Book Club Conversations

My book club meets once a month.  I really enjoy the group.  Each month I get to know each of these women a little better.  We have all come together from different worlds which makes this group especially interesting. 

Everyone is extremely well read and very insightful.  We discussed the Kite Runner last night which was our book of the month.  Although the book is a bit trite,  it made for some very interesting conversations.  Also, the book is a really quick read and keeps your attention. 

We discussed evil.  Are people just born evil?  There was an interesting article in the New York Times Science section yesterday about this.   Look at Gary Gilmore vs. his brother, Mikal Gilmore who writes for Rolling Stone Magazine.  They grew up in the same house.  They knew Gary was evil from the very onset. 

We discussed family relationships.  Father vs. son.  How history repeats itself. 

We intertwined these conversations with other books we read and interesting stories that related to our lives.  Someone brought up how there are more books and music out there than there was 60 years ago.  Because of this it is harder to connect with your community at large.  For instance, in the office 60 years ago, most people were reading the same book or perhaps listening to the newest music so there were communal conversations over the water cooler that don’t exist as much today as it did in the past.  I completely disagreed.   The Internet has changed all of that.

Community on the Internet is huge.  People read my blog that live all over the world.  I get emails from people all the time which is great.  There are communities formed around cancer patients that can share their stories with other people going through the same thing.  One of our book members is a survivor of Ovarian cancer.  She is on a list of 1400 people that actually go to an annual event every year.  She finds that most of the information can be more helpful that a doctor because these community members have gone through what a doctor hasn’t.

In 1998, a friend of mine, who had a business in the Silicon Alley days described the Internets beauty in a simple story which I love to tell.  He had a niece in Pittsburgh who was then a teenager.  She was a bit gawky and felt disconnected with the people in her town and school.  He thought she was a beautiful smart girl who would find herself when she got to college as I am sure she did.  But at the present time she was depressed.  Then she found the Internet.  She was a huge They Might Be Giants fan.  She found other people that she could relate to through their site, through chat rooms, etc.  People who read the same books, liked the same music and felt the same about themselves in their own communities at home.  How fantastic!  This group helped her get through High School. 

I believe we have barely touched the surface with communities on the Internet.  The blogging world is taking communities to another level.   Towns are creating newsletters on line about what is happening in their communities.  When all the 20 year old grow up (who are totally computer saavy) and move to the suburbs and start having families the Internet and the technology around it will prove to become a completely different way we live our lives. 

Book clubs on line???