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Reading With Sea

A book club on your own time

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I am very excited to be announcing a new format for our reading group starting in June.  What we have been doing here since February is trying to create a reading group that is completely flexible and in that process the experience has become overwhelming.  What we need to do is simplify, simplify, simplify, just like Thoreau said.

Here’s the new deal:  Each month we will feature 1 full length book (either nonfiction or fiction) and 1 essay.  That’s it.  The book selection will change monthly (obviously).  The essay, however, will be from the same collection.  For the next hand full of months, after June,  you will only need to pick up one book.  All the essays we will be reading for a while will be from the following collection:

Pick up your copy of this collection as soon as you can.  Keep it with you since we will be reading various essays from it at the pace of one per month until we are through.  The essay we will be reading in June will be Mark Twain’s Corn-pone Opinions.

The book that received the most votes and therefore will be read in June is:

Oh The Glory of it All
by Sean Wilsey

I hope this all makes sense to you.  After the month of May I will be taking down all past discussion comments and past reads to make the page clean for the new format.

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to voice them.  This simplification process is the result of much reflection and feedback.  I hope this new format will allow everyone to feel more relaxed and eager to participate.

-Sea

I have been reflecting quite a bit on how things have been going for our reading group and have been having conversations with various individuals regarding the flow.

What was recently suggested to me was that the group members acquire for themselves a collection of essays or short stories and then one of the essays/short stories in the collection could be read a month.  This short story/essay would be paired with a novel.

The idea behind this is to give people ample time to read and since a short story is quicker we would be able to discuss something while needing more time to read a full-length novel.

My question to you is how does this sound to you?  Would you be interested in purchasing a collection of short stories or essays and reading one of the a month together as a group?


The Book Discussion page has been updated with the questions for the May reads.

I know this month we are featuring 4 books and this is quite a large task to take on.  This month I’d like to focus a little more in on the discussion and will myself spend more time on the page.

Reading can be exhausting and on this Monday afternoon when the sky is actually blue in Seattle (rare) I am fighting the urge to take a nap.  I should be putting on my running shoes and hitting the pavement.  I am on page 165 of The Savage Detectives, page 48 of Franny and Zooey, which doesn’t count since I have read it up-teem times, page 160 of Tokyo Vice.  I keep starring at a postcard of Joan Didion and John Dunne.  This photo was taken in 1983 the year I was born and I am wondering who is the Joan Didion of my generation? Dreaming of being back in New York.  I miss my second home.  June: come quickly.

Ok, I cannot put off exercise any longer.

Read on,
Sea

Corinne Hofman is not a writer, but as far as storytelling goes – she has nailed it.

About three years ago now I read a book by Corinne Hofmann entitled, The White Masia. As the story begins Corinne, originally hailing from Switzerland or Germany heads with her  boyfriend to Kenya for vacation.  While on vacation she spots a Masai warrior who she instantly falls in love with while internally remarking that this warrior is the most beautiful person she has ever seen.  She makes her mind up to try and be with him.  At the end of the vacation she breaks it off with her boyfriend, heads back to her homeland, dissolves her business there, settles her affairs, and makes the preparations to return back to Kenya in hopes of finding the Masai warrior.  She goes through a lot, A LOT, trying to find him and while I am choosing not to divulge any more detail because I do not want to give the story away, it is an incredible story.  It is entertaining to say the least and I remember that when I read this book it only took me a day.

Fourteen years after the first book, Hofmann wrote a sequel called Reunion in Barsaloi, which I am currently reading.  Apparently, she also wrote a third book about her story which I intend to read when I am through with the sequel.  Hopefully, I will have the chance to finish it this evening.  If anyone is interested in reading a story full of adventure that is completely out of the ordinary read The White Masai.  Hofmann, as I said, is not the most eloquent writer, but she has definitely assumed the rank of a writer in her ability to keep a plot and push it along at a rate that keeps the readings’ fingers inching to turn the next page and the next and the next.

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Have you found what you are looking for … this month at least?  Have you discovered a read that has met your taste buds with satisfaction?  I am still reading The Savage Detectives and I am enjoying it.  It is really different than anything else I have read, but it was not originally written in English and I am having a hard time deciphering what is due to the translator and what to pin to the author.  Either way, it’s been a fun read so far.  Tonight: red wine, candle light, Otis Redding and more Roberto Bolano.

Cheers,

Sea

Member or not, writer or wannabe, if you want to write let me know.  I have mentioned an openness to have guest writers, here, and I did mean it.  Amatuer or professional, member profile or none, lurker or otherwise, let me know if you want to write something on the site.

Also, a lot of people have contacted me about writing letters, since I mentioned enjoying writing letters in some post, at some point in the past.  If you want to write letters, be my guest.  Find one another and if it feels safe, exchange information and become pen pals.  I would encourage that.  In fact, I am presently.  There is nothing like receiving a hand written note in the mail.  Please just make sure you do not post your address online, please exchange that information by private email.  After years of being a probation officer, I have a few precautions, even though I am retired from that line of career.

-Sea

seabenjamin@gmail.com