Thursday, April 23, 2009

Water for Elephants

Did I mention that I joined a book club a month ago? An old high school acquaintance and I met on Facebook last year, and a month ago she decided to see if any of her Facebook friends would be interested in starting a book club. A few of us responded positively, and the book club was born. None of us had been in a book club before, and nobody had suggestions for a first book to read. She did some research and found "Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen. Apparently a lot of book clubs have read and discussed this book, which rationally made it a good decision for us to read.

We plan to meet at her house on Sunday afternoon for drinks and to discuss the book, and I can't wait. Tonight I plopped into bed around 9:30pm, ready to read a few chapters and have a good night's sleep before teaching tomorrow. Two and a half hours, or ten chapters, later I'm wide awake and finished with the story. I have no idea how Sara Gruen spun that story, but it is amazing.

I've only stayed up late to finish books two other times in my life. The first was as a freshman in college, reading "The Hobbit" for the first time. The second was a few years ago days after receiving "Teacher Man" from my sister for Xmas. Every time I stay up hours later than I intend to, to finish a book, I get completely spellbound by the story. I was never much of a reader, so maybe this experience is common, but I love it.

Reading a good story inspires me to write or tell stories of my own. I really want to be the old guy who has endless stories to tell, and nobody can tell where the truth meets fiction in those stories, like in "Big Fish". The fact that "Water for Elephants" has a crotchety old man in it has no bearing on that desire. None at all.



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