I’ve read one other book by Anne Fadiman called “Ex Libris” which made me feel as if Anne Fadiman were somehow my long lost sister. Her writing is wonderful. Her voice is so personal and laced with a lot of humor. Her perspectives on things are kindred to my own.

This is her other book – WELL worth the few dollars on Amazon to read and own.

Our first meeting was on August 1st at the Barnes and Noble on the Plaza.
We drank our lattes (compliments of Lindsee Brandmueller!) and just discussed what we liked and didn’t like about the first few chapters. It started out slow for most of us and nobody knew who Charles Lamb was until now. However, there was much love for the chapter about Ice Cream and on being a Night Owl.

I’ve never heard someone describe the merits of being a Night Owl before. I most definitely am one, but always felt like I shouldn’t be too proud to admit such a thing. I’ve heard mostly the persecution Fadiman’s talks about regarding associating Night Owls with “people who are up to no good” because we associate darkness with evil and, in turn, daylight with goodness. But, as Fadiman says, those who produce works of art only after everyone else has gone to bed are no less crucial than those who rise with the sun.

My favorite quote from the book so far was from this chapter on Night Owls (incidentally my favorite chapter).
Fadiman says, “Hell may be a dark place, but so is the womb.” – LOVE IT! 🙂

In the end, the discussion on Anne Fadiman was replaced with each of us sharing all of our favorite books, why we like to read and about our lives in general. It was indescribably wonderful for me to be sitting with two other women who were as fascinated and captivated by books and stories and life as much as I am. It was a time for connection and fellowship. It was perfect. 🙂
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If you’d like to join our Book Club (either in Kansas City or just following along online) let me know!! I will add you to our Facebook group, so that you can know when meetings will be and what books we will be reading in the future…

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And please, PLEASE do yourself a favor and invest in Anne Fadiman. Her books are a rare beautiful treasure among other effortless works.

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