Category Archives: Friendship

Reading Together

Books

One of the greatest pleasures of a good book is sharing it with friends. We analyze plot twists and compare notes on our favorite characters. We ponder what made the author choose a detail to highlight or direction to follow. We examine our own lives and the choices we’ve made, whether they were similar or in opposition to how the characters behave. Our discussions can be love fests or debates, but either way, they increase the joy of the reading experience.

Imagine the possibilities when an entire city reads a book together.

In my area, we have One Book, One San Diego, a community reading program led by KPBS and the San Diego Public Library. This week I had the privilege of attending the kickoff event for the 2013 program.

I sat at a table with book-loving friends, new and old, from Adventures by the Book, KPBS, a Little Free LibrarySan Diego Writers, Ink and Write Out Loud.  Together, we learned about this year’s selection process and listened to publishers present their recommendations for our One Book. I suspect we were all thinking the same thing. There are so many great books and not enough time to read them all.

In the past, the Advisory Committee has chosen a few books and the community voted on the selection for that year. This year, to increase involvement, we all have the chance to nominate our favorite books. The committee will choose our One Book based on those recommendations.

From the KPBS web site…

Book Criteria for One Book, One San Diego Selections:

1. Story (fiction or nonfiction) is of high literary quality, is significant and compelling, and has a strong narrative and well-developed characters.
2. Themes resonate with local and/or global communities.
3. Inspires discussion, conversations, and action.
4. Available in paperback and hardcover.
5. Author is alive.
6. Should have professional reviews (the book is currently in print and available in large quantities).
7. Suitable for high school study and up (and for people of all backgrounds).

If you live in San Diego County and you have a favorite book that meets those criteria, nominate it today! Nominations are open through March 31st and forms are available online and at all San Diego Public Library locations. The 2013 One Book, One San Diego selection will be announced in May.

If you live elsewhere, your city might have a community reading program, too. Or you could participate in a national reading program like The Big Read, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts. They select several books every year and many cities around the country hold literary events related to those books. In San Diego, Write Out Loud will present events based on Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 during the month of April.

For the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing information about the One Book, One San Diego selection process with my book clubs and reading friends, encouraging them to participate, and deciding which of my favorite books I want to nominate.

Do you have a favorite book that you think your whole city should read?

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Filed under Authors, Books, Friendship, novels, Reading

Summer of Mischief: a guest post by Lola

It wouldn’t be fair to say that my person neglected me over the summer while she was busy tap dancing with the California Rhythm Project. Let’s just say that she was a little less attentive than usual, so I had plenty of opportunities for fun.

I chased a cat up the acacia and it ran all the way to the top… miles above my head.  I think it would have stayed up there for a long time, but my person called her tree trimmer to get it down.

I also dug holes in the garden so my person will have less work to do when she’s ready to plant something new.

I chased rats out of the vegetable bed.

I barked at the hawks and the crows.

I took naps in my person’s chair, under her desk and on her bed.

I even helped recycle the junk mail.

Now that the summer is over, we’ve settled back into our routine for the most part, but I heard her talking on the phone the other day and I think she’s planning something fun for us. She said that the car is tuned up and ready to go. You know what that means.  Road trip!

Look out, Grandma and Grandpa… here I come!

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Filed under Dogs, Friendship, Lola, tap dance, Travel

Visitors: a guest post by Lola

Some of my favorite people have come to visit over the past few weeks, all right in a row.  My person has been busy hosting, cooking, talking and laughing. There hasn’t been much writing going on around here, which is fine with me. I think it would be great if we had guests all the time. Sometimes they go places I can’t, but that gives me the chance to nap until they come back to play with me. These are just a few of the places my friends visited and things they saw while they were here.

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Filed under Friendship, Lola

How to Win Friends

As much as I love my husband, there’s no getting around the fact that he’s not girlfriend material. We have a lot of common interests and we love spending our free time together, but when it comes to girl talk, he’s clueless. He hasn’t mastered the technique of listening without trying to fix things and when I tell him about my latest find at Sephora or at the consignment store, his eyes glaze over. Whether the subject is family or fashion, vocations or vacations, there’s something about a conversation with a female friend that keeps me from feeling alone in the world.

I’m still in touch with some of my high school and college friends thanks to Facebook and e-mail, but we live so far apart that we can’t meet for coffee or a drink after work. My shy nature combined with five relocations in 17 years of marriage equals a friend deficit. I muddled along as best I could and I was lucky enough to meet some wonderful women through work and classes. I’ve volunteered and joined organizations. I often felt awkward and silly, like a five-year-old in a playground asking someone to play with me, but every place we’ve lived, I’ve found lifelong friends. The kind it hurt to leave behind each time we moved.

This time, I think we’re finally putting down roots. I’ve made friends of neighbors, met other friends in dance class, writing groups and book clubs. As an added bonus, I live in a place that my old friends like to visit. It feels like a winning situation to me, but it was a long journey.

Rachel Bertsche, author of the blog and book MWF seeking BFF, was much more deliberate in her quest for female friends. When she relocated from New York City to Chicago to marry her fiance, she made it her mission to find new girl friends. I’ve followed her blog as she went on 52 “girl dates” in a year, trying to find a new BFF. She reported back to her readers on the good, the bad and the ridiculous.

Maybe that was a little crazy, but it was a reminder to me that finding new friends does take effort and creativity. MWF seeking BFF comes out on Tuesday, December 20th and I’m looking forward to reading more about Rachel’s search. If you’ve ever found yourself wishing you had more close pals, you might just learn how to win them thanks to Rachel’s experience.

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Filed under Books, Creativity, Friendship, Reading