Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Take a Little Trip

What an enjoyable evening at Melissa's home tonight. Number one, her new house is looking so great and number two...THE FOOD! Always a highlight for my blogging, the food for this book club was wonderful. Melissa put together a few scrumptious dishes from the various places our dear, sweet Undine visits in this month's read, Custom of the Country. She tempted us with a French nicoise salad and creamy goat cheese with crackers, Italian bruschetta with thin slices of baugette and a dreamy New York style cheesecake. Not to mention fresh fruit and veg and iced sparkling/still waters. It was heavenly. Thank you so much to Melissa, who worked so hard to make everything so lovely. Huge success.

As for the conversation, Melissa also had some great trivia questions for us to answer and Ring Pop candies (that we could have "re-set" any time) as prizes. Our discussion included the topic of never being satisfied with what you have in the present in your life. We discussed our relation to Undine which seems to border on pure, unabashed hatred and maybe, sometimes, fear of similarity. Overall, I believe the club's feeling for this work of historical literature was "appreciation."

Please note the following change: Our October read will be The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. Here is a little teaser:

"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand."
--Randy Pausch

A lot of professors give talks titled "The Last Lecture." Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them. And while they speak, audiences can't help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy?

When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn't have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave--"Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams"--wasn't about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because "time is all you have...and you may find one day that you have less than you think"). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.

In this book, Randy Pausch has combined the humor, inspiration and intelligence that made his lecture such a phenomenon and given it an indelible form. It is a book that will be shared for generations to come.

This book club meeting will be at Peggy's house on Tuesday, October 27th. In November we will be reading Tallgrass by Sandra Dallas and meeting at Lorraine's home. Happy reading!

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