Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Book Club Day: Don't be *Quiet* about books!

Are you an introvert or extrovert?.Author Susan Cain explores how introverts can be powerful in a world where being an extrovert is highly valued. Join From Left to Write on January 19 as we discuss Quiet: The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain. We'll also be chatting live with Susan Cain at 9PM Eastern on January 26. As a member of From Left to Write, I received a copy of the book. All opinions are my own.
Oooh, I am really enjoying this book! I'm not finished, but as I read, I keep thinking of more and more I could write about, but I have decided to talk about the power of books and talking. I've always been a big reader since the days I learned to read from the blue circus reader in kindergarten. Growing up, you could find me snuggled up somewhere, a book in hand. It wasn't until high school that I realized how wonderful it was to read the same books as others and share them. Of course, it was the requisite high school novels, but still....I discovered how powerful and meaningful it was to discover books together.
I joined a book club about 12 years ago and it really opened up my eyes to different genres. I never picked up a historical fiction novel before then. And I fell in love...We always got together for talk at a local restaurant, and after our "book talk", just enjoyed casual conversation. I have to admit, I always wanted the book talk to go on longer! I loved hearing what the others thought about a character's reasonings or why things worked out this way. I also admit, the girls helped me to understand things I missed, too. I read The Life of Pi, in a fog just weeks after the birth of my first child. It wasn't until our meeting when I heard Casey talking about the religious undertones she picked up on, that I realized how much I had missed! I had to go back a reread weeks later (when the fog began to lift!).
After moving to Northern California, I never got involved with a book club and really miss it. I have discovered Good Reads and scour the reviews that my friends post. I often write messages to my friends about books-what did you think about the ending? Why do you think the author did this? Luckily, my friends (mostly my old book club friends) enjoy responding back!
Reading this book, Quiet, with all of its interesting studies and ideas really intrigued me. My copy was soon dog eared. Daily, I have been bugging my husband, "Listen to this! What do you think about this?" I think he can safely say that he knows about as much as me about this book- without even reading it. I even find myself bringing up this book's topic to friends, starting a conversation of what they think about introverts and extroverts. I can't help it-I want to share and discuss with someone! Can't wait to read all the book club posts in the next few days!
As a teacher, I try my best to bring that book talk into the classroom. I think... no, I know, that it can help build a love of reading. And kids really say the most interesting things about books-they often have a different perspective on things-and I welcome it. (They also love it when a teacher remarks that they, the teacher, hadn't even realized or thought of that idea!) I put a lot of effort into book talks last year with my 3rd graders, and I saw the power, I saw the kids stacking books on their desks, and passing books to each other. I even had parents say that finally their kids were reading-and enjoying it! It's a little harder with my firsties this year-some of them can hardly read-but we enjoy talking about the books I read to them. I do think it's a teacher's job to help their students love to read, and I know the power of talking about books really builds that.
Can't wait to finish Quiet and see what other ideas I bother I mean share with my husband and lucky friends!


Amy @ said...

I've been dog-earring my copy too. Love that we have this virtual book club to share our thoughts with!

Thien-Kim aka Kim said...

I don't agree with everything in the book, but I've make lots of notes in my copy as well!

Janin Wise said...

I had the e-reader version, so I ended up with an entire word document of notes as I was reading. Like Kim, I didn't agree with all of it. But I'm discovering that joining From Left to Write was a wonderful decision. I'm also a big fan of goodreads (:

Melissa B said...

Hi Amy! Love your passion--ironically, books have always been a means for me (an introvert) to connect with others. I've been in two in-person book clubs--both of which were somehow fraught with tensions (how to choose the book, who gets airtime, etc.), so I particularly appreciate this forum where we can fluidly move in and out of participation and we all get our say!