Can you recall a book from your early childhood that had a major impact on you – that made you love reading? For me it was a book I read in early grade school called Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. I wasn’t a self-motivated reader until college, but I remember being transported by O’Dell’s book. It was about a young girl stranded on an island off the coast of California and allegedly based on a true story of a Native American girl. That book has stayed with me for over 60 years. It showed me how a book can transport the reader to another place and time and become totally absorbed; lost between the book covers.
Reading the right book at the right time can alter the course of our lives. What we read can change the way we think.
In 2022-23 I partnered with Bloom Yoga Studio to start a book club focused on healthy aging. The group met at Bloom every other month for a year. Hands down, the group’s favorite book was, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? A Memoir, by Roz Chast (2014). Ironically the book was a graphic novel and was told more in pictures than words – but its power to transport the reader was still potent.
Selected as one of the New York Times’ 10 Best Books of 2014, Roz Chast’s graphic memoir depicts her parents’ final years, her father, 95, her mother, 97. The book is both funny and brutally honest about the realities of declining health, the limited and costly options for end-of-life care, the complexities of unresolved parent/child dynamics, and so much more. All of us in the book club came away changed for having read and shared it among friends. If you haven't read it yet, please consider giving it a try.
The next annual Bloom Yoga book club starts on Thursday, January 18, 2024. Our first book is Left on Tenth: A Second Chance at Life: A Memoir, by Delia Ephron (sister and writing partner of Nora Ephron). The book is a beautiful memoir of loss and renewal. Ephron shares stories about the loss of her sister, husband, and her own life-threatening health challenges. At the same time, she offers a story of hope, new romantic love, and the essential social support we all need to walk each other home.
Each book club session starts with a gentle yoga practice to help settle the thoughts and start with a clean slate when approaching the book discussion. Remember, the right book at the right time can change how you think and live. Please join the conversation at Bloom Yoga’s 2024 book club on healthy aging.
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